View Full Version : Backing Up Iphoto Library

24th June 2005, 08:46 AM
Howdy All,

Parents have been bugging me to make a backup to a couple of dvd's of our iPhoto library. "Rightio" i said, sure that there would be some button in iPhoto that i could push and it would do a solid, uncorruptable backup for me.


So, i have to ask the question, how do other people back up their iPhoto libraries? I just want to make sure that i do it correctly, if we ever did need to rely on this backup and it was corrupt or the photos would not load i would be killed!



24th June 2005, 09:27 AM
Good question! I attempted to do this just last night, with little success. I tried using the burn DVD feature in Finder, but the burn was unsuccessful and I was prompted to try again (meanwhile, it wrecked the DVD I was burning to).

I'm keen to have suggestions on this one, too - especially as my iPhoto library is over 4.7gb, so I'd need to burn across multiple DVDs/CDs.

24th June 2005, 10:44 AM
if you have an older version of iphoto then there is a burn button that will burn any selected pictures.

if you have the new version then you simply select all the images you want to burn, then go to the share menu and select burn. i find it best to go to the view menu and select 'film roll' this devides your pictures into 'film' which is a fancy way or saying it devides it into 'imports' (everytime you import it creates a new 'film') this was you can simply select a whole film at once to back up and that way you can keep better track or what you have and haven't backed up. every time i add a new set of photos i just back up the last film in my library.

another way to do it is to simply go to your pictures folder and manully backup the iphoto library folder in there.


24th June 2005, 10:45 AM
I copy the whole library over to my external hard drive :)

24th June 2005, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Quamen@Jun 24 2005, 10:45 AM
I copy the whole library over to my external hard drive :)
Great! Can I borrow your external HDD? :P

Thanks, Macmate. Will try your suggestion.

EDIT: well, I've now backed-up my iPhoto library using the method suggested by Macmate. Nice and easy, too!

tommelbourne - sounds like this might be your answer.


24th June 2005, 12:04 PM
Doesn't copying the whole library to a external HD mean the photos remain jumbled? I like the idea of the external HD but can you do it from inside iphoto5?

24th June 2005, 01:03 PM
I used to back up using something similar to the Macmate method 1. But I would lose all of my albums etc if I did a full OS reinstall. So I started using the Macmate method 2 - copy the iPhoto Library.
I started doing this because I thought that this would keep everything in iPhoto that I put there - albums, keywords, slideshows, the whole bit.
I assumed that by doing this, if I were to trash my iPhoto Library, and then put it back on using my backup, I wouldn't really know that anything had happened.
Now after reading this thread, I'm not so sure...is anyone able to confirm that this is the case? If it does happen as I explained it, then I would suggest that the best way to backup your photos would be to copy the Library folder in Finder.

24th June 2005, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by shtan72@Jun 24 2005, 12:04 PM
Doesn't copying the whole library to a external HD mean the photos remain jumbled? I like the idea of the external HD but can you do it from inside iphoto5?
I use a script to back it up.

The photos remain all jumbled, there's a positive side to this, since if my laptops hard drive dies, when I get it fixed I can just copy the whole library back as is and everything should still be just right.

I've noticed when you burn a folder from withing iPhoto it keeps them pretty jumbled too. Well it did when I burnt from within iTunes 4, havn't tried with 05. Then when the disc mounted it mounted the disc as a seperate library.

24th June 2005, 01:26 PM
method 1 does the same as method 2 but to cd/dvd and only the photos selected (ie copies an iphoto library folder into the cd) it keeps keywords etc

25th June 2005, 10:13 AM
You can back up Iphoto, Itunes and Imovie in all the same way- I have done it numerous times, transferring projects to another mac, by copying the Iphoto Library or Itunes folder entirely. The only problems that I have found, is using different versions of Iphoto- for example, my Iphoto Library folder copied from Iphoto 3 when placed in Iphoto 4 will give you the option of converting the photos to be compatible with Iphoto 4. But if you place an Iphoto 3 Library folder in Iphoto 5 the photos will not show up in Iphoto 5, just outines of photos. So, the Iphoto folder when copied from version 3 cannot skip a release or generation, they must be converted to the very next release to be updated for future use. Imovie however, can identify older versions of Imovie files and will convert them, when prompted.
Copying the entire folder is the only sure way of keeping all metadata as well as Iphoto books that you have laboured on. Some of mine are 35+ pages, with a great deal of text and I would hate not to have a backup. <_<

2nd July 2005, 05:48 PM
i have an external hard drive it works wonders.
alternatively you could go iphoto library which isn&#39;t jumbled in my opinioun. it&#39;s sorted by date and time.

hard drive: users : user name : Library : Pictures : iPhoto Library.

Mine are sorted by year, month, date.

purchase a dvd burner.

copy them to a computer with a dvd burner.

etc etc