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Back up your library, events and pictures

Discover how easy it is to back up all, or parts, of your iPhoto library

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Many people, when asked what possessions they’d save from a burning building, often respond with ‘pictures of loved ones’. Photographs can invoke memories, thoughts and feelings of particular times, places and people, and because of this there is no denying how important they are, which is why it’s crucial to back up.

Backing up your images to an external drive is a sensible way of ensuring your pictures are safe, plus it’s so easy and quick to do there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. iCloud and online storage sites are also a valuable resource for archiving your files, but a physical copy of all the photos you hold dear is an extra, inexpensive method for ensuring your files always exist, in case your computer is lost, stolen, damaged or dies.

Step 1

1 Back up your entire library

To back up the entirety of your iPhoto Library you’ll need to begin by sourcing the library on your Mac’s hard drive. To do this, go to Go on the menubar followed by Computer.

Step 2

2 The right folder

Head into your hard drive folder (Macintosh HD for example), and from the folders find the one marked Users. Choose the appropriate user and from the list of folders find Pictures.
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3 Moving the pictures

Insert your external hard drive’s USB cable and when it appears on the source panel drag the entry marked iPhoto Library onto the relevant hard drive in Devices. The images will transfer.

Step 4

4 Back up a specific image

Should you want to back up one particular image, simply open it or highlight it in iPhoto and choose Reveal in Finder from the File menu, followed by Original file.

Step 5

5 Move that picture

Finder will now present the location of the image from its hard drive, meaning all you have to do is select it, drag it across and drop it onto the external hard drive on the source panel.

Step 6

6 Back up an entire event

If you’d like to back up a collection of images, select the folder in question and then head to the File menu, choose Reveal in Finder and finish with Original file.

Step 7

7 Found you!

Once again, Finder will present the entire collection of images and have them selected, all ready for you to move to their chosen destination, such as the external hard drive.

Step 8

8 Drag and drop

Select the body of highlighted images from their revealed location and drop them onto the external hard drive. The number of files being moved will appear in a red bubble.

Step 9

9 Make space

To back up a large number of images or your entire library, you’ll need to make sure your external HD has the capacity. Select and delete unwanted files to make room for the new ones.

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