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Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 10920
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
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Hi, Please help as I can no longer see my photos on iPhoto.

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Please help as I can no longer see my photo's on iPhoto. All the events are there and even blank boxes to indicate the photo's are there - but I cannot see them. IT occurred when the power was switched off (mains power) whilst importing movies into iMovie. How can I get my photo's back?
Hi and Welcome. My Name is XXXXX XXXXX I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

I'm afraid your iPhoto Library is corrupted. We can try to rebuild your iPhoto Library. If that didn't work, then we can try to extract as much as photos possible from the Library.

Please follow the steps below to rebuild your iPhoto Library

  1. Quit iPhoto if it is open.
  2. Hold down the Command and Option keys on the keyboard.
  3. Open iPhoto.
  4. Keep the keys held down until you are prompted to rebuild the library.
  5. A dialog will appear with rebuild options. Select all the options/checkboxes
  6. Click Rebuild to begin the rebuild process.



Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting.


Best Regards,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ashik,

I did the rebuilding process as you described but it still looks exactly as it did before. I have time machine but when I go to yesterday's back up (or anything prior to today) it all looks the same - ie. the photo information seems to be there but I can't see any of the photos. What should I do? Thanks.


Hi Kym, Sorry for the delay. Lost my connection here due to storm. What version of iPhoto is this ?
Kym, goto your Pictures folder and you can find the iPhoto Library. Right Click on the iPhoto Library and select Show Package Contents option. Open the Originals or Masters folder and can you see your Pictures there ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There is no originals or masters folder but there is a data folder which has more folders years, then further folders of exact dates but all of these folders are empty :(


There is supposed to be a Originals or Masters folder, that is where the imported pictures are stored. Can you restore a old library backup from Time Machine and see if it got the the Originals folder ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Ashik,

I have gone back with time machine to the 8th of March 2013 and am restoring a copy of iPhoto library onto my external hard drive. I tried just placing it on the desktop but there wasn't enough space. It is 112GB! and says it will take about an hour to copy. Do you think this will be all my photo's? And my question now is - how do I get iPhoto back up and running so I can use it as before- to import, manage/edit, collate albums etc?

Hi Kym,

If it is 112GB, yes it should contain all your photos, otherwise it won't be 112GB. 112GB library is a pretty big library though.

After restoring it, press and hold down the Option key on your Keyboard and open iPhoto. iPhoto will ask you to choose or create new Library. Select Choose Libarry. Then locate and select the iPhoto Library that you've restored to your external hard drive.

In your reply, you said you've restored yesterday's backup, but after restoring the backup did you pointed your iPhoto to that restored library ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is still copying the library from the 8th of March onto the external hard drive - it's done 17GB - so 95GB to go. there are over 17,000 photo's from over 10years. I have backed everything up until September last year and in fact - I just checked my camera and I have the photo's from September still there so I won't have lost anything if this doesn't work but I still need iPhoto to work. Once it is done I will do as you say and re-open iPhoto and select choose library using the copied library from the 8th March. i will stay online and let you know how it goes.

Your iPhoto should work without any problem, only the library that got corrupted. I'm glad you have the backup of the Library.

Also I'd recommend to split down the Library into multiple libraries, I mean you can split them based on categories, year etc. Like, one library for 2009, another for 2010 and so on. So you can organize them in a better way and the chance of corruption will be low too. If it is too big, it will cause problems like freezing, delays in process etc
Ashik and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Kym,
Please let me know if you any questions or would like to follow up with this problem.

Best Regards,
Hi there,
It's me Ashik again. It has been a few days, so I am just checking in with you to see if you still need help, and if not to say Thanks for using JustAnswer.

I want you to be happy with the service I am providing, so if we still need to work on this let me know. If you have new questions now or in the future please do not hesitate to ask them.

Thanks and Have a great day,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Ashik,
Your advice worked and I have all my photos back!!
Thank you, I would like to do what you suggested and split my photos into different iPhoto libraries- could you please guide me through how to do this?
Hi Kym,
I'm glad you got that worked. Sure. I will guide you through it. To split and organize your iPhoto Library, the best option is to use this iPhoto Library Manager application from FatCat softwares, see here :

That application is worth it. Please let me know what you think..

Best Regards,