Actually I have sold my MacBook Pro and before doing that, I did rm -rf * in home directory and then in Disk Utility I erased both the disk options then I was not able to boot again , when restarted it came up with a flashing question mark sign.

My question is that can I be sure that all my pictures files and in Photos app have been deleted or not?

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    Well, this is what you should have done - support.apple.com/HT201065 – Tetsujin Mar 3 '17 at 14:12
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  • @Tetsujin , But I was not able to boot it again, that is why I could not verify that if they have been deleted or not? – user1718009 Mar 3 '17 at 14:30
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    lol of course you can't boot again, you literally deleted everything! You now have to re-install the OS, then check if everything was deleted. – NoahL Mar 3 '17 at 17:36
  • @NoahL ,I have already sold the laptop, so can't re install , but after reinstalling, do I need to check as I already erased everything in disk utility. – user1718009 Mar 3 '17 at 18:04

The Photos app normally uses photos that are stored in the Pictures folder inside of your home directory, although you can change the location that the app looks for and stores photos in.

rm -rf * means delete all files and folders in the current directory without warning me that I might be deleting something important or asking if I'm sure.

So this would have deleted the photos in the current folder. It would also delete things like your user Library and all the settings for your user account, which can make the account unusable.

Using disk utility to reformat the hard drive erases the entire computer, operating system and all.

To answer your question, unless someone used some kind of forensic tools to take apart your hard drive, your photos are gone.

  • I did rm -rf * in home directory so, would that have deleted any photos available to photos app? And with disk utility I erased both OS and hard disk and I was not able to boot again, can it happen that my photos are still there and only OS got deleted? – user1718009 Mar 3 '17 at 17:53
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    @user Aaron's answer literally answers both those questions, is there something specific that was unclear? – grg Mar 3 '17 at 22:08
  • @grgarside, I want to know that, by erasing in disk utility I erased each selection in the left pane, and then I was not able to reboot, so if someone installs the OS , would my be still present there or not, though I erased each partition in disk utility present in left pane. – user1718009 Mar 4 '17 at 5:37
  • The answer is no. If someone installed the operating system, it would seem to be a new computer. – Aaron Paul Mar 4 '17 at 20:38

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