iPhoto Library Huge? Delete your movies!Posted: March 26, 2012
My iPhoto library has grown to over 30 Gigabytes. We’ve got nearly 10 years of photos in the Library, but still, that’s a massive library size for a person, who until today when I bought a dSLR, always used the stock settings on our camera.
A had a sneaking suspicion of the root cause of my iPhoto library growth, however. A few years back, instead of having a separate camcorder that used DV videotape, we started shooting all our video on our point-and-shoot. iPhoto by default imports videos from the camera, and so over the past 3 or 4 years we seem to have accumulated 20 Gigabytes of videos (about 200 videos shot) out of a 30GB library. Extreme!
So, in order to combat this growing file size, I took some steps to export these videos and delete the from the Library.
First Step, Find the Videos
First, we need to find the videos. Took some time to find this, but you can’t do an advanced find or anything sophisticated in iPhoto. However, you can create a Smart Album. Go to File -> New Smart Album, and set it up like this:
Second Step, Export the Videos
iPhoto is great for managing a large number of small files. However, because it manages files all inside one .pkg file, it means once it gets large (20-50 gigabytes) it becomes a royal pain to move around. Best to keep a large number of small files inside it, and manage the large files somewhere else on your file system. To do that, lets export all the videos out of Library. First hit select the Smart Album we just created, I called mine videos. Next, hit Cmd-A to select all the videos in your Smart Album, then Go to File -> Export and make your window look like this:
Select a directory to export them to, and you’ll find all your original movies in that folder after the export is complete.
Third, Delete the Videos
Now, it’s time to clear out the videos from the Library. However, this is not as straight forward as it would seem. Attempting to delete the videos from the Library does not work as expected. iPhoto will simply beep at you if you hit Cmd-Delete, or if you try to select Delete from the menu you’ll find it greyed out. Instead, you need to do a Cmd-Opt-Delete from the Keyboard and this will allow you to delete the videos from the Smart Album. Again, go the Smart Album we created in the first step, then hit Cmd-A to select all the videos in the Smart Album, then hit Cmd-Opt-Delete, and it’ll prompt you to move all the videos to the trash. Hit Okay, then right click the Trash icon and choose “Empty Trash.” Quit iPhoto, and your space from your iPhoto Library will be reclaimed!