By default, iPhoto stores all imported photos in a single photo library, but did you know that you can create additional photo libraries? This tip works for iPhoto '09 as well as iPhoto '11.
Creating multiple photo libraries can be a great solution if you have a large number of photos, and need an easier way to manage them. For example, if you run a home-based business, you might want to keep business-related photos in a different photo library than personal photos. Or if you tend to go a little crazy photographing your pets, you might want to give them their own photo library.
Create a New iPhoto Library
- To create a new photo library, quit iPhoto if it's currently running.
- Hold down the option key and keep holding it while you launch iPhoto.
- When you see a dialog box asking what photo library you want iPhoto to use, you can release the option key.
- Click the Create New button, enter a name for your new photo library, and click Save.
If you leave all of your photo libraries in the Pictures folder, which is the default location, it's easier to back them up, but you can store some libraries in another location, if you prefer, by selecting it from the Where dropdown menu.
After you click Save, iPhoto will open with the new photo library. To create additional photo libraries, quit iPhoto and repeat the process above.
Note: If you have more than one photo library, iPhoto will always mark the one you used last as the default. The default photo library is the one that iPhoto will open if you don't choose a different photo library when you launch iPhoto.
Choose Which iPhoto Library to Use
- To select the iPhoto library you want to use, hold down the option key when you launch iPhoto.
- When you see the dialog box that asks what photo library you want iPhoto to use, click on a library to select it from the list, then click the Choose button.
iPhoto will launch using the selected photo library.