How to Recover Permanently/Accidentally Deleted iPhoto Library on Mac


May 15, 2019 09:00 / Posted by Lisa Ou

I accidentally deleted my iPhoto Library before I had the Time Machine on and then emptied the Trash. Is there a way to recover the photos that I lost?

Different from other programs, if you deleted iPhoto Library, you can get one more chance to repair iPhoto Library and recover deleted photos. Of course, you can also get deleted iPhoto Library back with Time Machine and Mac data recovery software.

Just read and follow the steps below to restore iPhoto on Mac.

Recover Permanently/Accidentally Deleted iPhoto Library on Mac

1. How to Save Photos with iPhoto on Mac and How to Use iPhoto

iPhoto is a discontinued photo manager application developed by Apple. But you can still use iPhoto library to organize Mac photos. Now, let’s access iPhoto library and export photos using iPhoto.

Select iPhoto photos. (Hold the Command key and choose multiple photos in iPhoto.)

Click File on the top of iPhoto. Select Export… from its list.

Specify the image format, quality, size and more details.

Click Export to export your photo from iPhoto.

Set the destination folder and click OK to save iPhoto photos to a new place.

save photo from iphoto

2. How to Recover iPhoto Library on Mac

The iPhoto library location is ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library/photolibrary/Masters/. All your iPhoto pictures can be found here. Well, iPhoto 9 and earlier picture locations may be a little different.

Thus, you can head to the destination to have a check before recovering deleted or lost photos from iPhoto on Mac.  

Method 1: Restore Deleted iPhoto Library on Mac with Time Machine

Time Machine is the default data backup service on Mac. You can go back to the time before you deleted iPhoto library. Later, you can recover deleted iPhoto library on Mac with photos.

Quit iPhoto app on Mac.

Connect your Time Machine drive to Mac. Then choose Apple followed by System Preferences to run Time Machine.

Scroll down the timeline and choose the date of your last backup with Time Machine.

Choose the backup of your iPhoto library by Home/Pictures/iPhoto Library.

Click Restore to recover accidentally deleted iPhoto library on Mac.

recover iphone library with time machine

You can also learn about how to recover photos library on Mac.

Method 2: Recover Deleted or Disappeared iPhoto Library Photos on Mac without Time Machine

Sadly, Time Machine may not run when your iPhoto library was deleted on Mac. During this time, you can use FoneLab Data Retriever for restoring iPhoto library from deletion, formatting, corruption, virus attack, hard drive issue and more. It is supported to recover multiple types and formats of files on Mac.

Actually, you can free download the trial version of Data Retriever for iPhoto recovery on Mac. You can scan and preview all your deleted or lost iPhoto pictures for free. If you are sure that the Mac file recovery software really works, you can pay to recover deleted iPhoto library and photos on Mac.

  1. Recover photos from iPhoto library in JPG, TIFF/TIF, PNG, BMP, PSD, GIF, CRW, RAW, etc.
  2. Find iPhoto pictures missing after upgrade with Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes smartly.
  3. Preview your iPhoto photos without paying.
  4. Never store or modify your Mac data while recovering iPhoto library.

Launch Mac data recovery software. Click Start under Mac Data Recovery.

launch mac recovery

Select Images and the drive where your iPhoto library was deleted. Then click Scan to start the quick scanning process.

select data type

The scanning result will display in the left pane. You can find iPhoto pictures by Path or Type.

scan file on mac

Double-click on a photo to preview the detailed information. In addition, you can type the file name or path in the Search engine to find iPhoto photos you lost earlier. At last, click Recover to recover deleted iPhoto library on Mac safely.

recover data on mac

If your recovered photos do not show up or iPhoto is not responding, you need to repair iPhoto library after Mac photo recovery. Be aware that the iPhoto library rebuilding process may cause unexpected data loss issues. Thus, you had better back up important Mac files to an external storage drive in advance.

To find some hidden or disappeared files, you can run FoneLab Data Retriever to make the deleted or lost Mac files available again in a short time. Well, you can create a backup or recover some files freely. After that, you can feel free to rebuild iPhoto library and get iPhoto on Mac.

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