How to Restore iPhoto Files

By Carolyn Rumsey

As soon as you know the right tricks, you will no longer have to panic that you've lost all your pictures when you receive an aggravating "error" message from iPhoto. By learning where these picture files are stored within your computer, you will be able to manipulate them whether or not the program is currently functioning and easily restore them to iPhoto even when the program isn't running as smoothly as it could. Even if you have never had any problems with iPhoto, you can't beat the peace of mind you'll get knowing that your precious memories are safe and sound.

Step 1

Locate the "Finder" bar at the top of your desktop.

Step 2

Click on the "Go" tab, and choose "Home" from the drop-down menu. Clicking "Home" will take you to the files located under your username.

Step 3

Find the "Pictures" file, and left-click it once to bring up all the files and folders contained within this folder.

Step 4

Find the file labeled "iPhoto Library." It will not look like a picture file or a computer folder but will instead have a small iPhoto logo beside the file name.

Step 5

Right-click on the file labeled "iPhoto Library," and choose the option "Show Package Contents."

Step 6

Left-click on the folder labeled "Data" within the "Package Contents" folder. Within this folder, you will find all your pictures. A series of folders will be labeled by the year in which you uploaded them to iPhoto. Your albums are stored within each of these folders.

Step 7

Copy and paste any or all of these files to your desktop or another secure location on your computer. In the event that iPhoto crashes, or has crashed, you will still have all your picture files stored on your computer, so you can reload or restore iPhoto without worrying about losing your precious memories.

Step 8

Copy and paste your pictures back into the "Data" folder (within the "iPhoto Library") once iPhoto is reloaded or repaired, therefore restoring your previously uploaded photographs into a freshly running iPhoto program. This will work most smoothly if you do not rename the folders in the transition (folders should be kept organized by year, then album name).

Tips & Warnings

  • Before reloading or restoring iPhoto, try opening several of your picture files to ensure they copied correctly in the new location.