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How to back up your entire iPhoto Library – iLife Tutorial

Follow this simple, step-by-step guide to learn how to back up all of the photos in your iPhoto library and ensure that you never lose your favourite snaps.

10-minute Intermediate tutorial

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Main

Mac OS X is the most user-friendly and stable operating system around, and that makes it easy to be too complacent about the possibility that your data could accidentally get deleted. Even though it’s extremely unlikely that you will have any problems as a result of a virus, there’s always the possibility that a hard drive fails, or that a Mac is stolen, or dropped if it’s a laptop, and you could lose your precious pictures, movies and other files. We tend to happily load hundreds or even thousands of photos into iPhoto, but then assume that they’re going to be there for ever. With a few simple steps you can safely back up your iPhoto library and ensure the safety of your treasured photographs.
iPhoto Backup Tutorial - SBS
iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 1

Step 1: Locate the library
There are several ways to back up an iPhoto library. The simplest is to copy it directly to another drive or DVD. Go to your Home folder, then into the Pictures folder.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 2

Step 2: Drag the library
The Library file is treated as a single folder so you can drag and drop it onto an external drive or onto a DVD and the whole thing will be duplicated byte for byte.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 3

Step 3: Drag individual events
Instead of backing up the whole library, you may only want to back up events. Create a desktop folder, go to Events view in iPhoto, then drag events to the folder.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 4

Step 4: Check the results
Open the folder you just dragged the images to and you should see that they have all been copied. Copy this folder to an external drive or to a DVD if you like.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 5

Step 5: Export an event
Select one or more events (multiple-select by Shift + clicking) and choose File>Export. The Export window appears and shows the number of images selected.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 6

Step 6: Choose quality
Select ‘Original’ in the Kind menu for exported images to be full-quality duplicates. To save smaller files, choose JPEG. Choose Export and a destination.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 7

Step 7: Drag individual images
Double-click on an Event or go into Photos view to see individual images. Select pictures and drag them into a folder on the desktop, as you did for events.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 8

Step 8: Export individual images
The Export trick works for selected images as well as Events. So if you want to change size or format of pictures during export, repeat the trick from step 6.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Step 9

Step 9: Burn pictures directly to disc
Select pictures or Events and choose Share>Burn. This creates a picture disc that’s compatible with iPhoto. For other viewing, use regular Export methods.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

iPhoto Backup Tutorial - Annotated