12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2013 9:20 AM by Old Toad
Tbox17 Level 1 (0 points)

My 2011 photos are gone from my iPhoto.  Where do I look for them?  Thanks

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,010 points)

    restore your backup from before this occured


    otherwise provide some details liek version of iPhoto - what happened - what happens when you launch it - anything else that might let a total stranger who only knows what you post help



  • Tbox17 Level 1 (0 points)

    New Developments.

    My iPhoto says that there are "no photos."  When you go to Finder>Home>Pictures>iPhoto library it says under "Size" that there are 200GB (which would be my library size.)  When I go to Time Machine to open the iPhoto and try to restore the iPhoto library from ... Finder>Home>Pictures>iPhoto library, things are working until I get a message that says it can't copy because there isn't enough room.  I only have 140GB available currently.  Can I get rid of the 200GB library somehow, to free up room for the copy to work?  (although if there are 200GB of photos, I am not sure why I have "No Photos" in the actual application.)

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,930 points)

    You need an external disk to move the damaged library onto.


    Make sure the drive is formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled)


    1. Quit iPhoto


    2. Copy the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to the External Disk.


    3. Hold down the option (or alt) key while launching iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library' and navigate to the new location. From that point on this will be the default location of your library.


    4. Test the library and when you're sure all is well, trash the one on your internal HD to free up space.






  • Tbox17 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Terence,

    I tried what you suggested.  I got the following message

    "The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “iPhoto Library” can’t be read or written.

    (Error code -36)"

    What now?

    Thanks again,  Tim

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,930 points)

    That means that there's one (maybe more) locked or damaged file in there. I would use an app to back up the Library to the external - the app should sort out that issue. Any back up that stores the files in the same format as the original will do (so not Time Machine) - Chronosync or DejaVu should do the job.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,418 points)

    There is a way to get a copy of your library to the EHD using the demo version of  iPhoto Library Manager.  That's to use iPLM to rebuild your library and have the rebuild library created on the EHD. 


    The downside to this method is that your albums, slideshows, books, cards, calendars, etc. will not be preserved. 


    Here's the workflow for that:


    Using iPhoto Library Manager  to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library


      1. Download iPhoto Library Manager and launch.
      2. Click on the Add Library button,

        iPhoto Library Manager002.jpg 

        navigate to your Home/Pictures folder and select your iPhoto Library folder.

      3. Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the Library ➙ Rebuild Library menu option

        iPhoto Library Manager001.jpg

      4. In the next  window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.
      5. Click on the Create button.


    Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments. However, books, calendars, cards and slideshows will be lost.

    Note:  your current library will be left untouched for further attempts at a fix if so desired.




  • Tbox17 Level 1 (0 points)


    After days if trying to copy and recover, I have only made things worse.  I see nothing in my iphoto.  I feel like I need professional help.  Do I take this to the Apple store, will they be able to recover things for me, or do I take this to the neighborhood computer repair place?  Please advise.  I am starting to panic.  Thanks,  Tim in Chicago

  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,010 points)

    If you go in unless you know the peopleat your neighborhood computer repaire place well  and are positive that they know Macs I would go to the Apple store


    But you should be able to do it yourself - and even Apple stores are not perfect - you may or may not get someone who understands iphoto - we have had a few absolute disasters reported here form Apple stores


    Where exactly are you with the process now? What exactly do you have and what exactly is happening? Do you have a copy of your 200 GB library on the external hard drive?



  • Tbox17 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Larry, (OT and TD) ,

    Thank you for your quick response and your willingness to help.  All I see next to my iphoto library anywhere are double dashes  " -- "  in the SIZE heading; including in time machine.  I think a faulty cord when downloading from my phone started this mess.  Now I am really felling ill.  I tried copying using chronosynch and got error messages.  Dejavu was easier but the computer shuts down after awhile, and doesn't seem to copy the whole pictures file.  I obviously don't know what I am doing.  I thried to get the iphoto library manager, but I don't meet the system requirements.  Let me know what other information I can tell you.  Any and all help is welcome.  Thank you (all) for your time.  -Tim

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,418 points)

    What size is your iPhoto library as reported by the Finder?  If it looks big enough to contain your original files give this a try.


    Starting over from scratch with new library


    Start over with a new library and import the Originals (iPhoto 09 and earlier) or the Masters (iPhoto 11) folder from your original library as follows:


    1. Open the library package like this.





    2. Launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and, when asked, select the option to create a new library.


    3. Drag the subfolders of the Originals (iPhoto 09 and earlier) or the Masters (iPhoto 11) folder from the open iPhoto Library package into the open iPhoto window a few at a time.





    This will create a new library of the image files that are in the Origtinals/Masters folder with the same Events (but not necessarily the same Event names) as the original library but will not keep the metadata, albums, books slideshows and other projects.  If all of your original files are in the old library buy not recognized by iPhoto this should create a new library with them visible.


    Note:  your current library will be left untouched for further attempts at a fix if so desired.

  • Tbox17 Level 1 (0 points)


    Thank you for saving me.  This seems to work.  Since my iPhoto library is 200GB, I reckon I should open the newly created library on my external HD and then import the photos there.  Once it is working properly I can delete my old library, to make room on my MacBook internal HD, and then copy the newly created library from the EHD to the MacBook.  Is that correct?  Thanks again for saving my arse.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,418 points)

    Yes.  Just confirm that the new library on the EHD is working correctly before deleting the old one.  And make sure the EHD if formatted as shown in this screenshot: