Where iPhoto Keeps Your Files

Whenever you import pictures into iPhoto, the program makes copies of your photos, always leaving your original files untouched.

  • When you import from a camera, iPhoto leaves the photos right where they are on its memory card (unless you use the “Erase” option).

  • When you import from the hard drive, iPhoto leaves the originals in whichever folders they’re in. As a result, transferring photos from your hard drive into iPhoto more than doubles the amount of disk space they take up. In other words, importing 1 GB of photos requires an additional 1 GB of disk space, because you’ll end up with two copies of each file—the original, and iPhoto’s copy of the photo. In addition, iPhoto creates a separate thumbnail version of each picture, consuming about another 10 K to 20 K per photo.

iPhoto stores its copies of your pictures in ...

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