You may have upgraded your Mac from Ventura to Sonoma, or from Monterey to Ventura, or finally decide to update from a previous version (such as Catalina, Mojave, or High Sierra) to Big Sur, looking forward to experiencing new awesome features and increased performance.
However, unexpected errors may occur after Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or other version’s update, the commonest one is that your photos in Photos app lost/disappeared from your Mac, or photos missing because the originals cannot be found on your Mac. Don’t be panic, we have 10 solutions for you to recover lost/disappeared/missing Mac photos and photo albums.
There are many reasons that lead to disappeared photos on Mac, but it is hard to determine what is exactly the reason to cause such an error, unless we test and exclude one by one. Anyway, following are probably the reasons that why your photos get disappeared from your Mac:
Therefore, as first aids to find or recover disappeared photos after Mac update, you can enable iCloud sync, go to Trash bin, scan and remove malware, delete unwanted files to get more space. Or just search your pictures folder to make sure if your photos are still there on your Mac: click on Apple Menu > Go > Go to Folder > input “~/Pictures/” > Go, check the Pictures folder or other folders you may use to save photos on your Mac.
The fastest and most straightforward way to recover lost or disappeared photos on Mac after update is using a piece of data recovery tool, which saves your time and even brings some valuable data back to your MacBook Pro or Air.
Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac - the best method for recovering lost images, videos, songs, etc. from both the internal Mac hard drive and external storage devices. It supports an extensive number of formats and drive types. If your pictures are missing after upgrade to Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey or Big Sur in the absence of a Time Machine backup, you can recover them using this software. Better yet, after scanning, Cisdem will detect and repair the corrupted photos by default before preview and recovery.
With this, the procedure to recover disappeared images after upgrading to new macOS is completed successfully.
Photos Library is the database where all photo files, thumbnails, metadata info, etc. are stored. Problematic Photos Library will have a direct impact on Mac photos, possibly resulting in photos disappeared from Mac. Here we’ve gathered 6 methods to deal with issues related with Photos Library.
If you find the library folder but see no photos in it, then it may get corrupted. But luckily, Photos app allow users to repair your Photos Library when photos or photo albums lost/disappeared for no reason, become unreadable or just missing.
1. Before doing Library First Aid, it's always a good idea to backup your hard drive firstly with either Time Machine or other backup method;
2. You may need to wait a few minutes or several hours for Photos to fix. In my case, while doing Library First Aid I can still use my Mac though it is a little sluggish during the process.
The process might stop syncing photos with iCloud. So it’d better to verify it by navigating to Photos > Preferences > iCloud once the process is finished.
Another approach to fix Photos Library errors is making use of Disk Utility on Mac. When you see messages like “a volume is not working properly”, “Photos program shuts unexpectedly” pop up on Mac, try this method to recover Mac disappeared photos within several steps.
After the First Aid process done, head to check if your Mac disappeared photos show up again. If not, proceed to other solutions.
Sometimes, we don't get a correct setting for our Photos app, like we leave “Copy items to the Photos library” unchecked, so when we view our photos in Photos but later moved the photos to an external hard drive after Mac update, once we want to check the photos again, they became “missing” on Mac since the original ones are not found. In this case, we need to restore these missing photos by Consolidate.
In case you have more than one photo library on your Mac, photos also tend to get disappeared at times. To resolve this, designate a system photo library to create a common access to all the photos in applications like Photos, iCloud Photos, Shared Albums, My Photo Stream, etc.
Mac photo seems to be missing if it has been hidden by mistake, so that you can only see it in your Hidden album. Suppose you use iCloud Photos, photos that you hide on one device will be hidden on other devices as well. To revert photos disappeared from Mac, here are 2 options to unhide your hidden pictures.
If there is no issue about your Photos library and you just want to try other methods before installing Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac, here are 3 free options to fix photos missing from Mac after update.
If your Mac photo albums disappeared after macOS Sonoma or Ventura update, have a look at the "Recently Deleted" album in Photos app.
Matters need attention:
Still not able to recover disappeared photos after Mac update, now take a crack at Time Machine restore, if you have enabled and set up the Time Machine backup.
Still using iPhoto app on your Mac and working on an earlier macOS? Even your iPhoto library gets disappeared after Mac update, we can still restore.
In the case that you don’t have a Time Machine backup but enabled iCloud backup, go check your iCloud account and find if the photos are still up there in the cloud, because there is a chance that you’ve disabled the iCloud update on Mac before the photos went lost from Mac. If it is a positive answer, download the photos from your iCloud to your Mac again for recovery.
Our Mac may store years or months of photos, they are valuable and we can’t afford to lose them. But chances are that they can be deleted or disappeared during the process of Mac upgrading. So, it is necessary to back up the entire Mac drive before upgrading to new Sonoma or Ventura or other versions. You can back up them to multiple devices or using cloud service such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Once data loss occurs, just stay calm, and follow the methods above to recover lost or disappeared photos on Mac after update. The most helpful and all-in-one solution I think is to install a Mac photo recovery software or service.
Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.
Thanks Cisdem Data Recovery. I tried nearly all tips to find back my precious photos lost after my macOS up to Monterey, which were taken on my grandma's 75th birthday, but I failed. Cisdem has done it successfully.