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iOS / MacBook - alternative to Finder?

DrezDrez Registered User regular
What's a good, preferably free, file explorer alternative to Finder for iOS?

I haven't touched my MacBook Pro in maybe a year. I want to wipe it and clear Bootcamp, turning it into an iPhone programming/iTunes/media station.

But I have some personal files I want to manually back up first. I find Finder to be irritating for this, to say the least.

Any recommendations?


  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    What specifically is irritating you about the Finder? There could be a workaround for the issues you're encountering, or it could affect which alternative is the best for you.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Well, I figured how to get the tree view.

    But right now I just want to explore my photos outside of iPhoto/Photos so I can back them up individually. I don't want to just back up the library.

  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    Drez wrote: »
    Well, I figured how to get the tree view.

    But right now I just want to explore my photos outside of iPhoto/Photos so I can back them up individually. I don't want to just back up the library.

    That's really an Photos issue, not a Finder issue; by default usage, Photos stores its files in a weird structure:
    Not necessarily recommended but another possibility is to root around in the Photos.photoslibrary package found in ~/Pictures/ and manually attempt to locate the master image file(s). This works, but the .photoslibrary packages are clearly not intended to be user facing, and the directories are not organized in a manner that makes them easy to browse. While this is possible, we do not recommend this unless the above methods don’t work and you absolutely must access the original image file, mostly because improper handling of these master picture files can lead to problems in Photos app, or worse, the loss of an image or photo.

    The easiest way I've found to get things out of Photos into an easy to modify structure is to select all images in Photos and "export original files", which will export all files (either into one folder or into folders separated by 'moments').

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular


  • SmasherSmasher Starting to get dizzy Registered User regular
    This is still somewhat cumbersome, but I don't know whether Finder alternatives would help:

    - Open the Pictures folder in your main User folder (the latter will have the same name as your user account)
    - There should be a file inside called either "Photos Library" or "iPhoto Library".
    - Hold "control" on your keyboard and click the file which will open a context menu. Select "Show Package Contents" near the top.
    - In that folder, select "Masters", or if that's not there for some reason select "Originals".

    At this point you should see a hierarchy of folders with the top layer being the year the photos were taken. The tree view you've discovered will be helpful; use the left and right arrows on your keyboard to move to the parent or child folder of the one you're currently looking at, and the up and down arrows to navigate the files within each folder. Once you're a few layers in you'll get to the actual photos, and Finder will show a preview of the currently selected photo.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Ok thanks I will try that

  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    The above may work (in the link I linked it describes some other options, I think it heavily depends on how your library was set up & what your import settings are)

    But yeah, it's frustrating... the thing is the Photos library is really more like a .tar file than a set of raw files, which is why it's not as trivial to edit in Finder as if it was raw files

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Okay will try this weekend. Thanks again for the advice!

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited March 11
    Edit spamming my own thread with off topic garbage is so sad

    Drez on
  • baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    There WAS a fantastic tool called Phoshare that was designed to turn your iPhoto library back into folders of neatly-renamed images, but it hasn't been updated since iPhoto '11 and won't work with Photos.

    I did find a tutorial that looks promising when I was looking for "alternatives to Phoshare", so I present it to you with no endorsement other than "this looks useful". It's designed to get your photos out so you can move them into whatever mylio is, but obviously you can stop at the point where you have set them free.

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