Move the iPhoto Library to an External Hard Drive
Need to move your iPhoto library? No problem, it’s easily done by a two-step process – first you need to physically move or copy the picture library to the new location, and then you have to tell iPhoto where the new location is. Here’s how to do this:
Move the iPhoto Library
- Open ~/Pictures/ and locate the “iPhoto Library” package, the icon looks like the image to the right – do not open the package you will want to move the entire directory
- Move or copy “iPhoto Library” to the new destination by dragging and dropping it to the desired location on a new hard drive or partition
The library moving or copying process may take a while depending on how many pictures you have stored in iPhoto. Waiting is by far the longest part of this procedure, but once it’s finished copying you just need to point iPhoto to the new location:
Point iPhoto to the New Library Location
- Hold down the Option key and launch iPhoto
- Find the iPhoto Library in the list or click on “Other Library” to manually navigate to the new location and then click on “Choose”
This is typically instantaneous but sometimes there’s a slight delay as iPhoto reads the library file again. Now iPhoto will use the library you have specified in the new location, just be aware that if you chose an another hard drive and then launch iTunes without that drive connected, your images won’t be available.
This tip from one of our commenters is a lifesaver for anyone working with limited hard disk space, since it makes a lot more sense to store things like iPhoto and iTunes libraries to external drives rather than take up disk space with infrequently used media files.