I accidentally deleted my iPhoto Library last night and cleared my trash as I saw I had 2 iPhoto Applications. Today when, I opened up my iPhoto, the only photos remaining were the ones from 2011.

I have tried recovering the photos and the previous iPhoto Library with Wondershare Data Recovery to no avail. I managed to get the previous iPhoto Library. However now when i open it states that it may be damaged or incomplete.

What can I do to get back all my photos and make iPhoto run as it should?

  • Can you reinstall iPhoto from App Store? If you just deleted the .app bundle, it shouldn't affect your photos or other data.
    – Lri
    Apr 3, 2013 at 8:02
  • @LauriRanta i have the iphoto app still! however all my photos inside are gone. like i said i had '2' iphoto applications last night for some reason. im not too sure if i deleted the 'iphoto app' which had all my photos.and now i cant recover it. :(
    – Joshua
    Apr 3, 2013 at 8:36
  • 3
    Maybe the pictures are not gone, but only the library file used by iPhoto is damaged and need to be rebuilt. First check if your fotos are still on your hard drive: Head to your private folder and open the picture folder. In there should be something called "iPhoto Library". Right click on it and "show package content". There is a "Masters" folder that should contain all pictures. Is it there?
    – cyphorious
    Apr 3, 2013 at 13:01
  • 2
    Additionally: Do you use time machine? That would make recovering really easy.
    – cyphorious
    Apr 3, 2013 at 13:01
  • And if those tips didn't help, stop using the computer ASAP (maybe even going for a forced power off with ⌘⌥⇧⌽) as any disk write may overwrite them. Recovery would be further made harder by an iPhoto library being made by thousands of small files instead of a single archive.
    – Ryccardo
    Apr 3, 2013 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


Use your disk as few as possible until you recover your photos.

First, try (as @cyphorious suggested) to search for the actual photos: they might still be here, and you can ignore the iPhoto library itself.

If they aren't here, try to recover them with photorec.


Don't worry! Simply go to the App Store and visit the "Purchased" section. Here you will find iPhoto with a button to redownload the app (As long as it was preinstalled originally). Make sure you have the correct OSX version as well.

  • Very sorry! Just noticed that you were missing PHOTOS. Sadly this is more complex as the Photos are stored within the home folder as 'iPhoto Library'. Sadly if this was deleted or is no longer intact, your photos are gone. Try ctrl clicking it and clicking "Show package contents" and then inspecting the "Masters" folder. If you can recover, Great! Store the photos in a safe place, trash the library file then restart iPhoto. If not, You could try recovery software, But you may be fighting a loosing battle.
    – Peter Day
    Apr 3, 2013 at 12:59

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