How To Restore Erased Pictures From iPhoto?


Brad asks: I had some pictures in iPhoto that are no longer there. I must have unintentionally deleted them and now I want them back. I’ve been making regular Time Machine backups — how do I restore these back into my iPhoto Library?


Brad, you’re in luck. In fact, iPhoto (and Apple, of course) make this easy for you. Just to be safe, though, go make a copy of your iPhoto Library which, unless you’ve moved it, should be in [home] / Pictures / iPhoto Library. You probably won’t need that, but it’s better to be safe than sorry here. After all, you don’t want to lose any MORE of your pictures.

Once that’s out of the way, iPhoto actually integrates directly with Time Machine. Simply go into iPhoto and then choose “Browse Backups” from the File menu.

Alternatively, you could simply click the Time Machine icon in either the Dock (if it’s still there) or from your menu bar (and choose “Enter Time Machine”). As long as you’re in iPhoto to begin with, you’ll be presented with a very custom view that’s a mix of iPhoto and Time Machine. From here you can navigate to the album and backup date and restore.

If you’re forced to overwrite newer photos just to restore the old ones, don’t worry: you’ve got that backup you made. Once you’re done restoring the old ones, go get iPhoto Library Manager and use it to merge your old and new photos into one single library.

As a side note, also sports this tight Time Machine integration, though there’s no Mail-specific menu option to invoke it. You’ll need to make Mail the frontmost app and then either click the Time Machine icon in the Dock or choose “Enter Time Machine” from the Time Machine menu bar item.

Hope that helps!