HELP! Accidentally deleted my 100GB "Photos Library" file!!!

Spaghetti292

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 17, 2019
3
0
UGH! I was doing some reformatting of my Mac to fix a number of problems and I discovered that though I thought I had saved all my files to an external hard drive before reformatting the Mac I actually forgot to save the most important---my 100GB "Photos Library" file that is found in the Pictures folder on the Mac.

I am an iCloud Storage 2TB paid subscriber and I do use iCloud Photo Library. Does that mean my Photo Library file is safe and I can just re-download all my Photos app pictures, videos, albums, projects, etc (basically my deleted Photos Library file) by simply entering my iCloud account info on my Mac once I reinstall the operating system on it?

I don't have the actual Photos Library saved anywhere else.

Please help me!
 

nouveau_redneck

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2017
551
851
UGH! I was doing some reformatting of my Mac to fix a number of problems and I discovered that though I thought I had saved all my files to an external hard drive before reformatting the Mac I actually forgot to save the most important---my 100GB "Photos Library" file that is found in the Pictures folder on the Mac.

I am an iCloud Storage 2TB paid subscriber and I do use iCloud Photo Library. Does that mean my Photo Library file is safe and I can just re-download all my Photos app pictures, videos, albums, projects, etc (basically my deleted Photos Library file) by simply entering my iCloud account info on my Mac once I reinstall the operating system on it?

I don't have the actual Photos Library saved anywhere else.

Please help me!
Log into icloud.com. If your photos are in iCloud, they will be displayed there. If that is the case, you just need to sync them back down to your machine.
 

goslowjoe

Suspended
Dec 22, 2017
125
88
Ouch. I feel your pain, Spaghetti. It is for this reason that I usually partition my drives - one for the OS and one I call Data, where I keep stuff like my photo library, music library and anything else that can be a real loss if lost, or a schlep to recover. This way, formatting the boot partition, I do not risk losing anything, except of course whatever you have on the Desktop or in Documents. Then again, the latter is smaller and on iCloud and I never keep anything on the desktop. While the photo (59GB+) and music (116GB+) libraries can be downloaded again, the mere thought of spending loads of bandwidth doing this compels me to believe storing it away from the boot partition is a safer option.
 

TOM1211

macrumors newbie
Apr 15, 2012
6
0
I also pay for the subscription and id say check website or other apple devices to see the photo list but normally it auto uploads only sometimes it tells me on my mac it won't auto upload/download because it's saving battery power. My ocd to not lose anything means I use a USB blu ray burner and backed the library up to a couple of large BD-R blu ray discs but i dont do it very often but then I also use time machine so I've covered all areas I think.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,190
5,540
This is what "backups" are for.
You may have learned that lesson the hard, hard way.

Although you might be able to get most or all of it back from iCloud, I wouldn't put "all my trust" into the cloud.
I'd want a physical backup that I could "reach for" in an emergency.

Want to prevent this from happening again?
1. Get an external USB hard drive or SSD
2. Download either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper
3. Start using either one.
4. For even better protection, keep TWO backups -- one close by, the other stored in another location (building).
 
  • Like
Reactions: chabig

960design

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2012
2,820
831
Destin, FL
UGH! I was doing some reformatting of my Mac to fix a number of problems and I discovered that though I thought I had saved all my files to an external hard drive before reformatting the Mac I actually forgot to save the most important---my 100GB "Photos Library" file that is found in the Pictures folder on the Mac.

I am an iCloud Storage 2TB paid subscriber and I do use iCloud Photo Library. Does that mean my Photo Library file is safe and I can just re-download all my Photos app pictures, videos, albums, projects, etc (basically my deleted Photos Library file) by simply entering my iCloud account info on my Mac once I reinstall the operating system on it?

I don't have the actual Photos Library saved anywhere else.

Please help me!
Yep, you should be good to go as long as you haven't changed any iCloud default settings.
As mentioned, log into iCloud.com and check your photos. They all should be there. Once you log back into your Mac the photos should start reappearing ( but only in cloud thumbnail, until you need them ).

Worst case scenario, stop using your Mac completely, just close the lid and call a pro to recover the files. 100GB will not be cheap, but some pictures are priceless ( somebody or a credit card company may have said that ).