Trying to reformat my Mac but want to manually save my photos.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Kendo, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    When I go to My Pictures, all I see is an iPhoto icon. I am assuming this holds all of my photos because it is 15GB in size. If I want to manually backup my files by clicking and dragging to an external hard drive, can I just copy this one icon? I just don't want to be in the position of reformatting my computer and finding out I didn't save all my photos or can't access them due to them being locked to my previous Mac.
  2. KoolAid-Drink macrumors 65816

    Sep 18, 2013
    Yes, you can just drag the iPhoto library icon to your external HD - this file contains all your photos (just double-check to make sure by right-clicking the file and clicking 'show package contents', then go to the masters folder). Alternatively, you can select the iPhoto library icon, press Command+I, then check the size of the file. If it seems relative to the number of photos you have, then you're all good.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Where is the folder "My Pictures" located?

    Is that a folder you have created yourself, or are you referring to the "Pictures" folder in your Home folder?

    If you're going to re-initialize the drive, and you want to preserve anything that is in your home folder, you can just "drag-copy" the Home folder to another drive. Then you can access the individual folders inside (and their contents) later on.
  4. mikecwest macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2013
    I'd be careful with the statement "this file contains all your photos", it in fact probably does NOT contain all of his/her photos. Photos get scattered about, on the desktop, in My Documents, Downloads, etc...

    Make sure that you check all of those places and other places that you personally save or move files to. If you didn't import the photos into iPhoto, they can easily get lost by assuming they are in your photo library.
  5. Kendo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    I'm trying to use my MBA as an external hard drive by copying my wife's photos from her iMac to my MBA through Airdrop. That way I can backup all of her files and reformat her iMac and put back all her photos.

    The problem is that when I try to open her files on my MBA (to ensure the files transferred correctly), it won't let me. The photos aren't password protected and the folders are all shared but it says I don't have the permissions. Is there anything I can do?
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I'll offer some advice that you may or may not find helpful.

    If you really want to turn transferring files from one computer to another a simple job, the best way to do it is with an external drive of some sort that will serve as your intermediary.

    Either a hard drive, or perhaps even a high-capacity flash drive.

    You wrote:
    [[ The problem is that when I try to open her files on my MBA (to ensure the files transferred correctly), it won't let me. ]]

    I'll -guess- that you are running into problems with file permissions, which can be very pesky sometimes.

    Again, if you "go the way" I suggested above by using an external drive, you can bypass permissions completely, by doing a "get info" on the external volume, and checking the box to "ignore ownership on this volume" (password will be required to unlock the lock in the very lower-left-hand corner).

    I sense that this may prove to be much easier than what you're trying to do now....

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