Tech Talk – Recover lost images in iPhoto |

Tech Talk – Recover lost images in iPhoto

I have an old Mac Powerbook G4 that has hundreds of photos that have been saved over the years in iPhoto. This is how I’d access these photos when I needed to use them. Problem is, now when I open iPhoto the pictures show up as blank thumbnails – after flashing the data contained in the pictures when the program first launches. Is there a way I can retrieve these old photos? It appears the data is stored somewhere, I’m just wondering where and how to access?


Photos Lost in the Void

The photos in iPhoto are (usually) stored in your Pictures folder. In the pictures folder will be an icon labeled iPhoto. All of your pictures are “hidden” within this icon. Luckily, getting into them is not very hard.

You will want to hold down the Control key and click on the iPhoto icon in your pictures folder. A list of options will appear, from the list choose: Show Package Contents. This will let you browse the contents of your iPhoto library; just like looking around your computer. You can find your pictures in two folders here: Originals and Modified.

The Originals folder will contain all of your pictures in the exact format they were in when you originally imported them into iPhoto. The Modified folder will be smaller; it only contains the modified copy of the original photos you “edited” in iPhoto. You can re-import the contents of these folders into iphoto. Now that you know where your pictures are hidden, I would also recommend burning copies of these pictures onto a CD or DVD for archiving.

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Truckee-Tahoe resident Ernie Dambach is a self-admitted computer geek who enjoys helping others navigate their way through the digital world. His computer and networking company Tahoe Tech Group serves small and medium businesses, as well as the home computer user. Log onto, or call (530) 550-0999.

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