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Image libraries are so important that we recommend maintaining multiple backups, using different backup methods, just to ensure you never lose really important memories.

How to Easily Transfer iPhone Pictures to External Hard Drive

If you use Apple's Time Machine, then the libraries used by Photos and iPhoto are automatically backed up as part of every Time Machine backup that is performed. Time Machine does a great job of backing up photos, but it's not archival. By design, Time Machine favors removing the oldest files it contains to make room for newer ones. But it is a concern if you want to keep long-term copies of items, such as your photos. Modern photography has done away with the old-fashioned film negative or slide, which served as very good methods of archival storage of images.

With digital cameras, the original is stored on the camera's flash storage device. Once the images are downloaded to your Mac, the flash storage device is more than likely erased to make room for a new batch of photos. Assuming you use Photos or iPhoto as your image library app, then the library may hold every photo you've ever taken with a digital camera. More than likely, you've gone through your Photos or iPhoto Library a few times, and deleted images you decided you no longer needed.

Pre-move Backup

This is where it's important to remember that you could very well be deleting the only version of an image that you have. In addition to Time Machine, to ensure that one-of-a-kind photos are retained for the long term. You can manually back up the image libraries used by Photos or iPhoto to an external drive , including a USB flash drive , or you can use a backup application to perform the task for you. We'll start with manually making a copy. Inside the Pictures folder, you'll see a file called either Photos Library or iPhoto Library you may have both if you're using both apps.

Copy the Photos Library or iPhoto Library file to a location other than your hard drive, such as an external drive.

Finding the Folder

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How to safely move your Mac's iPhoto library onto an external drive

Learn more Method 1. Plug your flash drive into your Mac. Your computer most likely has rectangular holes, called USB ports, on the sides of its casing for laptops or behind the monitor, on the side of the keyboard, or on the CPU for a desktop. You'll insert your flash drive into a USB port. USB ports have a piece of plastic in the top of their slots; you'll also notice that the USB end of your flash drive has a plastic segment.

You'll need to insert the drive into your computer's USB port with the plastic segment side of the flash drive on the bottom. If your flash drive won't fit into your computer's USB port, turn it over. Unfortunately, some Macs don't have USB ports. Open Finder. This app is a blue face icon in your Mac's dock, which is usually at the bottom of the screen.

Your flash drive may actually open as soon as you plug it into your computer, in which case you won't have to open the Finder. Click the flash drive's name. It will be toward the bottom of the left-side panel of the Finder window, below the "Devices" heading.

How to transfer your iPhone or Mac Photo library to an external drive

Doing so will open your flash drive's window, into which you may drag your pictures. If your flash drive opened when you plugged it into your Mac, skip this step. Open Photos. This app, which has a multicolored pinwheel on a white background as its icon, is also in your dock. Click and drag a photo into the flash drive window. Once you let go of the mouse, your photo will "drop" into the flash drive window, which means it will copy from your computer into the drive.

Photos aren't moved from your computer to your flash drive by default; they're copied instead. If you want to move the photos off of your computer, you'll need to delete them from your computer after moving them to the flash drive window.

How to safely move your Mac's iPhoto library onto an external drive

Repeat this process for all applicable photos. You can put as many photos on your flash drive as the flash drive will allow. For example, a flash drive with 64 gigabytes' worth of space can store roughly 64 gigabytes' worth of photos. Click the "Eject" button. It's the upward-facing arrow next to the flash drive's name in the Finder window.

Doing so will ensure that, when you remove your USB flash drive, your files will remain uncorrupted. Unplug your flash drive. Your pictures are now on your flash drive. If you'd like to move the photos from your flash drive to another computer, you only need to plug your flash drive into a new computer and then drag the photos from your drive to the computer's Pictures folder.

Method 2. Plug your flash drive into your Windows PC. Open My PC. This app's icon resembles a computer monitor.


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It should be on your desktop, though you can also open it from within the Start menu by clicking the Start icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen and then clicking My PC. Windows may ask if you want to determine what to do with your USB flash drive. Clicking OK when prompted will allow you to select a Open folder to view files option which will open your flash drive's window. Double-click your flash drive's name. It's under the "Devices and drives" section in the middle of the window. If your flash drive opened when you plugged it into your PC, skip this step.


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Right-click Pictures.