How to truly remove photos and videos from a Macintosh

For all of the years that I’ve used Macs ( 11 now ), I still don’t fully grasp the filing system. Sad, huh? For example, I’ve found plenty of photos that exist as thumbnails but the real file has been removed by myself in efforts to clear out space.

I need more space on the HD again. Where do I look to truly remove these files? I’ve over 10,000 photos on the HD. I know that they all do not reside in iPhoto- in fact, as I scroll through that endless list of photos by opening HD -----> All Images, I find what appears to be multiple sets of many many events.

How do I find these so I can not only remove these sets to off-HD storage, but delete the duplicates so I do not simply burn up off-HD storage space when I move the photos and videos off?

Based on what I know I have in iPhoto and in a few other areas, I’m guessing I have about 75-100 Gigs of duplicate photos existing on the HD.

Thanks !!

First of all, iPhoto isn’t a place on your harddrive where you might have photos; it’s an app for working with photos which might be located anywhere. The location in your filesystem would most likely be a folder called “Pictures”, which probably has many subfolders. They could, however, be absolutely anywhere, if you put them some place other than the default.

The easiest way to find where you put them would be to just do a search of your entire computer for jpg files. To do this, click on the magnifying glass icon in the upper-right corner of your screen, and type in jpg. You’ll get a list of files, and an option at the top of the list to “view all in finder”. Do this, and you’ll be able to see where each file you searched up is.

You will, of course, get way too many files in the list to conveniently work with. Stop the search as soon as you have a page or so of results, then pick out a random result, and see where its original location was. Go there, and you’ll probably see a bunch more images. Do whatever you want with them (move them onto an external drive, delete them, whatever). Then repeat the search, until you’ve found all the places that images are hiding.

After you’re done deleting all of the images that you want to delete, remember to empty your trash can.

Download Grand Perspective, and run it on ‘/’

That’s your best tool for figuring out where all your missing drive space went…

I almost never use iPhoto, but, IIRC, it organizes the photos into its own directory structure which is different from where your originals are. For example, I just imported photos from my desktop into iPhoto. My original folder is still there on the desktop, but iPhoto also created a folder under: ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Masters/2014/4/7/20140407-102447 where the photo also resides.