Start fresh Photos library

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by rikscha, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. rikscha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    Hi there,

    Not ready yet to download the latest beta to finally ditch iPhotos.

    I was wondering if it was possible to start with an empty Photos library and then slowly, slowly manually import all photos from iPhoto over.

    I know that Photos will automatically import all photos from iPhoto but I'd rather see this transition to a new photo app as a good opportunity to do a cleansing exercise of my iPhoto library.

    I really dislike working in iPhoto and find it easier to import all my photos manually rather than import them all and then start deleting the stuff I don't want.

  2. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2008
    Yeah. I'd actually like to know about this, too. I've always had trouble with iPhoto. A "Genius" at the store told me it was from potentially having a bad file in there, and that I could always try arduously importing small batches of photos to find the culprit. It sounds made up to me, but, if it is the case, I'd also take this opportunity to do it.
  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    I believe that Photos converts libraries, it doesn't piecemeal import them.

    You probably have managed iPhoto libraries, in that iPhoto copied all your stuff into its internal file structure. So you'd probably have to export say an album, then use File>Import... in Photos to import those pictures. Note that you might lose info in this event unless you could somehow write that iPhoto data (keywords, etc) to the photo files themselves (something more capable photo managers can do).

    If you want fine grained control over your images iPhotos and Photos are not for you. They tend to be rather all or nothing managers, as opposed to Aperture or Lightroom. You'll probably have to convert the whole library then manually weed out what didn't work. It might actually be faster too.
  4. glhaynes macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2012
    You can hold down Option while starting Photos to get a dialog that lets you choose an existing library or create a new one.
  5. rikscha thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    I could then basically do exactly what I intended to do and once I have all pictures imported, make this 'new library' the default one and delete iPhoto and the old default library.


    Also, would you know if I can disable the upload of Photos on the default library and activate only on the 'new library' I intend to create?

    Many thanks for your help!


    Thanks for your response. I think it actually does not convert it but creates soft links between iPhoto and Photos. This way pictures are not taking up twice the storage on your hard drive.

    I think I will try the solution above - if this isn't working you are right, probably import everything and weed out within Photos. But given that I haven't done this for quite some time in iPhoto, I am not sure I will want to go down this path :)
  6. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    True about the links I believe, but I think the structure might be different as well, and the database itself is converted in part (since of course you've noticed the difference in events, collections, etc).

    If you are using iCloud Photo Library, it can use only the one Photos System Library (essentially your default library; not sure if you can rename it). And it syncs all those photos. And it can only do that with managed photos, not referenced ones.
  7. andyp350 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2011
    I'm not 100% sure but I think the easiest way to do this would be to export all your images out of iPhoto, then you can add the exports to Photos as and when you want to. If you open Photos with either an Aperture or iPhoto library then it'll automatically migrate them all for you.
  8. rikscha thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2010
    I updated to Photos now and first annoyance was that My Photostream was activated by default, meaning that I had straightaway pictures in my library that I didn't want to have in my library. Once I flick the switch on iCloud Photo Library, I will most definitely end up with duplicates now.

    Anyway, coming back to my initial question. I was thinking, I could delete all my pictures in the Photos app and then manually import them from iPhoto.
    This seems to be a solution I was looking for? Am I overlooking something here?

    Just to remind you, I was looking for a way to start a fresh Photo Library and to manually import all my pictures from iPhoto.

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