28 answers

How to Store Digital Photos Outside of My Computer?

I have tons and tons of pictures and I need suggestions on how to organize them. I used to import them on to my laptop and then erase them from the flash card thing for the camera but now my computer photo program seems to be really slowing down so I have kept the pictures on the flash card. I don't even know if I'm using the right terms!
Anyway, now both my flash card things are full.
Should I transfer everything to CDs?
I don't even know what CD to use. I have a 2006 Macbook Pro with a SuperDrive 8x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)...whatever that means!

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Wow! You ladies are awesome! I bought an external hard drive for starters. Storing it on the iPod is also an excellent idea! Thanks so much for your help!

Featured Answers


I had the same problem. I started storing my photos on an online photo site. I use Snapfish. I have almost 2000 photos on there. The only requirement for the site is that you have to buy at least 1 photo in a year. Hope this helps.


I bought an inexpensive portable hard drive.
You plug it in via USB port and transfer music and photos onto it.
SUPER easy and reliable way to store precious photos!

You could store them on CDs (by year, holiday, whatever) and then back them all up to an external hard drive as another back up.

More Answers

You can get a USB thumbdrive. It will plug into your computer, hold much more than a CD, and you can keep it in a firesafe or take it anywhere you go to share pictures (as long as the other person has a computer for you to plug it into).

Check out mozy. It's about $5/month. It stores all of your data online, so even if your computer is destroyed (fire,flood, etc.), you can still get your files. You can also store all of your pictures on your ipod.

Try an external hard drive. You can buy one at Best Buy. That's what we use and it works great.

External hard drive.

Inexpensive.. Office Depot or anywhere really - and to me is a great way to go versus storing it on a CD/DVD..
altho i do go that route to, to make specificic albums..
The external hard drive is a quick zip/save.
I personally do not trust those online albums - while I DO have alot of my stuff on there, yesterday I just lost TWO YEARS worth of pics I had posted.. Thankfully I have everything backed up on the hard drive. But OMG.. I was livid when I logged in to find everything gone and worse.. nobody seems to have a solution. It just went MIA! And apparently it happened to numerous other people on the site.. so just a precaution about those online sites.

I would recommend storing them on at least 3 different places, but CDs/DVDs just aren't really made to last. I have my pictures stored on my computer, on an external hard-drive (this is a box that attaches to the computer, but if my computer crashes it won't be affected), on snapfish and on photobucket. The likelihood of both of those companies doing something stupid (like kodak gallery's short notice that you'd have to make a purchase to keep your prints) isn't that high.
hope that helps :)

I use an external portable hard drive. THey have them at costco for about 130 They will hold all your pics. I also put them on there cause I can take it with me if I am going somewhere and want to share them. I also when I remember put it in my fire safe. Good Luck


You can buy an external hard drive to store photo's and video camera footage , we did this as the amount we had was causing the PC to slow down , it also protects them if anything happens to the pc , you won't lose years worth of memories.

I bought an inexpensive portable hard drive.
You plug it in via USB port and transfer music and photos onto it.
SUPER easy and reliable way to store precious photos!

Try Snapfish.com or Kodak.com they are online photo storage. You can make family albums, send them to your family and friends by e-mail. They can look at them and put them on there computer or the can buy them. They are very reasonable. I have been using them for about four year. This cleans up your computer and you don't have to worry about losing your pictures.

When you learn all the little tricks, please share them with me. I have two years of pictures on my digital!


My husband has a MacBookPro as well and what he does is he transfers everything to an external hard drive. When organizing photos I would go with a higher storage one between 500GB to a TB. When you go buy the hard drive you MUST look at the box and make sure it is Mac OS compatible. If you wish to learn more I am just a message away! Me and my husband can go into details and everything with you (more him than me, he's the expert) that way you can make a well informed decision.
Good luck with everything!

You can either buy an external hard drive, which these days they make ones that have an unbelievable amount of storage. Or try to sign up for a website that you can manage your photos on. I really like snapfish. They will allow you to download your photos to their website and you can even organize them into little albums, like separated by the first year to the next or by month or however you would want to do it. They also offer pretty good deals to print your photos or even have them made into different things like calendars, mugs, t-shirts and such. Plus if you wish to give your info to other family members they can log on and order whatever pictures they might like to have as well. Good luck!

You could store them on CDs (by year, holiday, whatever) and then back them all up to an external hard drive as another back up.

I had the same problem, and I got an external hard drive... Staples for about $100. (or so) It helped a lot. I also know that to enhance your speed, you need more RAM, not more storage space. That means getting into your computer's mother board and inserting more cards.

Good luck.


Also, if you have lots of pictures CDs will not hold them efficiently and will be a pain to manage. DVDs don't even hold enough for me...invest in the external hard drive, but also consider Snapfish or a secondary source as well. (Maybe even two hard drives just to have a backup.)

You can use CD's, but they take up a lot of space. I don't have a lot of space, so I am getting an external hard drive (Seagate). They store thousands of pictures and are about the size of a paperback.

Ok, that computer rocks and it is made for multimedia stuff. If you have just filled up the card within your actual camera, what you need to do is download the pictures to iPhoto (this program will come standard on your MacBook Pro). I have the same computer, and I literally have about 80,000 pictures stored in my iPhoto. Start iPhoto (it should be one of your programs in the tray at the bottom of the screen with an icon). You can transfer the pictures to this program simply by plugging your camera into your computer. The camera should have come with a cord where one end will plug into your camera and the other end into your computer. After every thing is plugged in, turn your camera on, then, wait a minute. A box will then pop up asking if you want to import your photos. Select import all. After all of the photos have finished importing (and only after), it will then ask if you want to delete the pictures from the memory stick in your camera. If you do (so you can reuse the stick), select yes. Follow the same procedure for your other memory stick. It will then organize your photos into albums based on date. You can change that afterwards by dragging photos to different albums. After you get them all imported, I would also back them up to a DVD. My guess is they will likely all fit on one, and your computer will burn one rather easily.

Hope this helps!

Photos take up a lot of space on hard drives. One solution is to transfer your pictures on to a CD.

You can organize them by type, event, date or even the name of person. I recommend transferring them to your computer first (from your flash card), organizing them into folders and then moving them to an appropriate CD that is best for photos. You should "copy" them to the CD, then check the CD to make sure they copied ok - then you can delete them from your computer.

If you want to develop some pictures first, I recommend using an online service like Snapfish. Otherwise you can simply take your CD to your local photo processing store, e.g. Target, CVS, RiteAid, Walmart etc. and have them develop the pictures. They will return your CD. Most have processing machines inside the store, so that you can do it yourself - ask someone to help you if you're not sure. They're very easy to use.

You can find CDs at your local discount department store or office supply store, e.g. Target, CVS, Walmart, Staples. Look for a pack of CDs that are compatible with storing photographs. Ask a staff member if you're confused, since there are many different CD types. An office supply store like Staples or Office Depot is probably best, because they usually have knowledgeable staff and are happy to help.

I hope this helped. Good luck freeing up your computer's hard drive!

I use a MyBook, which is basically a portable hard drive connected to my computer via the USB port.

CDs will lose the files over time (my wedding photographer warned me about that). An extrenal hard drive or a thumb drive would probably be your best bet.

Hi, we use an external hard drive and love it! They are fairly inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere!


I had the same problem. I started storing my photos on an online photo site. I use Snapfish. I have almost 2000 photos on there. The only requirement for the site is that you have to buy at least 1 photo in a year. Hope this helps.


You can either put them on CD's, flash drives, or get a external hard drive to store them on. Not as complicated as it sounds, just plugs into your computer at a USB port and walks you though it.

I keep a backup of all my photos on a thumb drive (also called a thumb drive or USB stick.) That way you can transfer all your photos to that and erase your card that came with your camera to make room for new pics. The thumb drive comes in different sizes (memory not physical size) so make sure you get one with a large enough memory that you can keep adding more pics to it without running out of room.

My biggest problem with everything being digital is that I have so many photos stored on the computer but I miss having actual photos. Another way to store them is to create a free snapfish or other photo sharing account. This way you can share your photos with friends and family also order prints whenever you want while keeping an online backup of your photos.

You have the ability to archive your photos. Burn them to a DVD. It will generally hold 4 GB which is 5 CDs worth of photos. There are a bunch of free utilities on the Apple website here http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/imaging_3d/. Make sure the utility is appropriate for your operating system though.

I don't think your computer can upgrade to Leopard (the most recent system) and the conflict might be slowing your programs down if it is really slow. I could be completely wrong though. You can post questions in Mac Forums and they will generally be answered well by mac loving geeks like me. Just make sure you list your operating system (which can be found when you access ABOUT THIS MAC from the Apple pull down. Also make sure you list the processor and memory (found in the same place).

I agree with all others about the external hard drive! I'm sure anything electronic could have problems or lose data, but I am particularly weary of the thumb/flash/usb drives since TWO of them that I have had have broken or lost everything on them. They do sell some cool hard drives that back themselves up if you want to spend a bit more money...

i put mine on cd's and i have an external hard drive that holds my most current ones. i also upload them to snapfish.com so that i have another backup and a place to share my pictures. you can download to all three without having to download to your computer first.

Just another suggestion that no one mentioned is flash drives you can get them at Wal Mart ranging in price from $9 to $30 depending on storage size. They are fast easy and transportable and alot less expensive than an external hard drive.


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