Copy iPhoto Library to another Mac?

I want to copy an iPhoto Library from one Mac to another, preserving all folder structures, names, etc.

How do I do this the simplest way?

iPhoto is a part of the iLife suite of digital media management applications, which can not only import, organize, edit your digital photos, but also helps you share your photos with quality photo books, calendar, cards, and prints. iPhoto will generates a iPhoto Library folder or package that contains imported photos and any albums you’ve added using iPhoto.

If you got a new Mac and not sure about how to copy photos from iPhoto Library to another Mac, just let SyncMate handle it, which lets you sync iPhoto albums on your Mac, as well as folders with photos and videos, with another Mac. Don’t worry about missing or duplicated files, with SyncMate 6 your iPhoto library will be in perfect sync with your new Mac.

Tips: Only standard iPhoto albums can be synced among Macs. Standard albums are those that you create manually (File –> New Album; or Command-click to select the images and choose File –> New Album from Selection). Refer to iPhoto Help for details (“About photo albums” section).

sync iPhoto library with new Mac

SyncMate offers two editions. To perform iPhoto gallery sync with another Mac, you should upgrade the free edition to expert edition. To get started, let’s download the free edition and check whether your Mac system is compatible.

SyncMate 6 logo

SyncMate for Mac


  • Requires OS X 10.8.5 or later
  • 47.75Mb free space
  • Version: 7.1.375 (12th Feb, 2018)

How to sync / Transfer iPhoto Library to New Mac

Part 1: Establish Connection with Another Mac

To connect successfully your Mac to another Mac, make sure that:

  • SyncMate is installed on both of your two Macs you’re going to sync with.
  • Remote Mac is online.
  • The remote side has real IP address. It must be accessible from the Internet disregarding whether remote IP address is static or dynamic.

Then follow the instructions as below to establish connection with another Mac successfully:

1. Configure your Mac’s Incoming Connections.

Mac incoming connection

2. On the main Mac (the on you are going to transfer files from), click "add new device" option in the left panel of the SyncMate window. After that, choose "Another Mac" as your option.

add another Mac

3. Thanks to Bonjour support, SyncMate automatically locates on a local network and displays the list of other Macs you can connect to (online Macs with SyncMate installed).

If the remote Mac, you are trying to connect to, requests the password, enter this password into the corresponding text field. Password protection to secure the connection among Macs can be enabled in Mac’s Incoming Connections.

connect Mac to Mac

4. You can also add a Mac manually by entering IP address or DNS name of the remote Mac. If you changed the default 27384 TCP port in Incoming Connections of the remote Mac, enter it after a colon.

manually add a Mac

OK! Now you successfully established connection with your new Mac. Then, it’s time to begin sync and transfer your iPhoto Library to another Mac. Read on and follow the steps as below.

sync transfer Mac

Part 2: Sync / transfer all your photos from iPhoto to your new Mac

1. Once your Mac established connection with another Mac, open Photo Plugin on top of the main window.

open photo plugin

2. Click Add new pair for synchronization. From the drop-down list, select iPhoto/Photos album or a local folder with images/videos on your Mac:

iPhoto album

3. Choose the folder on the device.
If you are syncing with another Mac, you can also choose the iPhoto/Photos album on your remote Mac.

choose iPhoto album

4. Set the sync direction:

set sync direction

5. For syncing photos from Mac to the remote device, you can convert videos and photos to another format to make the file size smaller.

convert image/video formats

6. At last, select the synchronization pair in the list and click Sync button. That’s all!

Note: The sync/transfer process can only be fired on one Mac only. There is no need to press “Sync” button on your second (remote) Mac. Pressing “Sync” button on the main Mac means that sync process will be performed on both Macs.

Transfer iPhoto Library to New Mac
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