My old MacBook Pro died and I had to buy a new one, a 2016 model. Now I know that Apple has end-of-lifed Aperture, but I'm still using Aperture 3. But when I imported the Aperture Library from the back up drive, the strangest thing happened. The size was reported as 179.95 GiB, which seemed excessive. And a few of the Projects which showed as, for example, 31 images turned out when opened to contain 14,449 images, mainly duplicates of the entire library in one project. Opening one of those projects and deleting a group of photos that are duplicates from another project results in the originals also being deleted.

In attempting to trouble shoot this issue I tried importing the Aperture Library with Photos, but that didn't work. So my question is: has anyone else had this problem, and are there any ideas on how to recover the photos in the Aperture Library without using Aperture or Photos?

  • I was also using Aperture until recently, but finally ditched it because it has a lot of bugs which of course will never be fixed. This may be one of them. (Plus its chroma aberration correction tool sucks.)
    – user29608
    Aug 9, 2017 at 7:14

1 Answer 1


Yes, I have had this problem. It was less severe in my case, in that the duplicates appeared to be dupes of the thumbnail, so they were easy to tell from the original.

There are a couple things you can do to recover the photos. First, in Aperture, they may still be in Aperture's trash can "folder". Everything you deleted should be in there if you haven't manually emptied it. You'll still need to figure out which one is the original and manually move it out of the trash.

The other thing you can do is go into the Finder and locate the Aperture library. (It's usually in your home directory under "Pictures" and is named "Aperture Library.aplibrary" unless you named it something else.) Once you've found it, you can control-click (or right-click) on it and choose "Show Package Contents". In there you'll see a folder named "Masters". This contains the master files for all of your images. If you shoot RAW, your RAW files will be somewhere in this folder. (It's a hierarchy arranged by year, then by month, then by day.)

I don't know if it's possible to recover edited versions of your photos without running Aperture, since it generally just saves a link to the master, and the recipe for how to adjust the image rather than actually saving the pixels of the edited image. It recreates the image from the master and adjustments every time you bring it up in the app.

  • Yes, my back-up drive has the Aperture Library from the old machine on it. I can show the package contents and extract all of the masters manually, (that's pretty obvious). And then maybe import them back into Aperture that way, but I might just have to finally ditch Aperture since it's on it's way out and no longer supported by Apple. Thanks for the suggestions:) Aug 10, 2017 at 8:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.