Start iPhoto from External Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 3s1k, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. 3s1k macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    After losing a lot of photos I keep multiple back ups of my photo library. My photos take up so much space on the internal hard disk I want to load iPhoto from my external HDD. The only way I see it is possible was to copy the iPhoto Icon that contains the "contents package" to the External HDD, Delete the icon on the internal drive and link the APP to my external HDD.

    Here's my problem. I already added all the photos to my external and removed them from my internal drive because I was at 95% HDD capacity. I don't want to transfer them back to my Internal drive and then transfer the contents package back to my external. There has to be another way, any ideas?
  2. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    That would work but I already removed all the pictures from my iPhoto Package and backed them up to my HDD. That tutorial is if all the originals are still are on your Internal Drive. The key to that is you need the "Iphoto Package" which contains all of your picture in package which is linked to Iphoto. Basically my Package is empty so to speak lol.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Then you could try to copy/move that package to the external HDD, then move/copy the content you extracted from it (in order to copy it to the external HDD) back into the library package and see, if iPhoto can still work with that.

    Or you start with a fresh iPhoto Library on the external HDD and importing the photos again.

    Basically, what you did was not the correct procedure. :eek:
  4. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    That make sense, I'll give that a try. My iMac drive ran out of space a year ago so I've been pulling the files out of the package an backing them up on 2 externals. I just bought a Mac mini and didn't want to fill up the internal with photos so I was trying to figure something out without having to upload 200gb of photos/videos.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    When iPhoto starts up and if it can't find its library it will ask you here it is. Drag the folder containing the library into that dialog box.

    There is not need at all to move the iPhoto App itself out of the applications folder. It's tiny. But it is easy to have the library any place you like.

    I HOPE you are using a managed library and not trying to maintain a folder structure yourself. iPhoto allows that but yo can make a mess of things if you do not know what you are doing and for example move a photo using finder. (just accept you don't know and let iPhoto manage the library.

    You CAN move a managed library and al the photos move with it. If you back things up back up the library not just the photos then you have all the metadata and so on and do not need to re-import anything.
  6. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    Yea I have, When you open up the package it is sorted by years. I just move the whole Year folder to the external drive. I'll give this a try and report back.
  7. 3s1k thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 26, 2013
    When I started up iPhoto it didn't ask for its location. So I started it holding the option key and asked if I wanted to use the default iPhoto library or import another. I tried dragging my folder into the box with no luck. Also tried browsing for it and connecting it to my external drive and that didn't work either. It was looking for the "icon" with the package contents.
  8. hllyrock macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2014
    I am dealing with the same thing.
    I physically grabbed the "Masters" to copy onto a HD b/c of space issues.
    I plan to create a new library and import the saved library.
    I won't have edits or Albums but will have the photos in a new external Lib.
    ...iPhoto complexity issues :^(
  9. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    So you are trying to move photo's around with Finder that are within the iPhoto Library package?

    That is highly dangerous IMHO. You will almost certainly get the photo's in a different place to where iPhoto thinks they are.

    When you Option-start iPhoto it is expecting you to point it to the iPhoto Library file. This is completely different to the iPhoto application file.

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