Media files take up valuable gigabytes of drive space. If it’s at a premium then moving your iPhoto and iTunes libraries to external drives can make all the difference.

Starting with iPhoto, first make sure there are no applications running. Find your iPhoto library by going to /Username/Pictures/iPhoto Library. Open up a second Finder window by hitting Command-N. Select the external drive. Next, drag and drop a copy of the iPhoto Library folder to the external drive. 

What you do next depends on which version of iPhoto you’re running. If it’s pre-09, launch iPhoto while holding the Option key. A dialog box will pop up prompting you to choose a photo library folder. Select the copy on your external hard drive. Once iPhoto has launched and loaded your photos, you should be able to safely delete the old folder. 

If you’re using iPhoto ‘09, rename your original iPhoto Library folder to ‘old’, then launch iPhoto. At start-up, a dialog will pop up asking which photo library you want to use. You’ll have the choice of ‘old’ or ‘iPhoto Library’. The second option is the copy you moved to your external folder – so choose that. You should then be able to delete old files, but you may wish to put that off for a short while to make sure everything’s working as it should.

When moving your iTunes Library it’s important to make sure all your tunes are in the same place. Open iTunes and go to Preferences. Click the Advanced tab and check Keep iTunes Media folder organized. Next, click the Change button and navigate to your external drive. Click the New Folder button and create a new directory for your iTunes library. Click Create to add the new folder, and then Choose to set the iTunes folder location.

Finally, you’re ready to move your tunes, so go to File > Library > Organise Library and choose Consolidate Library to move all your music files to the new location. When the process has finished, you can delete your old iTunes folder.