Storing iPhoto library on external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Marla13, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. Marla13 macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2015
    My iPhoto library is being stored on an external hard drive; this is how I want it to be (please don't ask me how I did that; I can't remember:).

    My question is this: if I delete a photo from the iPhoto library (from one of my albums, for example), am I to assume the photo is also deleted from my internal hard drive? Similarly, if I delete a photo from the Pictures folder on my internal hard drive, am I to assume it is deleted from the iPhoto library that this photo was linked with/to?

    I suppose I just want to know all of the possible options for storing photos from iPhoto, and what the relationship is between those stored in Pictures, and those stored on an external hard drive.

    I'm also not sure I understand the relationship between the actual iPhoto application, and the location where the photos are stored on both an internal, as well as external hard drive. It is my understanding that iphoto library is just an App, so whilst it looks like the photos are sitting in the App, they really aren't; rather they are located on one or both of my drives....correct?

    I'm a newbie to Apple so please speak slowly...thanks!
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here

    there is no "link" between your iPhoto Library on your external hard drive and your Pictures folder on your internal HD.

    When you delete a photo in iPhoto (= in your iPhoto Library), this does NOT delete any photo in your Pictures folder.

    However, you need to let us know : did you actually copy the photos into the iPhoto Library when you imported them ?

    In iPhoto / Preferences / Advanced, is the tick box "Importation : Copy items to the iPhoto Library...." checked, or not ?
    (very important).
  3. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans

    So the way iPhoto works is that when you import pictures into iPhoto, it will be stored on an iPhoto library file, literally called "iPhoto Library". This file is normally stored in your "Pictures" folder, but if you moved it to an external hard drive, thats where it will be. So any stray pictures you can see outside of iPhoto (for example, any pictures you see in your pictures folder) doesn't necessarily mean its in iPhoto, and are not actually linked to iPhoto in any way. So anything you do to those, whether its delete, edit, or move, the iPhoto library will not capture those changes since it has its own copy of the file stored in the iPhoto library file.

    Similarly, if you modify, delete, or change albums of a picture within iPhoto, nothing in your Pictures folder will reflect that change. What you have inside iPhoto and outside of it are not linked.


    So in the screenshot I have linked up there, if the person imported all of those .jpg files into iPhoto, there is a copy of each of those made in the iPhoto library file. So once the import is done, they can delete all those .jpg files from the picture folder, and all those pictures will still be inside iPhoto.
  4. Marla13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2015
    Thanks a million for both your replies. I literally arrived home a few hours ago from an overnight flight, so am a bit jet lagged. I'd like to re-read and digest your replies during the week, when I'm more awake and will post any more questions if I've got them. I was aware that my Q. had been asked before, but wasn't sure if it had in relation to storing them on an external hard drive. Many thanks again, and I *will* be back when I'm a bit more awake...

    Just to say: Sonicrobby: I don't see a screen shot; can you please re-post that? Thanks! Oh-I think I found it by clicking on the link-thanks!



    Bruno-thanks for your reply: yes, I do have the box ticked for copy Preferences. I honestly can't remember if I copied the photos over......all I know is that I've somehow made it so that my default iPhoto library is on my external hard drive....I can't remember how I did that (sorry)!. It wasn't complicated, that's all I know. When I click on iphoto in my asks me which iPhoto library do I want to use, and I choose the one on my external hard drive.....does that help you to understand what I'm trying to do?:). The one on my external drive is my "default" library.
  5. Marla13, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015

    Marla13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2015
    Some follow up questions...

    I'd be grateful if someone could attempt to answer the below for me...thanks!

    Hi Sonicrobby and Bruno; I'm a little less jet lagged today so I'm going to try to explain how I got my iPhoto library to my external drive:

    I started off by connecting my iPhone to my Macbook Air and when prompted, I chose to import the photos and videos to a location on my external hard drive (I'm sure that's how it worked)!. Since then, I've been adding to the iPhoto library in that way. I've also been (copying) my Photo Booth pictures to my external drive and then moving some of those photos into my iPhoto library (I have an album in iPhoto library called Photo Booth photos).

    Soni....when you say:

    "any stray pictures you can see outside of iPhoto (for example, any pictures you see in your pictures folder) doesn't necessarily mean its in iPhoto, and are not actually linked to iPhoto in any way".....

    Q#1 a) I do see .jpg files sitting under iPhoto library (in Finder)....these are definitely images from iPhoto, but are you saying that just because they sit there, doesn't mean they are not going to be deleted from iPhoto if I delete them? or is that just re-the Pictures folder on my internal drive?
    I don't know why the images are sitting right below the iPhoto library: are these the images that are in my iPhoto library, or are these duplicates? I can't understand how the structure of this is organised:).

    Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 08.49.32.png

    b) Is there a way to view the individual image (files) in Finder (my iPhoto library images and videos); I'm not asking how you view them in the actual iPhoto Application-that's obvious, but in Finder; I know that if you right click on Photo Booth in Finder you can see Show Package Contents...and you then see the images, but I don't see images if I click on the same in iPhoto library. I'd like to see my iPhoto library images in Finder, to see where they are. Apologies if you've answered this before! I want to be able to delete a photo/image directly from the iPhoto library file (that you refer to above), is that possible? and if yes, would *that* delete the image from the iPhoto App too? I basically want to know where I can delete an image that won't lead to the image being deleted in iPhoto, but similarly...where/how can I delete an image and have it *also* be deleted from the iPhoto library file.

    Lots of sub parts to Q#1...sorry!

    That was Q #1, and in some ways is related to Q#2.

    Q #2: if I want to delete duplicate images in iPhoto library; what is the best way to do that? For example, I ran into problems last night when I deleted all my duplicate images that had an underscore _2 in the name: these were duplicates, but then I noticed that when I viewed the photos in iPhoto library, for the deleted ones, I would see a triangle, like a "danger/warning sign" was clearly looking for the photo or was trying to tell me the photo was missing. So I went to my Trash, found the duplicates, put them back and now iPhoto library doesn't bring up the triangle (warning sign), however I still have a lot of duplicates (even triplicates) of certain images. So Q#2 is "what is the best way to delete duplicates-via Finder and finding the actual location of the images, or via iPhoto Library (directly from the iPhoto library).

    Q#3: is there an easy way to locate duplicates (can iPhoto library) let me know which images are duplicates so that I know which ones to delete?

    Q#4: I want to make prints from some of my photos: I normally use or to order prints but noticed that there is an option to learn about print products within iPhoto; what's the easiest way to order prints?

    Many thanks for clarifying the above for me...

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