Solution: How Do I Move Photos Library to External Hard Drive

Do you have a lot of photos and need to make room on your computer? Do you want to move your pictures to an external hard drive, so that you can delete them on your computer, but still keep them somewhere else? Maybe you just want to back up your photos to make sure that you never lose them.

There are a lot of concerns when it comes to transferring your photos and videos to external hard drives. For example, sometimes media won’t transfer over properly and videos can turn into still images. What can you do to transfer your images the right way and avoid these problems? Let’s take a look:

How to Move Apple Photos Library to External Hard Drive

Let’s first take a look at how to do this manually. Here some quick steps for backup photos library to an external hard drive on a Mac:

Step 1: Make sure that Photos is closed.
Step 2: Go to your Pictures folder and copy the Photos Library to the location you want (on the external hard drive).

move photo library

Step 3: Launch photos and hold the Option key while doing so. Photos will ask you where your library is located. Choose the location that you copied your library to. This will allow you to test that everything works as it should. If it does, then you can safely delete the copy of your library that is on your computer.

3 Ways to Move iPhone Photo Library to External Hard Drive

For Win & Mac: Backup iPhone Photos Library to External HD

Now, how do you export photo library from iPhone to external hard drive? The easiest way to do this is with iMyFone TunesMate. This is a device manager that lets you freely transfer files between iPhone and computer (as well as between iPhone and iTunes or an external drive).

You can take nearly any kind of data you want and transfer it to anywhere else.

Great Features:

  • Backup iPhone photos, albums or photo library to external hard drive or computer.
  • Selectively back up files without having to create a whole back up.
  • Delete unwanted photos in bulk or photo library for free.
  • Have the freedom to transfer your data between device and computer, between device and iTunes, or even between two devices.
  • Files supported to transfer include camera roll, My photo stream, music, video, audiobooks, podcasts, playlists ...

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Steps to Move iPhone Photo Library to an External Hard Drive

Here are the easy steps that you can go through to export iPhone photo library to an external hard drive:

Step 1: Connect your iPhone and external drive to computer.
Step 2: Launch TunesMate. Head to “Backup Photos to PC/Mac”.
move photo library
Step 3: Select your external drive and click on Select Folder. Then the whole photo library on your iPhone will be exported to your external HD.
move photo library

If you want to selectively move the photo library, you can go to “Photos” tab at the top menu to select photos to backup.

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Just For Windows: Using Photos App

1. Plug your iPhone into your PC.
2. Open the Photos application, and then click Import and then On another device.
3. Select the photos on your iPhone as files that you want to import. And click on Continue.
4. Click on Change where you’re imported and choose a location (a folder on your computer) where you want to transfer the photos library.
5. Once you have imported your iPhone photo library to your PC, connect your external hard drive to your computer.
Photos app

6. Open up the folder on your PC where you transferred the photos library with the file browser. Similarly, open up the main folder on your external hard drive using the file browser. Now simply copy the photos on your PC and paste them to the external drive. If you don’t want to save the photos on your computer, you can also delete them at this time.

Just For Mac: Using Image Capture

1. Connect the external hard drive to your Mac. Connect your iPhone to your Mac.
2. Open the Image Capture program.
3. You should see your iPhone listed as a device in the corner of the window. Click it.
4. Now you will see a list of photos on your iPhone. Select which photos you want to store on the external drive.
5. Click to get the drop down menu, then click where is says Other. This will allow you to pick the external drive as a destination. After that, click Open.
6. Now Click Import to import the photos library, then just wait while the files are transferring.
Image Capture