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Question: How can I restore an old iPhoto Library from another computer's Time Machine backup on external drive?

  • Recently our Time Capsule HD failed
  • Had been running Time Machine backups for a Desktop and a Mac Air for a couple of years
  • Most of the data from the TC was retrieved and is now on an external HD....but a crucial iPhoto Library is missing. This is a library we moved off the Mac Air to save space some time earlier this year
  • The sparsebundle file from this Mac Air appears and I'm hoping to restore an older version of the iPhoto library from before it was moved
  • Trying to access the Mac Air TM from a Desktop (running OS 10.11.6). The Mac Air was running OS 10.9.5.
  • I have been able to open TM using the Mac Air sparsebundle file but it doesn't show any back ups. Daisy Disk is telling me the sparsebundle file is 250Gb. The Mac Air is only 128Gb, so I'm hoping some of the older data is there.
  • Please help? 🙂

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Dec 18, 2017 5:36 AM in response to markghalfwaycreek In response to markghalfwaycreek

Try using Migration Assistant (Finder > Applications > Utilities > Migration Assistant) on your Mac to move over data from the old Time Machine backup to your new Mac.


Even if the iPhoto Library does transfer over, there are some tricks....like holding down the option key on your Mac while you click to open iPhoto, to let the application look for a "new" image library. Post over in the iPhoto support area for tips and instructions from the iPhoto gurus.

Dec 18, 2017 5:36 AM

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Dec 18, 2017 7:58 PM in response to Bob Timmons In response to Bob Timmons

Thanks Bob. I feel like I’m a step closer. But migration assistant seems unable to find the source.


The external HD is directly connected and the sparsebundle file is in the top of the directory on the HD.


Can’t seem to get past this point. (Screenshot from phone). Any other ideas?

Dec 18, 2017 7:58 PM

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Dec 18, 2017 8:20 PM in response to markghalfwaycreek In response to markghalfwaycreek

If no luck there, try posting in the support forum for the operating system on your Mac.


Time Machine is software......part of the Mac operating system. The Time Capsule is hardware. We don't know all that much about the Mac operating system over here.

Dec 18, 2017 8:20 PM

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Question: How can I restore an old iPhoto Library from another computer's Time Machine backup on external drive?