What happens to my pictures if I delete iPhoto

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by john120165, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. john120165 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2013
    I've got a Mac mini, I have iPhoto installed on it and am new to macs and organising my pictures so bear with me.
    I kinda get the idea that iPhoto stores my pictures in a library, but if I delete iPhoto are my pictures deleted too? Wheni look in the pictures folder on my mac I don't seem to have many photos in there at all.
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    iPhoto is an excellent photo manager and an excellent simple photo editor. It works well for its intended use. There is absolutely no need to delete it.

    That said, iPhoto stores its photographs in a bundle named iPhoto Library in your Pictures folder.
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I'm pretty sure the application and library are linked but not to the extent that deleting or uninstalling iPhoto would remove the library. It does, however, store photos in a way not easily accessible by non Apple programs. Aperture can find and load or import an iPhoto library but I'm not sure you can manage the contents very easily on your own. It's a database driven thing.

  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    There is likely no reason to delete iPhoto itself. If you don't use the application, it will just sit not doing any harm. As others have said ... the photos are stored in a bundle, purposely hidden from view. You can find and manipulate the photos directly - but unless you know what you are doing you are probably going to corrupt the database. At this point, and with all due respect, I don't think you know enough about the Mac File Innards to muck about with the photos without seriously risking the database.

    There are a number of threads started on in this forum by people who were attempting to recover lost irreplaceable photos - because they mucked up the database.

    Get to know iPhoto for a bit. It is a Digital Asset Manager (DAM) like Aperture (and Apple product) and Lightroom from Adobe. Using a DAM effectively requires a mind-shift. Once you can accept that the DAM will micro-manage the photo locations, leaving you the task of simply adding the metatags and grouping them into themes - you will see just how powerful an application like iPhoto can be... even though it is a simply an entry level DAM.

    There is a clean and easy upgrade path to Aperture, and a less than easy upgrade path (though possible) to Lightroom. Both Aperture and Lightroom are much more capable DAMs. Some people need the power eventually, and some don't.

    Do some searches in this forum for how to use a DAM effectively - there are a number of discussions, with different points of view. I often comment on those threads, so you can use my username as a way to filter the results.

    Good Luck.
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    In addition to the threads here, you might consider the book, "iPhoto 11 - The Missing Manual". It covers how to use iPhoto very well.

    Whichever route you take, learn how it organizes photos and embrace that philosophy. Don't try to fight its way of doing things.
  6. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    If you are new to pictures and new to Macs, then I would suggest trying out iPhoto. If you came from PC-land, though, you need a small mental shift.

    In PC-land, you organize your folders, then use an application to look through your pictures. With iPhoto, you use it as your "photo hub" load your pictures into it, organize them in events and then create sub folders that organize pictures across events. iPhoto does all the "foldering" behind the scenes for you. Keeps all your pictures tucked away. For instance if you plug in an SD card or camera into your computer, you can import direct from inside iPhoto. No need to load them into folders first.

    There are lots of detailed reasons why this approach has positives and negatives, but if you are a beginner, then just let iPhoto run with it for you, and really, it's quite easy.

    If you ever get more advanced, there are, IMO, better approaches. I use Lightroom. Others use Aperture. There are other cataloging and developing software out there. But if you are just beginning, iPhoto has way more horsepower than you'll need for quite some time.
  7. Pubicon macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2015
    A PSA - Answer the question

    I created an account just to mention how underwhelmed I am at the replies in this thread.

    In addition to not addressing the question that was asked, almost all of the answers were patronizing, pretentious bs about how one should learn the ways of iPhoto.

    I needed an answer to the question that was posted. I read all the replies, and found nothing useful, or at least nothing to deter me for erasing iPhoto.
    In fact, I am now much more convinced that this app is a nuisance.

    As a general rule, If you are not about to answer the question that is asked, then do not answer at all.

    You wasted everyone's time.
  8. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Did you read the same responses as me? They seem thought out and have the answer but also the reasons why the OP shouldn't delete iPhoto.

    OP mentions they are new to Mac therefore they might not realise how to best utilise iPhoto.

    It's very difficult to understand tone of voice through text alone but knowing some of the members I know that the intention is not to be patronising but instead trying to help someone out.

    It's seems to me that in this thread the only post that is pretty off topic is your one!
  9. Pubicon macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2015
    A definitive answer

    Alright acearchie, you are right on one count : I should leave a useful answer.

    For the sake of OP, if he's still hanging, and for the sake of those who, like me, were searching for an answer to this question that shouldn't even exist:

    "What happens to my pictures if I delete iPhoto"


    They stay in "Pictures" in your "iPhoto" library.

    But, this being a Mac, they like to hide your own things from you.

    So :

    1- Right-click the "iPhoto" library and click "Show Package Contents"
    2- Find the folder named "Masters"
    3- You should see "2015" or whichever year you took the pictures in. The photos are all in there, arranged by date (you have to click the year, then month, then day)
    4- Select them all and copy them to a folder of your choice, outside the "iPhoto" library.
    5- You can now delete the app "iPhoto" AND the "iPhoto Library".
    6- Return to the folder where you put your pictures. You can scroll through your photos with the coverflow function.
    7- Alternatively, install Lightroom or Aperture.

    That's it.

    No need to talk of "PC-Land", to question the motives of the OP, or to presume of what he needs. He said he was new to Macs, not a lackwit.
    He knows what he asked for.

    Can't believe I got to read things about "Mac file innards" and "risking the database" on a thread to remove a simple, annoying app, without even getting the answer to the only important question.
  10. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Something that is mentioned in the first reply!

    You're right that no one can assume anything about OP from so little knowledge but it seems a little harsh to go off at everyone suggesting that they aren't offering any help.

    No one works here and there is no reason that we 'have' to help out.

    To say that the answers are pretentious BS makes me wonder why I bother trying to help others at all.
  11. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000


    Jun 5, 2012
    I find it horribly ironic that you created the account for the purpose of criticizing the forum members rather than contributing to constructive discussion. :(

    Because you understand and know that the vast majority of people that hang-out here do their best to provide help when it's asked for and that people like Pubicon are in the tiny minority.

    Just my 2 cents worth for today.

    ~ Peter
  12. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Just venting!

    I'm not going anywhere! This place taught me the ropes, wouldn't be where I am without it!
  13. Pubicon macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2015

    The question was not answered in the first reply.

    I should know, I came here with the exact same question.

    The first reply goes like this :

    The OP already knew this, as evidenced by the fact that he specifically says so.

    The crucial bit is : will deleting iPhoto affect said library, i.e. are the two dynamically linked in a way that would erase the photos if the app is destroyed.

    This is a very valid question, since the app is strangely big (1.7GB).

    It seems to suggest that the size includes the pictures themselves.

    Also, since iPhoto is already going out of his way to complicate access to the pictures, it is safe to assume that there may be some other shenanigans going on. Hence the question of OP : do I lose my pictures if I delete the app.

    OP's question had another layer : he couldn't seem to find his pictures. Again, no one answered him but me, but one person took a long time suggesting that OP might be too daft to retrieve the photos himself.

    I'm sorry if I offended good samaritans, but I feel it's important to remind that, yes, we are here to help, and that is what we must do. It means that we should not question the motives or the validity of the question. We are not here to judge, but to enlighten, am I right ?

    Especially since these forums also serve as a library for future questions.

    Thank you.
  14. ShutupAndAnswer macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2016
    Excuse me, Pubicon, but I'd like to tell you that I signed up for an account JUST SO I could thank you for your answers on this thread. You read my mind, you answered my question and you put all the self righteous, unhelpful ones in their place. Ugh. Well done. And THANK YOU for the answer.

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