Forum Question: How Do I Archive My Music, Movies and Photos To Free Up Hard Drive Space?

How Do I archive my music, movies and photos to free up hard drive space on my iMac desktop 2.8Ghz-4GB RAM running OS X 10.7.4
I use three external hard drives for various back up jobs and would like to move the data heavy files from my desktop drive to one of these 2TB outboard drives. I want to be able to access these files to use with Apple T.V., iTunes, Photoshop, Painter 12 etc.
Thanks in advance for your help with this.
Pat Plesa

Comments: 13 Responses to “How Do I Archive My Music, Movies and Photos To Free Up Hard Drive Space?”

    5/19/12 @ 3:50 pm

    Well, arching doesn’t sound like what you want. Archiving would imply that you don’t want regular access to these files. It sounds like you do.
    You can get an external drive and simply move your iTunes Media folder, iPhoto library and some of your movie files to that drive.
    See for how to handle iTunes.
    But you’ll need to keep that drive connected to your Mac to use sharing, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.
    Moving iPhoto’s library is one you might want to avoid as it is slow to access your photos over USB.

      Pat Plesa
      5/19/12 @ 5:57 pm

      Great, Thanks Gary,
      My main concern is freeing up space on my iMac HD as it is at less than 1/3 free space and is slowing and needing more frequent defraging etc. as a result. Would it be wise to move my older iPhoto files to the external drive and just keep my most recent pics or would that cause confusion down the line? Will iTunes be able to find my music and movie content on the external drive as long as it is plugged in and turned on?

        5/19/12 @ 11:41 pm

        See the link in my previous comment about putting iTunes media on an external drive. You can split your iPhoto library, but it will make it harder to find photos. So it really depends on how you expect to be able to look at your old photos in the future.

    5/20/12 @ 11:34 am

    I thought defraging wasn’t recommended in current versions of Mac OS? It’s my understanding that the OS does this in the BG

      5/20/12 @ 6:05 pm

      Defragging isn’t needed in most cases, yes.

    5/20/12 @ 8:26 pm

    If I understand things “correctly” you need two external drives. (unless you want to “drive yourself” crazy.) One dedicated to Time Machine ONLY, one as a drive-drive. Drive-drive will do you well – .5-1TB? Defragging left vocabulary when went to iOS from Win. machine(s).

      5/20/12 @ 9:02 pm

      You do need a drive dedicated to TM only. Some people would like another external drive for other things as well, but not everyone.

    6/10/12 @ 9:55 pm

    I actually just dragged and dropped most of my movies and alot of my photos onto dvd-r’s to free up space. I didn’t compress or anything because I like having the original file and can convert or compress later if need be. Freed up about 45GB today, and should be doing the same tomorrow. Just label them well and if I could do it again I would probably throw the money down and get the dvd-rw’s instead. Just my 2cents lol

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    6/26/12 @ 3:11 pm

    I am using a Mac Mini version 10.5.8 2GB and it was running very slow. To free up some space on the hard drive i removed iPhoto,Mail,iChat,Time Machine,and the Dictionary,also along with the folders in the Library,and stored them on an external hard drive. I have never used these Applications at all. The computer went faster but the memory on the hard drive went down to 52GB from 59GB,can you enlighten me on this Gary.

      6/26/12 @ 3:23 pm

      I would not have done that. Moving just the apps shouldn’t get you much space — apps themselves don’t take much space, but data (videos, photos, songs, etc) can. Much of what they use is in the Library folder anyway, not the app itself. I can’t tell what takes up space on your drive without being there to see it. You’ll have it investigate.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    6/27/12 @ 9:24 am

    I did not know what to do. Has i said before i am not technically minded,and i thought it was just common sense if i removed these apps. it would create more space. You mentioned videos,photos,songs,etc. I have`t many of those as well,has i store them on My Book. I know Photoshop takes quite a bit of memory up,so i have been told. Is it because it`s an old Mac Mini 2GB. Thats all i can think of Gary.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    6/29/12 @ 9:04 am

    I have just watched your video,and mine comes under an Apple Authorised Dealer. The one`s that are are dealing with my IMac. Another thing that keeps happening Safari just goes off,and Apple generally have a warning on the screen. To send the report of to Apple. This does not happen. It looks like you are right,and i will have to send it away to the experts to see what it is. Thanks for your advice Gary

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