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My iphoto library has disappeared. How do I find it?

67012 Views 157 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2014 5:58 AM by clodo9 RSS
  • bittergrape Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    All this talk about 'backup' and 'time machine' completely misses the point.  Let me clarify the problem: somewhere in Mac OS or iPhoto there is a bug that randomly deletes the iPhoto library. I purchased a brand new MacBook and within 1-month my iPhoto library was simply gone.


    I work in IT. I'm very familiar with computer software and hardware for both Windows and Mac; I'm positive that my iPhoto library disappeared due to a bug -- there was no accident involved.

    Unless someone has input on why or how the iphoto library can disappear; suggestions on preventing this problem; or information regarding Apple investigating this problem; than this thread is nothing more than a sounding board for frustrated Apple owners that had their iPhoto library deleted by faulty Mac software: Polo_man, I feel your pain and good luck.


    Save the comments regarding  time machine and backup for another thread. Time Machine does not excuse faulty Mac software.

  • Badunit Calculating status...

    All this talk about 'backup' and 'time machine' completely misses the point.


    If there is no known answer to the rare problem of iPhoto libraries disappearing, discussion about backing up the iPhoto library (and that TM may not be doing it) is relevant, though tangential.


    Unless someone has input on why or how the iphoto library can disappear; suggestions on preventing this problem; or information regarding Apple investigating this problem; than this thread is nothing more than a sounding board for frustrated Apple owners that had their iPhoto library deleted by faulty Mac software


    Fact is, no one knows. You are suggesting no one repond to threads of this nature, that everyone ignore them completely until an anwer is found. I suggest, instead, that you quit reading this thread if the responses don't suit you.


    Save the comments regarding  time machine and backup for another thread.


    I bow down to the self-appointed "Thread Moderator". Not.

  • kynerj Calculating status...

    This has been a bad 2 weeks for me.  Last week I dropped my external harddrive and now my backup (with Time Machine) is inaccessible.  Now I try to open my iPhoto library today and I am having the exact problem described in this thread.  Is there any answer to recover your library if you don't have access to a backup?

  • Texasredrock Calculating status...

    This happened to me yesterday as well. Opened Iphoto, asked me to select folder to input photos. I have a seperate folder with all my pictures on my desktop that I also backup with Carbonite, so nothing is lost, but all me edits and folders/events are gone. Just stinks!

  • CemeteryOwner Calculating status...

    This happened to me last night.  I was looking at photos I had downloaded from my iphone they suddenly disappeared.  My whole library is gone and it says to choose which Iphoto library I want to use.  My picture file is nearly empty.  All 7200 of my photos are GONE!  I am NOT a computer whiz so I have never messed with anything more than safari, email and iphoto.  I do updates but I have an old computer and have been told that the latest software is not ideal for my 2008 model, so I don't know what to do with this.  I have just lost my first grandbaby's photos, cemetery photos, vacation photos.  This is CRAZY!  I also noticed just before that that my computer had some different "features" that I had not had before.  The screen I was working in would suddenly shift to the edges.  I did not have this before.  (I don't like it by the way, it is too touchy)  I did search .jpg and a few are there but they are jumbled with protected system stuff.  I have the icon and such but there is not way I can find to get it all back to the way it was.  HELP!  (Also a side note, all of the sync functions like syncing my husbands calendar and iphone to my computer is suddenly not working either. HMMMMMMM)

  • seaviavt Calculating status...

    The same thing happened to me.  When I launched iPhoto it asked me to select an iPhoto library.  I could not find one on my MacBook, so I looked in Time Machine and for whatever reason the library was missing from all backups back to Jan 2011.

  • kcmc Calculating status...

    I have been trying to drop email photos in my iphoto application, but it was not taking them. When I tried again tonight, the entier icon for Iphoto disappeared. When I went into applications, there was a delete symbol over the app picture. In addition, when I went into about my mac, software, there was no version listed for I photo. I think this computer just had an Iphoto update. I have been a mac user since 1978 and have never seen this happen. Is there a bug out there doing this? Apple should deal with it. If anyone has an answer, please post. If not, i will call support. Thanks kcmc.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 10:59 PM (in response to kcmc)



    That's a different problem. You're talking about the iPhoto Application, they others on the thread are talking about the iPhoto Library going missing.


    To re-install iPhoto


    1. Put the in the trash (Drag it from your Applications Folder to the trash)


    2a: On 10.5:  Go to HD/Library/Receipts and remove any pkg file there with iPhoto in the name.


    2b: On 10.6: Those receipts may be found as follows:  In the Finder use the Go menu and select Go To Folder. In the resulting window type




    2c: on 10.7 they're at




    A Finder Window will open at that location and you can remove the iPhoto pkg files.


    3. Re-install.


    If you purchased an iLife Disk, then iPhoto is on it.


    If iPhoto was installed on your Mac when you go it then it’s on the System Restore disks that came with your Mac. Insert the first one and opt to ‘Install Bundled Applications Only.


    If you purchased it on the App Store or have a Recent Mac you can find it in your Purchases List.

  • kcmc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you Terence. Everything worked like u said. After fixing this I was then able to download lion and had no problems (every time I tried to download lion on this particular computer before  I ended up with a grey screen.). Didn't have that problem downloading lion on my other two macs. Only thing I have to fix now is the mail program is rejecting my password. I have verified the password with the server and can access web mail with it. Just can't seem to get this Mac book pro mail program to take it after downloading lion. Any thoughts?? Thanks kcnc

  • dawnfromlewes Calculating status...

    I'm wondering if you "found" your library? This has recently happened to me but I am a classic procrastinator and kept meaning to back up 22 plus years of photos, when I went to go in my library the other day and clean it up to my surprise to find it GONE. Just gone, no where to be found. I have done nothing different, no downloads, no add ons no nothing, just all my pictures gone except for my iphoto booth photos. I am pulling my hair out trying to figure this out. If anyone has any suggestions I am all ears!

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)

    File Salvage is a recovery utility that will search your drive for deleted photos. Actual recovery will require a purchase.

  • dawnfromlewes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for your reply Terence but I haven't deleted any of the photos. That's the problem, I don't know where they went. I can't find them anywhere on my computer. The only thing I can figure is when my last update was installed on Sept. 22 something weird happened and my iPhoto Library took a vacation. That is about the last time I remember checking out my pictures. I am clueless!

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,630 points)

    Well if you can't find them then it does suggest that someone or something deleted them, no?

  • dawnfromlewes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Terence, that is what I am saying. I came on here to see if other MAC users have had this problem and apparently they have because I have read through previous posts and others have had the same problem but I see no solutions or advise from apple. So NO, nobody deleted my iPhoto library and yes that is the question, is there a problem/bug that is deleting iPhoto Library? So thank you, I am just looking for a little assistance.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (54,810 points)

    There is no problem that spontaneously deletes files or iPhoto libraries. There are problems that can corrupt the iPhoto library causing iPhoto to not be able to display some or all photos. These problems usually can be resolved by rebuilding the library but that would require a new thread with more information. The real solution to all issues like this is a good backup. Without one you will lose all of your files including photos sooner or later



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