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  1. #1
    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    milessthomas's Avatar
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    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    When the Photos app came along I accepted the default merge from iPhoto and Photos, which left me with two libraries iPhoto and Photos. At the time it was said that one should keep the iPhoto library as it contained a hardlink to the iPhoto library that was not taking up duplicate space, but actually serving up the image from the iPhoto Library to Photos App as a link.

    I purchased an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual that is running in RAID 1, and I copied my Photos Library to that external device. When I open Photos and select that the copy of the Photos Library on my OWC it shows all of my pictures/videos. I now want to delete all photo libraries off of my MacBook Pro's internal SSD, but am unsure whether the hard drive is still making a link to the old iPhoto library.

    Is it safe to remove both the old iPhoto Library and Photos Library off my MBP's internal SSD, and work from the copy (of Photos Library only) on my OWC or will I be deleting my old iPhoto content?

    btw - OWC is intended to be the primary location for Photo Library from now forward, which will be backed up in RAID 1. I will also be backing up OWC to another external HDD for triple redundancy.

    TLR: Can I delete my MBP's iPhoto library or is my Photos Library on my external HDD still pointing to it for content links?

  2. #2
    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milessthomas View Post
    When the Photos app came along I accepted the default merge from iPhoto and Photos, which left me with two libraries iPhoto and Photos. At the time it was said that one should keep the iPhoto library as it contained a hardlink to the iPhoto library that was not taking up duplicate space, but actually serving up the image from the iPhoto Library to Photos App as a link.
    Never heard of that. I seriously doubt it is true, as I also accepted the conversion from iPhotos to Photos and once I knew the images were all in Photos, did away with the iPhoto database to recover the space. I don't know who "said" do do what you read, but I really don't think it necessary. Easy to test, though. Just move the iPhoto database somewhere without telling iPhoto or Photos and then see if Photos still works. I'm betting it will.

    I purchased an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual that is running in RAID 1, and I copied my Photos Library to that external device. When I open Photos and select that the copy of the Photos Library on my OWC it shows all of my pictures/videos. I now want to delete all photo libraries off of my MacBook Pro's internal SSD, but am unsure whether the hard drive is still making a link to the old iPhoto library.
    As I said, it probably isn't but it's easy to test by moving the library file and not telling the software.

    Is it safe to remove both the old iPhoto Library and Photos Library off my MBP's internal SSD, and work from the copy (of Photos Library only) on my OWC or will I be deleting my old iPhoto content?

    btw - OWC is intended to be the primary location for Photo Library from now forward, which will be backed up in RAID 1. I will also be backing up OWC to another external HDD for triple redundancy.

    TLR: Can I delete my MBP's iPhoto library or is my Photos Library on my external HDD still pointing to it for content links?
    I think you can. Test if you want to be sure, but I'm 99.9% certain you can move the library, point to it in Photos Preferences and then erase both it and the iPhotos app and database from the internal.
    Jake

  3. #3
    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    milessthomas's Avatar
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    Thank you MacInWin! Knowing you deleted it makes me more comfortable.

    I moved the iPhoto Library temporarily to Downloads, and opened Photos using the external Photos Library without any loss. That seems to confirm your recommendation!

    --

    Here is what got me worried: How to Delete iPhoto Library, but Why You Probably Don’t Need to

    It basically indicated it was somehow linked permanently to your old iPhoto Library. However, unlike most articles claiming this sort of linkage I can't find any reputable article from Apple itself to support this.

  4. #4
    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    There are two ways to have Photos manage your image files for you. One is to import the actual image file into Photos, after which you can delete the original file because you don't need two copies of it. The other is to leave the image files in place and have Photos just manage the changes and edits to the images in the database. In that case you do NOT want to delete the original files because there is no copy inside Photos database. You choose which option in the Preferences of Photos where you see this:

    Screen Shot 2020-02-01 at 10.38.57 PM.png

    So the article you referenced didn't address this factor, which makes me wonder what else it forgot to say.

    In any case, if the items are copied to your library, then you can delete the source, including the iPhoto database, with no issue. If your setup is un-checked so that you are NOT copying images to the library, then they have to stay exactly where they were when you imported them or Photos won't be able to find them.
    Jake

  5. #5
    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Here is what Apple says about importing to Photos. It's part of the User's guide to Photos on the Apple website: Overview of importing photos and videos into Photos on Mac - Apple Support
    Jake

  6. #6
    Moving Photos Library to External HDD - Retain iPhoto links?
    Rod's Avatar
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    I too did the conversion from iPhotos to Photos and about a year later deleted the iPhotos library without any content loss. As for moving the Photos library I have used the drag and drop method to an external USB HD for many other people which results in a copy on the EHD. I then rename the library, usually by making it something like Photo Library 2. Pressing the Option key on launching Photos now brings up a menu where you will see both the libraries as options to open, not to mention other options such as creating a new library.
    You can now compare the contents of the two libraries but you can only open one at a time. If you are happy that all is well you can then delete the original library.
    There is a catch here for portable device users. If you have a Mac laptop and your EHD is not connected and you import photos to the device a new Photos library will be created to accommodate the upload resulting in two libraries again.
    Don't be an April Fool: WORLD BACKUP DAY MARCH 31st

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