Rescue your Mac from having too many photos in iPhoto

“Yahoo estimated that 880 billion photos will be taken this year alone, a number no doubt inflated by all the selfies pouring out of the Philippines,” John Patrick Pullen reports for TIME Magazine.

“If you open up iPhoto and feel like all those pics have somehow made it onto your Mac, don’t despair,” Pullen reports. “There’s a trick that can liberate your Apple computer from the stranglehold of your snapshots.”

Pullen notes, “Using this method of externally story [sic] your iPhoto Library may mean it no longer backs up using Apple’s Time Machine service (which you are using… right?), unless you change your settings to tell it to archive that drive, too.”

Read more in the full article here.

30 Comments

        1. @Brit’

          “Mac” is a clipping or truncation of “Macintosh”, not an abbreviation. Also, we don’t use apostrophes on abbreviations, we use them on contractions.

    1. Sorry, Rob, but try as I might, I can’t understand your single word screamed response. Is there maybe a number where I can reach you, or some other means of communication I can use to get more information?

  1. C’mon — at least give us the name of a couple of reliable ways to find and eliminate duplicate shots, or other tips to shrink the library itself. Moving it to an external drive does nothing to “clean up” iPhoto. Sheesh.

    1. Here’s one trick insurance companies hate that saved me 104GB in my photo library. I went from 351GB to 247GB by doing this.

      Quit Aperture, iPhoto and iTunes. Go to your photo library (iPhoto/Aperture) and Show Package Contents. In there, look for a folder called “iPod Photo Cache”.

      You may be able to delete this and save a ton of space without any issue. However there are some caveats to this.

      The iPod Photo Cache is used to generate images that match the resolution of the displays of the iPods, iPads, and iPhones you may be syncing too. If you’re like me, I’ve had a bazillion different iOS devices and my iPod Photo Cache was storing GBs of photo cache for devices I wasn’t even using anymore.

      Worse, I had libraries that I wasn’t even using as sync libraries anymore that still had the cache in them.

      One of the things that I hated about moving to a Retina iPad is that it gobbled up tons of space for photos on the iPad itself as well as my Mac.

      Now if you delete your cache, keep in mind it will need to be rebuilt if you go to resync your photos. So if you only ever had one device, and you always want your photos synced, this isn’t going to help.

      If the cache needs to be regenerated, it will be a slower process than simply re-syncing if the cache still existed.

      However, if you’re like I was, the cache may have gotten out of control, is no longer needed… or is corrupt (actually that’s how I discovered this… my photos would crash iTunes when I went to sync).

      Do this at your own risk. Keep in mind Apple may make changes to software. I’m not responsible…blah…blah…blah.

    1. Yeah. But apostrophes are also used in abbreviations and contractions to indicate that some letters have been omitted. Like “it’s” is an abbreviation of “it is.” Or “o’clock” is an abbreviation of “of the clock.” So the headline could be right if the author was using a contraction of “Macintoshes.”

      1. That would be true if “Mac’s” was a contraction of “Macintoshes” but it’s not. That’s why we also don’t use Mac’ when talking about it in the singular.

        Mac is a clipping (or truncation) of the word Macintosh. It’s like using the word exam instead of examination or doc instead of doctor. No apostrophe should be used.

  2. Rotten advice. Take all of your pics that are backed up via time machine and put them all on a single drive that is not backed up. I wouldn’t want to be there when that goes South.

  3. My 16 years worth of digital photos are in separate libraries organized by year. Old ones are stored on a 2TB hard drive and removed from my Mac. When I plug the Thunderbolt drive into my Mac iPhoto recognizes them immediately so it’s easy to switch libraries.

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