You are here

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Moving from Aperture to Lightroom #1
bp's picture
by bp
September 6, 2015 - 1:20am

My Aperture library is on an external hard drive.  I don’t want to move my rather large photo library back to my internal drive.  One question is if I change to Lightroom and move my images to Lightroom are they then back on my internal hard drive or will Lightroom just “view” my images on the external drive as Aperture does now?  It seems there are a number of confusing instructions with multiple steps on how to do move from one application to the other.  Does Lightroom have a clear path to follow which will leave my images on the external hard drive?  How much phone support does Lightroom/Photoshop provide?  







Milo's picture
by Milo
September 7, 2015 - 5:35am

Lightroom will leave them all where they are at. Unless you want to move them. But it clearly tells you what’s happening as you import them. It’s easy.

bp's picture
by bp
September 7, 2015 - 4:53pm

Thanks, Milo, for your support.  


Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
September 11, 2015 - 8:01pm

The answer depends on your Aperture library status. If you have a referenced library and your originals are on the external drive, then Milo’s answer applies. Lightroom will leave them where they are.

However, if you have a managed library and the entire library file is on the external drive, then Lightroom won’t have direct access to the originals because they are hidden inside the library package. In this case I’m not sure how the Lightroom Aperture import function works. It might require you to change Aperture to a referenced library or it might be able to extract the originals from the library - in which case it seems it would be doubling the space required as it creates an external copy. If anyone knows please add to the conversation.


Katie S.'s picture
by Katie S.
September 12, 2015 - 7:54pm

I’ve decided to also make the move but slowly.  Does anyone know if the Lightroom CC has the Aperture Exporter option in it?  That looks like an easy way to get the job done.  

When I update my vault, it is saying I have 350’ish photos that are not managed.  How do I correct this?  I never meant for that to happen.  I always wanted Aperture to do all of that for me.



Katie S.

bp's picture
by bp
September 13, 2015 - 8:22pm

Thanks to all for your information.  Now the trick is to determine if my images on my external drive are managed or referenced.  Again there are conflicting ideas.  According to an Apple Care Tech support person if the images are not in the library then they are “referenced” and “managed” if they are in the library.  That seems to make sense but I’m not really sure.  

In Katie’s case it would seem that the images in the vault being copies would therefore be referenced as they are being managed in the library.  It seems logical but I’m not sure.  

Thomas’ comments are appreciated but add to the mystery.  If it is indeed the case that  the originals are on my external drive making them thereby managed I would then have to somehow make them referenced for Lightroom to function.  This seems to then create a very cumbersome process to use Lightroom.  I certainly don’t want images back on my internal hard drive just to use Lightroom.  The whole reason they are on the external hard drive was because they were taking up too much space.  

I am attending an Apple one to one session this week and hope to find some answers for my situation.  I will keep you informed.  



Milo's picture
by Milo
September 14, 2015 - 12:39am

I have well over 250,000 photos on 3 external hard drives, internal iMac and my laptop  being managed by Light Room. It knows where they are and is very easy to manage. What I don’t like is they viewing options. No matter what, I cant keep photos together by the date and time. Apple Photos did that near perfect. Light Room is great from managing though.

Silvia's picture
by Silvia
September 19, 2015 - 11:53pm

“ If it is indeed the case that  the originals are on my external drive making them thereby managed I would then have to somehow make them referenced for Lightroom to function.”

No, the originals can be on your hard drive separate from your library and referenced.

Open your Aperture, select all photos, and use a filter to see if you have managed photos (Add Rule. then File Status = Managed).  Only managed photos will be displayed.  You can then select those manage photos and relocate the originals outside Aperture Library.

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
September 27, 2015 - 4:18pm

Please read the Aperture manual. It is an excellent document.

  • “Managed” images are stored inside the library. The location of the original is managed by Aperture. If all the images in the library are managed, then you can copy the library from one place to another and the originals will go with it.
  • “Referenced” images are stored outside the library. The location of the original is managed by you and Aperture simply references the image in the location where you store it. If you copy the library, the images remain in the location where you stored them and Aperture continues to reference them in that same location.

The terms “managed” and “referenced” have no relationship to the location of the library itself. Any library can reside on any disk, internal or external.

For referenced images, the library and referenced image can live anywhere completely independently of one another as long as Aperture can see both when Aperture is open. An Aperture library can reference images scattered across many disks including a mix of internal and external disks. While this is not wise image management practice, Aperture will let you do this.

RockyOne's picture
by RockyOne
October 29, 2015 - 12:07am

Aperture badges ! Please explain with pictures. Thanks  Not mentioned in Aperture 3 index of book by Dion Scoppettuolo

Saving the world one photograph at a time

You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
Passwords are case-sensitive - Forgot your password?