Delete or not to delete...
August 23, 2008 2:54 AM   Subscribe

Quick and easy - do you delete your photos after you've imported them to iPhoto? I'm a recent mac convert and I'm enjoying iPhoto but I'm not sure if one deletes the original photo after importing to iPhoto. Thoughts?
posted by cubedweller to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I believe that iPhoto will keep two copies of your photos. First is the original file you import, and the second is a version with any modifications you have made. You can revert back to the original by right clicking and selecting 'revert to original'.

In your Pictures folder, you will find a package called iPhoto Library. Right clicking this and selecting show package contents will show you various files and two folders, one is called originals, one is called modified. This is where your original and modified photos are kept.

At least this is how it works on my computer, I am pretty sure I haven't made any drastic changes so this is more or less default behavior.
posted by lukeo05 at 3:12 AM on August 23, 2008

I don't use iPhoto because of the whole annoying 'two copies' thing, but I *do* always keep my pictures on my camera's memory card after importing them to my computer; not so much because of 'oh noes, what if I accidentally delete them' fears, but 'oh noes, what if my computer gets stolen or stops working' fears. I like having a backup.
posted by Lebannen at 3:45 AM on August 23, 2008

Yes you can delete the original.

The default preference in iPhoto is to "copy items to iPhoto library". Unless you have changed this preference, you can safely delete the original picture (because the original is now also in the iPhoto library, and like lukeo05 says, if you edit the picture, iPhoto keeps the original if you want to revert)
posted by gmm at 4:23 AM on August 23, 2008

I don't delete any of my photos! Why? 20 cents a gigabyte for storage, that's why!

Multiple copies everywhere! I accidentally trash a folder, no worries. My hard drive explodes, I still have my photos. My house burns down, offsite backup of all my pics!

Photos are one of those items you can't replace, so unless you *really* need the space, I would keep multiple copies.
posted by tomble at 5:18 AM on August 23, 2008

Never delete the originals. Try to regularly archive your photos in full camera-quality to CD. Ya just never know.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:46 AM on August 23, 2008

DO NOT TRUST iPhoto with the only copy of your photos.

Keep the originals, plus a backup of the originals. The backup should be on a separate hard disk, preferably in a separate room, and preferably in a separate location entirely. Or use some sort of online backup service.

If you consider your photos even remotely important, don't entrust them to iPhoto. People have had issues with data corruption etc. and lost photos, and regardless of software, it's always bad to have only one copy.
posted by mmoncur at 10:47 PM on August 23, 2008

I delete the photos from my camera, but I rsync ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library to another computer (and will be reviving my off-site backup as soon as I can).
posted by oaf at 8:46 AM on August 25, 2008

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