Quick Tip: Where are my iPhoto pictures stored on my mac?

Have you ever needed to access your pictures in iPhoto or desired to simply see where the file was saved on your hard drive? Sometimes getting there can be a little tricky because of the way that iPhoto builds its library database. Well, there is an easy way to access those files if you know what you’re looking for.

First, open up a finder window and navigate your way to the pictures folder of the user you’d like to access. If that doesn’t make sense, just go to the search utility (the magnifying glass) at the top right of the desktop and type in “pictures” and hit enter.









Within the pictures folder in finder, you should see the iPhoto library icon.









If you click on that icon while holding down the “Control” key (or you can also “option click” the icon) you will get a list of options to choose from.

Select the option “Show package contents”

This will bring up a new finder window containing the actual files that the iPhoto library database references from. You can choose the “Masters” folder which will be categorized by date. Here you will find all the original files your iphoto database references.

Hopefully this has been helpful in showing you how to find your picture files stored in the iPhoto database. Leave us a comment and feel free to add any helpful information.

6 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Where are my iPhoto pictures stored on my mac?

  1. Joe


    Quick question:

    If I make a backup of everything in the Content Folder of my iPhoto Library, and I copy and paste this into a brand new freshly installed iPhoto library. Will all my pictures be viewable in the newly installed iPhoto libaray?

    For example, my Macbook Pro crashed, but the Harddrive was still ok. So I’m backing up all the files on my hardrive before I send it in for repair. So after backing up the old iPhoto contents to an external HD, I would ideally like to just copy and paste it to the newly installed iPhoto Library if they decide to reformat my old HD.

    Hope that makes sense :)

  2. Hector

    thank you for this information. i was searching high and low for these shots, and was afraid that they were lost in a dropbox or cyberspace. cheers.

  3. Mary

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been frustrated at not being able to access my photos easily ever since Apple changed this feature. Up to now I haven’t been able to find the solution. This is simple and it works–at least with my old iMac. I am so grateful!


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