I have recently restored few pictures from Time Machine into iPhoto. I noticed that the Time Machine restored the files, but didn't restore the changes (editing etc.) I had made.

The point is that I am planning to reinstall the whole system on my mac and than to restore files using Time Machine. I would also like to have my photos with my changes. Do you have any ideas?

  • To be clear, did you go into Time Machine and restore the entire Photo Library or browse using finder to pull pictures from the normally hidden folders inside the iPhoto library? – bmike Jan 30 '13 at 21:19
  • Push comes to shove, the question in the title--why does this happen--has nothing to do with the real question: How should I restore my drive. (I think the title question is the more interesting as the other is likely covered elsewhere.) – jaberg Jan 30 '13 at 21:37
  • I restored the photo from opening Time Machine via iPhoto. – Pyrgus Feb 2 '13 at 16:23

Using Time Machine within iPhoto to restore an individual picture won't restore the edits. You're restoring the master file, not the copy that incorporates the edits.

If you use Time Machine to restore the entire drive, the entire iPhoto Library is restored, edit copies and masters.

While you can use Time Machine to restore a system drive, I find using a clone created with SuperDuper (or Carbon Copy Cloner) to be faster and more robust.

If your goal is to install a fresh copy of the operating system you can do so by installing Mountain Lion over the existing copy. It will leave your user files in place. (Make sure you have a good backup, or three, before you try this.)

If this is unsatisfactory, you can install the OS on a freshly formatted disk, then bring your user files over from a clone copy using Migration Assistant. See Apple Knowledgebase: How to use Migration Assistant to transfer files from another Mac


an complete TM restore restores your entire computer as the time when it was backed up.

my qualified guess is that when you restored your indevidual pictures, you restored the original file, and not the edited vertion,

give it another go, and make sure you choose your edited file if you want to be sure!

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