How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ashik Your Own Question
Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 10728
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Ashik is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a Mac Book Pro I use it for many extremely large photos I

This answer was rated:

I have a Mac Book Pro
I use it for many extremely large photos
I use Aperture to organize the photos
I need to back up my manipulated photos
I use both a time capsule and a 4TB storage device.
If I have a full set of photos in my Aperture projects and I can see all the metadata on them and I have backed them up to my external drives but I have now filled my MacBook
memory with photo files - can I reformat my 4TB external drive (with just my Aperture library vaults on it) so I can gain more hard drive space on the 4TB back up drive with
which to put my Aperture library?
Hi and Welcome. My Name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

When you format, everything on the external hard drive will be erased. To make sure, do you want to reformat the external hard drive and move the Aperture Library from your Internal Hard Drive to the External Hard Drive ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The Aperture library is already on the external drive.

I am looking for more space on my computer hard drive

Hi Steve, If the entire Aperture Library is the only External Hard Drive, then you can safely delete the photos from your Mac. All the projects, thumbinails, events, original pictures, modified pictures etc are saved on the Aperture Library. When you import anything to the Aperture, the orginal photos will also copied to the Aperture Library.

Download and install this application :

This application will help you to find/identify the big files that is using up your HDD Space.

Don't reformat the external hard drive, that will erase everything from your external hard drive.

I'd recommend to backup all the photos to somes DVD before deleting them, just for safety.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best Regards,

Ashik and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Steve, there is a correction to my answer. Sorry about that. If the entire Aperture Library is in the External Hard Drive, then you can safely delete the photos from your Mac.

Best Regards,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thanks for your follow up. I do nkow and understand all that you told me. I do have most of my photos both on their original storage cards and on

CDs. But my question is really much more complex than that.

I have almost filled up a high capacity hard drive on a new MacBook Pro.

To back this up I purchased a 4TB external hard drive. I used that drive to store my Aperture Vaults. I also purchased a new Apple Time Capsule as an additional back up. I also have 50 years of my photographic work

being scanned and given to me on a set of two 1TB G Raid Mini drives. These are backed up one to another so there is never a time

when we cannot find the entire contents of those scans on both of

the G Raid Mini drives.

What I need to do is to get my photo files off my MacBook Pro and onto my 4TB external hard drive with no possibility of losing or degrading information in those files. I am looking to end up with a

situation where all of my photos (this is a 50 year collection of fine

art photos) can be viewed and sorted for submission to other galleries

and collectors, printed for publication and then reorganized for other

purposes. The MacBook should be at the center of this organization

but with the ability to store all the photos on back up media where it

will be perfectly safe yet universally available.

Does that make sense to you?

Thank You

Steve Bellew


Hi Steve, Well, You are right, it is a complex question. What is the capacity of your Mac's Internal HDD ? How much did you used for your Photos ?

Also you said you want to get your photos off your Macbook Pro to the 4TB HDD. So my question is, are those photos you want to transfer are photos in your Aperture or the photos saved locally ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I have submitted this info and await an answer
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My MacBook hard drive has 500GB of Flash Storage

in the "Apple Information" screen the following info is shown

Audio = 777MB

Movies = 66MB

Photos = 88GB

Apps = 14GB

Backups = 0

Other = 346GB


The Photos saved on my MacBook I believe are in Aperture or

in other files on the MacBook.

Thanks for the info Steve. All you have to do is, simply copy the pictures from the Internal Hard drive to the external hard drive, then delete the pictures from your Mac to free the space. This procedure will work with no possibility of losing or degrading information in those files.

Connect the 4TB External Hard drive to your Mac, then on your Mac, goto Macintosh HD > Users > your username > Pictures folder (or to the location where you saved your Aperture Libraries) and you can see all your Aperture Libraries in there. Select the Libraries, press Command + C, then open the External Hard Drive, open the folder that you want to put the photos and press Command + V

This will copy those photos from your Mac to the External Hard Drive without any alteration to the photos.

After it copied successfully, you can simply delete those photos from your Mac (from Pictures folder or from the location you copied it)

Do the same for other pictures that you saved locally.

IMPORTANT STEP : After moving the Aperture Library to new location (external hard drive), you have to tell Aperture about the new location. So, hold down Option key on your Keyboard and open Aperture. Aperture will ask you to select the Library, so navigate to the external hard drive and select the Aperture Library you copied to it. From now on, your Mac will put the photos to the Libarary in the external hard drive when you import new photos to Aperture.

Steve, please let me know if you have any trouble following the above steps and I will help you.

Related Mac Questions