How to View Photos On External Hard Drive Mac | Easy Ways That Work

Do you want to level up your MacBook experience and add an external hard drive to back up your photos and important data? In that case, you might be tangling about how to view photos on external hard drive Mac as Mac does not allow it to view directly from the external drive. But simply creating an iPhoto library on the external drive can give you viewing access.

However, we are looking forward to finding out your problems to solve them and making your Mac journey smooth with our tech research.

Here, we will discuss how you can access the pictures on your external hard drive and transfer the photos from Mac to the external hard drive as well. 

Not only that, you will know how to restore a photo library from any external hard drive. So let’s see the entire article without skipping a single word.

How to View Photos On External Hard Drive Mac

When you want to open your photos library on an external hard drive, you have to follow some steps to get access to it. However, you know, a Macbook does not show an external hard drive’s picture directly. 

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So, if you can’t open photos library from external hard drive, you can open it by creating a photos library on your external hard drive. And then, you can use it as a primary default mac iPhoto Library. We divided the way to see the photos into two individual techniques. Let’s know about that.

Method-1: Access the External Drive Using iCloud 

There is a difference between iCloud users and non-iCloud users to execute the procedure. However, come to the main point and see one by one steps.

  • First and foremost, discontinue the current library of your Macbook as a system default. 

The way can be Photos on Mac> Preference > Click iCloud option > uncheck iCloud photo library > Remove from Mac> press two times on that to confirm> Then quit photos. 

  • Create your new photo library as follows- 
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Connect your external drive to your Macbook> Click Option > it will ask you to choose a library, choose ‘Create new.’ > Rename its name > Press down arrow > Choose external Drive > ‘OK’ to save it. 

  • After creating the library, you need to make it your system default iPhoto library to access any time without further issue. 

Open ‘Photos’ > Preference> select ‘Use as a System library’. 

That is the way where you view pictures on an external drive.

Method-2: Access the External Drive When There Is No iCloud Connected

This method is pretty similar to how iCloud users run the approach. Still, there is a difference in performing the process. Let’s know about it. 

  • To see any external drive’s photo, you have to download the originals to your Mac. 
  • At first, open ‘Photos’ on Macbook > Preference > iCloud> Check the ‘iCloud Photo Library’ > ‘Download Originals’ to Macbook.
  • It will take a couple of hours to download. Remember, do not disconnect the external drive. After completing the file download, you can disconnect your drive from Mac. 
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Bravo! When you complete the steps, ensure your newly made library is working on an external hard drive. Otherwise, check that if there is any fault.

How to Transfer Photos from Mac to External Hard Drive

It is a good side to save some of the space of your Macbook by transferring photos to an external hard drive. You may know how to transfer iPhone photos to an external hard drive, but not how to transfer from Mac to an external hard drive. 

So the way is like the pathway below. 

  • Quit the Photos, then select the Finder > go to the external drive where you want to store in. 
  • Here, open another Finder window > Look for your Photos library > Drag it; it means the Photos Library to a new location on the external drive.
  • After dragging the folder, double click on Photo library to open it from the new location. Another important thing is to make this library a system photo library if you have an iCloud photo library. 
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How to Restore Photos Library from External Hard Drive

We found that some of the people are facing like, when they update their iPhoto, they face hassles. For instance, sometimes, after updating a newer version of iPhoto, it says, it is corrupted or needs to back it up. But the user faces hassle to overcome the problem. 

Although you are a newcomer to this journey, maybe you did not face this. But there is a possibility of facing that. So be advanced, knowing about it.

However, if you need to restore your Mac iPhoto library from an external drive, what you have to do is, hold on to the command key and Alt at the same during launching iPhoto. It will rebuild the library. So, in short, you have to rebuild and back up your library. 

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Another way is to download ’iPhoto Library Manager.’ You can use its rebuild function. Then it will be easy to restore your photos from any external drive. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I open the iPhoto library from an external hard drive on Mac?

Well, it is a normal question how to open the iPhoto library from an external hard drive; follow some steps. At first, Choose iPhoto program > File (on the new finder window) > Pictures > drag the iPhoto Library icon to the external hard drive > Open iPhoto by clicking Option key > select the library> Open selected library.

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How to get my Mac to read an external hard drive?

If you see your external hard drive is not showing up, you have to find out how you can get it to read. However, You can check your Apple’s Disk Utility to read the hard drive. Now the question is, where is the Apple Disk Utility? You find it within System Preference. Then, click on Mount, and that makes visible the External Drives option of the Finder menu.

Will any external hard drive work with Mac?

Of course, it will. In general, any kind of hard drive support for Windows PC is supported for Mac as well. Basically, a hard drive is a hard drive whether you use it on a Windows PC or Mac. If you experience that any of the hard drives don’t work with Mac, you can use a USB connection to run your work.

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Right! You may know now how to view photos on external hard drive Mac, and hopefully could meet your other queries of related questions. 

We did a lot of research to make a full package of information about the topic and other essentials. It will be our satisfaction if you get your desired information and expand your ideas about the issues along with the hard drive on the MacBook. 

However, to sum up the whole story, when you connect your hard drive via USB cable and import Photo library from external hard drive to your Macbook, it will be easy for you to see the photos. 

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So, apply these tricks and see your photos anywhere since you can carry your hard drive with you. Enjoy. 

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Mc Dulton

Operating any device without error is impossible. And so, our IOS & Mac expert is here to benefit you with the best and most effective solutions that Apple may not share with you! He has worked in a MAC manufacturing company for more than a decade. Now, wants to share his experience implemented with different IOS and MAC devices.

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