We will explain how to transfer your photos from macOS to external hard drive, something that for advanced users may be routine, but for others who come from Windows it can be a bit confusing. All because the macOS file explorer is much more closed, and you can’t access the photo file from there.

In the end, the solution is simple, since you have to interact with the macOS photo application. This is what we are going to explain step by step, so that if you do not master macOS you can learn to do it without problems. And don’t worry, because it is a simple process that you will not take long to master.

Your photos from Mac to external hard drive

The first thing you should know is that most external hard drives usually have USB type A connectors, which are the usual “big ones”. Meanwhile, some Macs, especially the latest Macbook models, only have USB type C. Here, what you should know is that you will need an adapter to connect the USB type A in a type C slot, which can be small and individual ones like the one in the photo or larger to connect more devices.

Once you have connected the hard drive, open a Finder window. Inside, in the left column click on the hard drive to see its content, and navigate to the folder where you want to put your photos.

Now, open the Photos application and enter your preferences. To do this, when you have the application in the foreground, click on the top bar on the Photos tab, and when the options are displayed click on Preferences.

Once you are in the preferences of the Photos application, click on the General tab, where you will see several options related to photos. Within this section, click on the Show in Finder button, so that another Finder window opens.

Now you have two Finder windows open. One with the hard drive in the folder where you want to put your photos, and the other with a folder called Photos Library.photoslibrary. This single file represents the entire photos folder that is inside the Mac. You cannot enter it to see the files in the finder, because you will go directly to the Photos application.

Now all you have to do is drag the Photos Library.photoslibrary file to your hard drive. When you do, you will start the process of dumping all the contents of your library onto the disk. This process can take a long time depending on the amount of photos and videos you have downloaded.

Once the content of the macOS library has finished downloading to the hard drive, you can disconnect it and connect it to another computer where you want to put these photos and videos. But if you connect it in a Windows, you will see that the photos are a bit hidden. On the hard drive, you will have to enter the Photos Library.photoslibrary folder that has been created, and there enter the originals subfolder. Inside, you will see several folders where both the original photos and their thumbnails are distributed. The original photos are those whose names do not have a period in front of them.

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