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iphoto library missing from Time Machine backup

644 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2013 3:58 PM by Terence Devlin RSS
lateralshadows Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 7, 2013 4:22 AM

I recently backed up my Mac Mini (Mac OS X v10.7.5) to a Seacoast 1TB external  hard drive with the Time Machine feature. I wanted to double check a few key files to ensure they were backed up. Upon searching I was able to discover all my files transfered over EXCEPT my iphoto library or rather I might be looking for it in the wrong place. I made sure iphoto was closed during the back up. I currently have about 17,000 photos and I would like them preserved above all else. Can anyone provide some suggestions?

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)

    iPhoto Library should be in Users>Pictures folder.

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    Have a look at


     > System Preferences... > Time Machine


    Click the padlock (bottom left) if its not open, and enter an Admin password.


    Next, click the 'Options...' button (bottom right)


    Is iPhoto listed in the window? If so, it means it's been excluded from the backup.


    To include it, highlight it in the window, click the -minus button and hit 'Save'.


    In the menu bar, click the TM icon and choose 'Back up now' from the menu to start the backup.

  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)

    On the hard drive you are backing up is your iPhoto Library in user>Pictures folder or have you relocated that library to some external disk?

  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)

    lateralshadows wrote:


    Currently all of my photos are accessable in iphoto but none are displayed in my pictures folder which makes me wonder where they are....?


    Well that part at least is easy to solve.


    Click on any photo in iPhoto, then from the menubar at the top choose


    File > Reveal in Finder > Original File

  • Fred Ochs Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2013 3:44 PM (in response to softwater)

    I am having the same problem and it's driving me crazy and costing me a lot of time. It appears the library has not been backed up since 6/12 and here are 3/13. There is a photo I need and I can't get it. I did the File > Reveal in Finder > Original File and the library is in my home directory -> Pictures -> iPhoto Library the original photo is in several directories deeper within iPhoto Library viz Masters -> 2011 -> 06 -> 06 -> 20110606-104409 -> Photo file name. As for the original poster the only exclusion in Time Machine is the backup drive itself. I only have that and the internal drive. Clearly a problem. I'll post in the bug reporter.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2013 3:58 PM (in response to Fred Ochs)

    For help accessing your photos in iPhoto see this user tip:




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