I backed-up my mac, then I decided to format it. After recovering my photos from the backed-up library, the pictures are all messed up - not in the right order and some are missing/corrupted.

Is there something I can do to recover well my pictures?

thank you

  • What did you format? the Hard drive ? What did you use to back up and where did you back up?
    – Ruskes
    Jul 5, 2013 at 0:22

3 Answers 3


Worth saying that if iPhoto is open when Time Machine is trying to do a backup it won't back up the iPhoto Library properly as iPhoto keeps a hold on some of the library. We discovered this the hard way when one of our Mac's that was used primarily for pictures developed two hard drive faults within a couple of weeks and we lost a whole load of pictures because Time Machine had not done a complete backup.

In order to ensure that you get a complete backup from Time Machine you need to make sure all your apps are closed at least from time to time.


Agree with @Buscar. You need to specify how you backed up and and how you got them back.

From question I guess that they were using iPhoto or Aperture to manage your pictures. I would guess that you dragged just the directories containing the pictures from the the backup drive back into the Application. If you to this you are actually loosing all your organization as you are reimporting them. You will have originals mixed with previews and edits all in one.

To Resolve. Find the backup of the complete package. It will be something like iPhoto Library or Aperture Library. If you open those with the respective application you should have everything as at the time that you backed it up.


If your pictures were stored in iPhoto, you can access them directly through Finder.

  • Right-click your iPhoto Library file in Finder
  • Select "Show package contents"
  • Select "Original"

All your original files should be there. Copy them elsewhere (ex: your Desktop) then reimport them in a new library.

Hint: to create a new iPhoto library and start fresh, start iPhoto by holding down the Option key. (http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2505)

  • I backed-up my mac, then I decided to format it.
    – Ruskes
    Jul 5, 2013 at 1:48

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