Mac Quick Tip: Empty Trash in iPhoto and Aperture

If you are like me, you have terabytes' worth of photographs on many drives, taking up valuable space. Even if you don't have that many, you may still wish you had more space for other media like videos or music.

If you are like me, you have terabytes' worth of photographs on many drives, taking up valuable space. Of course, even if you aren't a professional photographer you may still have a lot of photographs on your machine and wish you had more space for other media like videos or music.

One tip that could get much of your valuable space back is simple, but not entirely obvious. Most Mac programs will delete files fully from your machine when you delete them from the program (or at least ask you if you want to delete the program completely, as iTunes does). iPhoto and Aperture, though, work a little differently.

In these photo programs, deleting a photograph only sends it to the application's trash bin, not the system's. That means those files are all still available on your hard drive. So, if you're shooting in raw or even high-resolution JPEG, your trashed photos could fill up your hard drive quicker than you'd like.

To permanently remove photos from iPhoto and Aperture, select all the photos you wish to delete and press Command + Delete. This will send the photos to the application's trash bin. In iPhoto, click on the trash icon (which will appear "full"). Click Empty Trash in the top right corner:

Screenshot by Joe Aimonetti/CNET

In Aperture, right-click the trash icon and select Empty Aperture Trash (the only option) from the contextual menu:

Screenshot by Joe Aimonetti/CNET

Note: This tip was written using Aperture 3.1 and iPhoto '11.

Keeping your application's trash under control can greatly improve your available hard-drive disk space. What tricks do you have for controlling your hard drive's disk space? Let me know in the comments!


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About the author

    Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.

     

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