Most of my Mac hard drive is filled with iPhoto pictures. I have an external USB hard drive. What to do? Just moving pictures from Pictures/iPhoto Library is not a perfect option as I want to have some newer pictures on my Mac.

iPhoto supports to have two libraries, and I am quite happy with that option. I can copy whole library to external disk and then remove pictures older than a year from local iPhoto library.

However I have two problems: Once I import new pictures, I should copy the whole iPhoto library again (with duplicated files) and also this process should be done manually every time.

I am looking for a smarter option. Do you have any idea?

  • iPhoto doesn't have a way to store some photos in one spot and others elsewhere. They all get stored in one folder/package. Are you looking for an automation workflow to overcome this or perhaps a package like Aperture that allows you to migrate originals to an external drive but keep cached versions of the images locally so you can still work with a lower resolution version and connect the master when needed for final output?
    – bmike
    Apr 16, 2013 at 15:12
  • I've seen people segment libraries by year the way you mention. I wish I had a better workflow, but scripting iPhoto is a bit of a pain to be kind to the process. I've also seem people feed two libraries from all pictures and ruthlessly prune the non-external version. The problems of two faces databases, two sets of edits, two sets of metadata becomes onerous despite how clever the setup is initially. Let's hope someone is very clever and has a better idea :-)
    – bmike
    Apr 16, 2013 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


Try this tool:


It allows you to manage multiple libraries, and split, merge, etc.

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