An Overview of the Backup Workflow

Making backup copies of the library affords you the reassurance that should an unforeseen incident cause the loss of your files, you can easily restore them from your backup vaults later. If you back up the library regularly and store backups offsite, you run little risk of losing your work.

When you back up your images, Aperture makes a complete copy of the library in its current state. If you remove items from the library, those items are removed from the backup when it is next updated.

You can make and store as many complete backups of the library as you wish. If you want to keep a historical archive of the library, you’ll need to devise a system of storing separate backups in some regular chronological order.

You set Aperture to back up a copy of the library to a designated storage area called a vault. For safety and redundancy, use external hard disks to hold your vaults. Aperture lets you create as many vaults as you deem necessary. For example, you may want to create one vault on an external hard disk for daily backups and a second vault on another external hard disk that you keep offsite.

All masters for managed images, all versions, and all metadata, previews, and adjustment information associated with your images are backed up. The versions, previews, and metadata associated with referenced masters are also backed up in the vault.

Important: Referenced masters are not backed up in the vault with the library. Because the masters for referenced images are stored outside of the library, you must manage the backup and archiving of them yourself.

Although rare, mechanical failures and unexpected damage to your computer system can occur. And from time to time you may upgrade your equipment and need to move your portfolio to a new system. Aperture allows you to easily restore the entire Aperture library from your backup disks onto your computer or a new system. For more information about restoring images and projects, see Restoring Your Aperture System.

As you add to your photo library, Aperture automatically tracks which files have been backed up to each vault. When there are image files in the library that are not backed up in a vault, the Vault Status button appears red. When your vault is up to date, the Vault Status button for the vault appears black. When you have made image modifications (such as image adjustments or metadata or keyword changes) that have not yet been backed up in a vault, the button appears yellow. Aperture does not automatically update your vaults, but you can update your vaults at any time.

Important: Aperture does not back up your library automatically. You must tell Aperture to back up your library by either clicking the Update All Vaults button, which creates a mirror copy of your library on all connected vaults, or clicking the Vault status button for a vault, which creates a mirror copy of your library on that vault.