Taking out iPhoto's Trash

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Reader Gary Patterson would like to see his pictures really disappear when he deletes them from iPhoto. He writes:

Recently, I went through all 2000+ photos in my iPhoto library (iPhoto 5.0.4) and deleted the “not-so-goods” in order to free up a little space on my hard drive. It was a long process.

Alas, when I went to the Trash to empty it, none of the deleted photos were there. It seems that while I deleted them from the library (so I don’t have to look at them anymore), they are still there on the hard drive, buried somewhere.

Is there any way I can remove them entirely from the computer?

There is, but during the process don’t expect to find your deleted images in the Finder’s Trash. They never appear there.

The trick is to select an image in your iPhoto Library and delete it by pressing the Delete key on your Mac’s keyboard. When you do this, the picture is transferred to iPhoto’s Trash, not the Mac’s Trash. To really, really get rid of the image, Control-click (Right-click) on the Trash entry that appears at the bottom of iPhoto’s Source list and choose Empty Trash. This gets rid of the image for good and all, bypassing the Mac’s regular ol’ Trash.

Notice that I said to select the image in your iPhoto Library. If you select an image in an album or slideshow and press Delete, the image is removed from the album or slideshow but not from your iPhoto Library. But there’s a trick here as well. If you select an image in an album or slideshow and press Command-Option-Delete, the image will disappear from all albums and slideshows as well as the iPhoto Library and appear in iPhoto’s Trash. Again, just access that Trash’s Empty Trash contextual menu to delete it from your computer completely.

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