I have recovered a 20GB iPhoto library, but all the photos are corrupted. How do I fix it?

Example file: https://ufile.io/vr5xw

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ what do you mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Mar 1, 2018 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is not enough information here to even speculate. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Mar 1, 2018 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ file uploaded, you can see the problem \$\endgroup\$
    – L. Vadim
    Mar 2, 2018 at 13:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, the issue here isn't so much iPhoto, it's just how to fix corrupted canon raw images. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Mar 2, 2018 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


From looking at the example, it looks like the header is in tact.

The EXIF shows that there is jpg compression on the thumbnail, which explains why it loaded.

It looks like there are 4 TIFF pages within the file, but when I've tried to open it with GIMP, it's reported that there are a number of unknown tags present.

To recover the image you sent as an example, I have done the following.

  1. Open the image in GIMP. GIMP doesn't have .cr2 as an extension by default, but setting it as the default app for the file type will launch it.
  2. Initially, GIMP reported that the SamplesPerPixel tag wasn't set, and it set a default value of 3 which it read as being correct for this image. GIMP opened 2 windows which are pertinent here - an error message window as shown below.

GIMP Errors

  1. GIMP also opened the Import From Tiff window, which shows that there are 4 pages within the fill conforming to the TIFF format. Select the first page of the set of 4 (you might need to embiggen the window a little), and in the Open Pages As dropdown, select Images, then click Import. The window settings should look as shown below.

Import From Tiff

  1. Select File -> Export, and choose the desired output format. You will be unable to select Canon Raw as the required data to compose the rest of the RAW file has been lost when the TIFF page was extracted from the corrupted file.

As a rule of thumb, it's best not to use RAW files with applications like iPhoto. Lightroom is very well suited to handling RAW, but iPhoto is not in the same grade as LR. Even the more modern Photos application which in theory should be similar in standard to Aperture isn't up to the task, in spite of how much Apple seem to like it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I uploaded example file, you can check it. thank you \$\endgroup\$
    – L. Vadim
    Mar 2, 2018 at 13:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @L.Vadim I have changed my answer to describe a fix. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Mar 2, 2018 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ working :) thanks. maybe you know how to bulk export all images? \$\endgroup\$
    – L. Vadim
    Mar 2, 2018 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @L.Vadim It is possible to script actions in GIMP (the Script-Fu section on the older version springs to mind), but I'm uncertain how to do this. The scripting in GIMP uses Scheme and is well documented - docs.gimp.org/en/gimp-using-script-fu-tutorial.html. I should advise that a script of this nature is procedural, and being a functional language, Scheme isn't ideally suited to this process. Personally, I'd be inclined to do this manually unless you're familiar with functional programming already, \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Mar 19, 2018 at 15:35

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