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I lost all data on my iMac recently, including some 1500 photos. These photos were synced to the iPad from iPhoto on my iMac.

How can I transfer them back to my iMac since they are not in the camera roll on my iPad?

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iExplorer is an app that does the trick. I just tested it, and it works.

So it's quite simple and straightforward. Launch the app, and select you iPad from the sources, there will be a Photos section, and everything should be there.

The same thing happened to me once, but I used Time Machine to backup. It must be terrifying, anyway, hope it helps!

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seems to work well – cwd Aug 27 '14 at 0:03

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