How to Recover Photos From iPhoto

by Mario Calhoun

Software errors occur on any computer, including Macintosh computers. If you lose photos from an iPhoto library on your Mac, don't panic. The iPhoto software allows you rebuild your photo library. This process rebuilds the structure of the library, scans and repairs disk permissions, and is useful for recovering orphaned images, according to Edward C. Baig, author of "Macs For Dummies." Before rebuilding an iPhoto library, back it up in case an error occurs during the process.

Automatic Rebuild


Press and release the "Command" and "Q" key simultaneously to quit the iPhoto application if it's currently open.


Press and hold the "Command" and "Option" keys on your keyboard. Click the iPhoto icon on your screen's dock to open the application. Release the "Command" and "Option" keys when the "Rebuild Photo Library" pop-up window appears on the computer screen.


Click on all of the boxes in the pop-up window so they are checked off. Select the "Rebuild" button in the lower-right corner of the pop-up window. Wait for iPhoto to rebuild the library. Depending on the size of your photo library, this can take several minutes. When it's done, browse through your iPhoto library to check on the missing photos. Photos recovered during a rebuild will appear again in the iPhoto library.

Manual Rebuild


Exit the iPhoto application if it's open by pressing the "Command" and "Q" keys simultaneously and releasing them. Press and hold the "Option" key. Click once on the iPhoto icon in your dock to reopen the application. Continue to hold the "Option" key until the "Choose a Library" pop-up window appears on the computer screen.


Select "Create Library" in the pop-up window, and type in a name for a new photo library. Select a save destination for the new library from the new pop-up window that appears on the screen, and click the "Save" button.


Hold down the "Control" key and click the iPhoto icon on your screen's dock. Release the "Control" key and select "Hide" from the pop-up menu on the screen. Click the Finder icon on your screen's dock. It's the first icon to the far left of a horizontal dock and the top icon on a vertical dock. Locate your original iPhoto library icon in the Finder window. The default location is inside "Pictures."


Hold the "Control" key and click the iPhoto icon. Click on "Show package contents" in the shortcut menu, and drag the "Originals" folder to the iPhoto icon on your screen dock. Wait for the Mac to transfer the photos. When it's done, the contents of your original iPhoto library will appear in the application window, copied over to a new iPhoto library.

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