I just took my computer into the Mac store and had it upgraded to El Capitan. I had iPhoto on my old version, I believe it was Lion. Before I took my computer in, I backed my computer up to a Seagate external drive.

When I got my computer back, I realized that iPhoto is no longer being used by Mac. So, based on advice that I read on this site, I re-downloaded iPhoto onto my computer; however, it will not let me import pictures from the hard drive. There is a grey "X" through the iPhoto icon and when I click on it it tells me that "You can’t open the application “iPhoto” because it is in a Time Machine backup." I have 7 years of pictures on there, and I am afraid I may have lost them for good.

Any ideas on how I get my pictures off my hard drive and back onto my computer? I don't care if they are in Photo or iPhotos, I just want them back.


1 Answer 1


Neither iPhoto nor Photos stores any photos—they are applications which access the photos stored within iPhoto libraries and Photos libraries respectively. The library is what stores the photos, which is what you should be transferring from your backup.

The library is stored by default in your Photos folder within your home folder, and stores all of your photos (providing you are not using referenced masters). Photos (the application) is part of OS X and you should not be restoring it from a backup.

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