Restoring iPhoto from Time Capsule on a different macbook?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MitzEclipse, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. MitzEclipse macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Hi All,

    I am trying to restore iPhoto. I have an old mac book which the HD died. Luckily all my data is backed up via time capsule. For reference this was a 2006 macbook white with Leopard installed.

    I have a late 2011 mac book air with Mountain Lion installed. I would like to restore only the iPhoto photo library onto the MBA. Is this possible?

    I have tried to manually navigate to the file folders, I can see iPhoto but when I copy it to the MBA and launch it says it cannot find the iPhoto library.

    I'm only looking to restore just the photos (I'll be doing a full restore on a different mac book air) but on this particular MBA i just want the photos in the iPhoto library.

    thanks in advance for the help
  2. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: using alternative TM backups...

    Hi MitzEclipse,

    If you Alt/Option click on the TM icon in the top menu bar you will see the option to "Browse other backup disks...". Select the backup disk for your old MB on your 2011 MBA (I'm assuming when you say you have ML that this means you have 10.8.2 installed, and that your TM backups for your old computer were over the network just like the backups for your MBA.) Open the Time Machine app and navigate to the directory containing your iPhoto Library (typically in your user's /Users/username/Pictures folder). Select your old iPhoto Library and restore it to your MBA. If you have another iPhoto Library on your MBA, you might want to rename it so that it is not overwritten by the TM restore.

    When you open iPhoto, open it by holding down the Alt/Option key while clicking on the iPhoto app in your Dock. You will presented with a menu that allows you to choose the restored iPhoto Library. Open it in iPhoto, and then all subsequent openings of iPhoto will default to this restored iPhoto Library.

  3. MitzEclipse thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Thank you Switon for the response. I can enter time machine via holding down alt to browse other disks... I can select the other time machine disk, however, when i enter the time machine it shows my mac book air files, not the old macbook files. am I missing a trick here? Thanks
  4. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: tmutil inheritbackup...

    Hi MitzEclipse,

    You should see all of your backup files. Make sure that their present on the disk that you are selecting.

    If they are there and you cannot select your MB backup, then you might consider using the "tmutil inherit backup..." or "tmutil associatedisk..." terminal commands. These are documented in the "man tmutil" manpages. You will need root privilege in order to run these commands. These commands allow you to read a backup file made for another machine and restore from it, and also to write new backups to the other machine's backup file.

    Good luck,
  5. stupidart, Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017

    stupidart macrumors newbie


    Feb 13, 2017
    Fast forward 2017 - I have been stung with macs next gen MBP's and SSD.
    I was running a late 2011 MBP and backed up to a Time Capsule. The HD on that machine is not retrievable so i have bought a new MBP but i cant migrate in full due to lower storage. The 2011 machine was running Yosemite.
    I also am backing up a 2015 Mac Mini to same Time capsule, also running yosemite.

    I need to get the previous iphoto library onto the mini. In a hurry...

    Does the method listed in thread work still now? I have tried but cant see any drives in the choose drive Alt option. They are running over the same original network.

    Or is there other known ways to retrieve to a different machine's back up files off a capsule?


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4 December 13, 2012