MacMost Now 929: Taming Large iPhoto Libraries

Learn several ways to deal with troublesome large iPhoto libraries. Make sure when you delete photos that they still aren't taking up space in your library. Learn how to rebuild your iPhoto library. See how you can split up your library into multiple parts. Also find out how to remove videos from your library to make it smaller.

Comments: 27 Responses to “MacMost Now 929: Taming Large iPhoto Libraries”

    Greg
    6 years ago

    Gary,
    I have maybe 30, 40 or more albums in my iPhoto app. These are mostly albums posted to FB. I no longer use them but tend to keep them anyway. Will these albums slow my iPhoto? I’ve noticed a slow-down in iPhoto in the last year or so. It tends to take a few seconds for the photos to come into focus now.

      6 years ago

      No, those shouldn’t slow down iPhoto. I’d check the usual things that slow down a computer: hard drive space (20%+ should be free), apps running in the background you don’t need, Dashboard widgets, etc.

    Jim
    6 years ago

    Yes, I would love to see the Aperture video.

    Thanks again for all your videos!

    Jim

      Shammy
      6 years ago

      I absolutely agree. I have been so far unable to truly figure out what “projects” should be, and the relationship between project boxes and folders! I have too many boxes. And sometimes when I move photos between albums, they don’t show up anymore. I have albums with 50 pictures, but none of them show!

    Jaime
    6 years ago

    What are all the typical video file types? (E.g. .mp4, .mov)

      6 years ago

      It depends on your camera. If you know you have a camera that produces old .avi files, then add that to the search, otherwise, no need. I would look for mp4, mov, avi, wmv.

    Jeff
    6 years ago

    Gary,

    I use to be able to tag multiple photos at once in the previous version of iPhoto. I can not find this in the lastest version. Do you know where the function is located?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

      6 years ago

      There’s no trick to it. It is pretty straight-forward. Maybe you at looking too close? Just select one or more photos and assign keywords. You can do this with the Keywords window (Command+K) or directly into the Keywords field if you are viewing info (Command+I).

    Wendy Evenden
    6 years ago

    This video answered a question that has puzzled me for a long time. I couldn’t figure out why when I deleted tons of pictures from iPhoto and emptied the trash. Is ther some way that I can look at the contents of the iPhoto trash? When I saw 4008 items I got nervous about emptying it.

    I’m not a tekkie so I fumble my way around my MacBook. Your videos are so helpful!

    Thanks, Wendy

      6 years ago

      You can always see the items in iPhoto trash by simply selecting the Trash from the left sidebar inside of iPhoto.

    Leta
    6 years ago

    I had previously split my iphoto libraries and wish I hadn’t. Is there a way to combine them again easily? Thanks.

      6 years ago

      I think 3rd-party software can do it. But I’ve never tried.

      Lynne
      6 years ago

      You could do it manually, by dragging the events to your desktop then into the library you want them in. That’s what I do when I want to move some events into a different library. I need a couple of different libraries to keep photos separate for a large project I’m working on.

    Carol Harness
    6 years ago

    I learned several things that I didn’t know before about I Photo. Gary is always so informative and helpful. Thanks much!

    Scott
    6 years ago

    Gary When I used the command/option key I came up with a different set of options than you showed. I have 6 options and the bottom one is to reclaim unused disk space from database, not sure how I can give you a screen shot of what Im seeing.=

      6 years ago

      Sounds like you are simply using an older version of iPhoto. Those options are pretty self-explanatory, though.

    Tom Lang
    6 years ago

    Great video as always! I am confused though. When I look at my iPhoto library it is 10m. But the folder I keep my photo files in is closer to 50m. Am I backing up everything when I backup the iPhoto library?

      6 years ago

      Depends what you are comparing. You say your iPhoto library is 10MB, OK. But what is this “folder I keep my photo files in” that is 50MB? What is that, where is it, how did those photos get there, etc?

    gregorylent
    6 years ago

    macbookair 2011 top of the line .. 1900 photos only .. rebuilt everything … spinning beachball constantly, just trying to scroll through an event by swiping across the trackpad .. iphoto and i don’t get along at all

      6 years ago

      Did you try rebuilding the library? If you did, and that doesn’t work, then simply go to the Genius Bar and get some first-hand help.

    Arlee
    6 years ago

    Would like to rebuild database, but don’t get that option. Have 6 choices: Repair iPhoto DB, Rebuild from automatic backup, Rebuild the iPhoto small thumbnails, Rebuild all photo’s thumbnails, Recover orphaned photos, and Examine & Repair iPhoto library file permissions. Which one do I want to use to do what you talked about as “Rebuild Database”? I am using iPhoto ’11 9.2.1 (628).

      6 years ago

      You are using an old version of iPhoto. You should update first. iPhoto 11 is the current app, but 9.2.1 is old. Run Software Update.

        Barbara
        6 years ago

        Compared to the previous poster that you replied to, my iPhoto must be stone age. In the About, it says it’s 7.1.5 (378). My MacBook Pro was upgraded to 10.6.8 (leopard to snow leopard) a couple of months ago. I’m way behind. I assume that it’s not possible to update iPhoto without going farther with more system update ? Is that a good idea?

          6 years ago

          You’l definitely need Mavericks to get the new iPhoto that was released this week. But you should be able to update to iPhoto ’11 — technically. Where to find iPhoto 11 is another issue.

    Jack Knott
    6 years ago

    In using one of the new MacBook Air devises, with small flash drives, the iPhoto library can take most of the drive. We have put our iTunes media on a separate hard drive. You do not suggest this with iPhoto. Any recommendations on how to handle large iPhoto libraries using the new small flash drives?

      6 years ago

      If you have a small internal drive, it looks like you don’t have much choice. You’ll need to either keep your iPhoto library small, or store it externally. Maybe go to Aperture and store your photos external to the Aperture library. But you can’t have both a small drive and expect to be able to store a lot of data.

    Chris
    6 years ago

    Thanks very helpful and well explained

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