I need to make space available on my MacBook Pro.

Here is what I tried: I accessed the individual albums, clicked Select All then clicked File → New album on the iMac. It transferred the photos but no keywords or descriptions.

How do I transfer the entire iPhoto library with keywords, events, albums and info intact, from a MacBook pro using iPhoto 08 to an iMac using iPhoto 11?

Please be (step by step) specific.


To move the iPhoto Library folder or package to a new location:

  1. Quit iPhoto if open.
  2. Open your Pictures folder and select the iPhoto Library.
  3. Drag the iPhoto Library folder or package to its new location.
  4. Hold down the Option key on the keyboard and open iPhoto.
  5. Keep the Option key held down until you are prompted to create or choose an iPhoto library.
  6. Click Choose Library.
  7. Locate and select the iPhoto Library you moved in step 2.


Transferring the library from one computer to another can be difficult because of the size. Some of the options included:

  • External Hard Drive/USB stick
  • Over the network
  • Boot the MacbookPro into "Target Disk Mode" by holding T during book and connect it to the iMac with a firewire cable.

Have you tried the Migration Assistant? It is in Applications/Utilities.


Simply copy the file '/Users/YourName/Pictures/iPhoto Library' from the MacBook to your iMac (to the same directory, adjust 'Yourname' accordingly). iPhoto '11 will convert the Library to the new format ('08 -> '11). If you already have an iPhoto library on your iMac, be sure to make a backup. Been there, done that.

Unfortunately iPhoto can't handle two or more different libraries. You have to "upgrade" to Aperture if you need this.

v1k1ng is right, pressing alt while opening iPhoto let you choose another library. That was new to me. Good to know.

Hope this helps.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.