iPhoto library backup
October 14, 2014 4:40 PM   Subscribe

i'm having trouble opening an iPhoto library without restoring my photos. i don't want to overwrite anything in my library, but want to be able to view something in a different library on my external HD.

how can i use my up-to-date version of iPhoto to order the photo book that my sister created on her computer?

my sister made a photo book in iPhoto, but when she tried ordering it, she realized that the version of iPhoto she is using is too old, and she can't update to a new one without updating her os a few generations, which she can't do because of memory, etc.

as far as i can tell, iPhoto only lets you send a book as a pdf/movie, and not the actual file.

so we had the idea to back up her entire library so i can access it on my computer and order the photo book for her, but now that i have her photo library hooked up to my computer, i can't figure out how to open it.
when i click the library i get a caution message: "The iPhoto Library is a Time Machine backup, and so cannot be used as the main library. Relaunch iPhoto with
posted by sabh to Technology (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The error message seems to be pretty clear -- you can't open an iPhoto library that is within a Time Machine backup. Do you have enough free space on your hard drive (or any other external hard drive) to restore her Library from the Time Machine drive to a new location, and then open it from there?

And you really need to press the Option key instantaneously when you launch iPhoto to get the dialog to pop up to allow you to choose which library you want to open.
posted by misterbrandt at 5:09 PM on October 14, 2014

Instead of backing up the photo library with Time Machine, why not just copy the library by dragging it and dropping it to the external drive? Then, misterbrandt's suggestion to press the option key will allow you to choose it.
posted by tomierna at 5:11 PM on October 14, 2014

Best answer: Copy the iPhoto library to your computer with the current Operating System.
Just give it a different name than your iPhoto library and put it in the pictures folder.
Open iPhoto while holding the "Option" key and select your sisters iPhoto library. It will need to update to the new version. From there you can move forward.

Please do this with a copy of the library. As you cant migrate it back to a previous version...
posted by Mac-Expert at 6:36 PM on October 14, 2014

Response by poster: ohh that's it! I needed to drag the library from the HD to my computer in order for it to recognize it when I option-opened the application! thanks, all!
posted by sabh at 6:38 PM on October 14, 2014

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