How to Back Up and Copy Your iPhoto Library to Another Mac

How to Back Up and Copy Your iPhoto Library to Another Mac

A few months ago, when OS X Yosemite was first shown to the public, Apple demonstrated the new Photos app. This app simplifies photo management for Mac users by emulating the functions provided by the Photos app on the iPhone and iPad. However, this simplification comes at a cost. When the Photos app releases, it will replace iPhoto, the default photo management app on every Mac for years. This change will be difficult for many users, particularly those who, like me, have been accustomed to using iPhoto for years.

Our photo albums contain many memories, and there is always a possibility of something going wrong when transferring to the new Photos app. Here are guides on how to back up your iPhoto library, both the simple and not-so-simple method.

Back Up Your iPhoto Library: The Easy Way

In a very Apple way, in order to keep things simple and integrated on OS X, Apple consolidates your photos into a single file that includes important meta-data, such as events and photo stream shots.

To find your iPhoto library, open any Finder window and navigate to the Pictures folder.

To back it up manually, simply copy the entire file to a destination of your choice, such as a USB flash drive or portable backup disk. It’s that simple.

If you want to transfer your iPhoto Library to another Mac, simply plug your drive into it and copy your iPhoto library backup to the target Mac’s Pictures folder. This will replace your existing iPhoto library, so it’s primarily intended for new Mac owners or those performing a clean OS X install.

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Back Up Your iPhoto Library: The Less-Easy Way

If you want more control over what to back up from your library, there’s a way to do it that requires some digging around but is perfect for that purpose.

Head to the same iPhoto Library file within your Pictures folder, right-click on it, and select Show Package Contents.

Then, go to the Masters folders. You will see several folders categorizing the different years your photos belong to.

Open each folder and find folders for the different events, albums, and dates that contain the photos as you organized them in iPhoto. Select exactly what you want to back up and how you want to back it up.

How to Back Up and Copy Your iPhoto Library to Another Mac

Now you will always be in control of your photo library and have peace of mind in case things don’t go well with the new Photos app. Enjoy!

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