I am not a Mac owner and am only helping a friend. He bought a new external HD and he wanted to backup all of his pictures (he uses iPhoto). So, I drag and dropped the Pictures folder onto the HD (formatted as HFS+). I'm assuming this also includes his iPhoto Library. I plan on option click open iPhotos and going into preferences to point to the external HD.

However, once I point to the new iPhoto location, what is the easiest way to delete all files within his Pictures folder? Right now he has 370 GB of pictures on his 500 GB MacBook Pro and so needs to make space badly. Also, once the Library is pointed to the external. He will always have to have it connected when trying to import new pictures into his computer correct?

I know this might seem like a simple question but google wasn't as helpful as I thought it would be.

1 Answer 1


Firstly, yes he has to point to the external HD when trying to import new pictures into his computer.

Then you can easily delete Photos Library (see following pic) (usually located in: /Users/<name of the user>/Pictures) that package contains all the photos in the application Photos. At the end if he will proceed with emptying the Trash all the pics in the Mac will be deleted.

enter image description here

More precisely, you can do the same for iPhoto. The library name depends only to the application you are using. So for instance if instead of using Photos, your friend is using iPhoto the library you want to delete will be iPhoto Library!

  • Thank you, I've noticed that he also has a ton of pictures (.jpgs etc..) within the Pictures folder along with the Library..are these just pictures that were not imported but simply transferred to this folder? I wanted to delete all contents of the local user PIctures folder as I have already transferred it to the external. Just wanted to find the easiest way to delete all contents of the folder. Loose pictures and the library files. Can I just click the Pictures folder and Command(or ctrl)+Delete? I ask because I will able to try it on his mac later today. Thanks for your help
    – CI_Guy
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 18:00
  • @CI_Guy The pics that are in the picture folders don't belong to the library and so they are not related to any library. Therefore you can delete them with cmd + delete. Anyway, be sure to have a backup copy before delete any file.
    – rebatoma
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 19:06
  • Ok, after I confirm there is a back up copy.. How do I delete everything in the folder all at once? In windows I would do a Select All and then hit delete but not sure how it is done on a mac.
    – CI_Guy
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 19:07
  • @CI_Guy yes, you can select all the folders cmd+A, then cmd+delete to delete them, and then emptying the trash to permanently remove the pics from the HD.
    – rebatoma
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 19:17

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