the free space on my hard drive has slowly been dwindling over the years, even though i’m diligent about moving my image files off of the macbook and on to the external drives and network attached drives on a regular basis. a few weeks ago, i decided to investigate further to find out what was taking up so much of my hard drive, and it turns out the culprit was iPhoto.
tip: the default install for iPhoto stores its library in side your user’s home directory, inside the Pictures folder, in a file called “iPhoto Library”. you can select it in Finder to see how big your library file is.
i don’t use iPhoto very much anymore now that lightroom 3 can import and handle video files, specifically from my iphone. but i did use it BL (before lightroom), and i do still use it for creating a Â photo book each year for our anniversary. throughout the years, i’ve been importing things in to iPhoto, editing, cleaning up the folders, and deleting things to keep my library tidy. well, it turns out that delete doesn’t actually mean delete. it means move to trash. so over the years, my iPhoto library has been growing because i’ve just been putting things in to the trash and not actually deleting the images from the iPhoto library. the result? my iPhoto library was well over 60GB. that’s huge!
it turns out the fix is simple. inside of iPhoto, under the iPhoto menu item, there is an option labeled “Empty iPhoto Trash”, which will actually remove all of the items from the trash. my library went from 60GB to 4GB in one click, freeing up precious hard drive space.