I have an external hard drive, not always connected to my laptop. I don't use it for Time Machine, as it's not big enough, and most of my important documents are on DropBox... Plus I only connect it a few minutes per week when I need to copy something.

For iPhoto, I found the Library file and I manually copy it to my external drive once in a while. The problem I have with that, is the file is growing big (22GB last I checked), and I feel like it's a waste to wait so long for copying the entire file, while I'm really only adding the last GB for example.

Is there a way to just add the increment?

Keep in mind again I only connect my external drive when needed.

  • You could use Time Machine only for the iPhoto library by excluding all the other folders from the backup. Would that work for you? – Saaru Lindestøkke Nov 24 '13 at 21:05

Interesting question.

The first thing to realise is that the iPhoto Library is a folder, not a file. The Finder shows it as a file for end-user convenience, but it really is a folder.

There are many tools to quickly mirror a folder from a source to a destination. I would recommend using rsync.

  • Note that rsync is a command line tool (to be used in a Terminal). Let me know if you need help with that. – Frizlab Nov 24 '13 at 22:35
  • This sounds like what I am looking for. Will try when I get the chance. Is this tool built-in OSX or am I supposed to download it somewhere? – nute Nov 27 '13 at 7:31
  • 1
    There is a built-in version of rsync on Mac OS X but it's old (2.6.9; current version is 3.1.0). It works though. If you want the very last version (better management of xattr and stuff), I recommend you use Homebrew (brew.sh) to install it. – Frizlab Nov 27 '13 at 9:41
  • I'm ready to test rsync now (it's been a while I know), but yes, this looks complicated! Any tips to do a simple backup as explained? One-time, no schedules, just backing up the diff? – nute Jan 29 '14 at 17:26
  • I'll add a comment soon to explain – Frizlab Jan 29 '14 at 22:20

Pretty much any app that does incremental back ups will back up the iPhoto Library. Some suggestions:

Chronosync http://www.econtechnologies.com/pages/cs/chrono_overview.html

DejaVu http://propagandaprod.com

Carbon Copy Cloner - http://www.bombich.com

I've used all of these at different times and changed for various reasons. But they all work perfectly well. All are straightforward to set up.

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