How to Recover Lost Photos after Mac OS Sierra Upgrade

Summary: Losing photos post macOS Sierra upgrade can be very disturbing. In this blog, check efficient solutions to recover lost photos after an OS upgrade.

How to Recover Lost Photos after Mac OS Sierra Upgrade How to Recover Lost Photos after Mac OS Sierra Upgrade

Summary: The blog describes the methods to recover lost photos when they turn inaccessible and missing after Mac OS X Sierra upgrade. The guidelines to recover and restore lost images in different situations are mentioned when (i)  backup is available and (ii) no backup is available. It also describes the plausible causes as well as the tips to avoid photo loss. 

Upgrading Mac OSX to the most recent Operating System Sierra is quite common as this version has been released with some significant changes. If you have noticed missing pictures after the upgrade, don’t despair, as this is a common occurrence. Users normally encounter this situation where photos seem to be missing after an OS X upgrade task.

Since Apple does not provide any built-in utility to recover lost or inaccessible image files, recovery is only possible via employing a third-party photo recovery tool. In this blog, an efficient solution to recover lost photos after Mac OS X Sierra upgrade has been discussed to help users perform successful recovery in the absence of built-in utility.

Before proceeding to the recovery procedure, look at the reasons that cause photo loss. When there is no backup available, data loss is normal if the upgrade process goes wrong. If the upgrade process fails, the volumes on the Mac machine may become inaccessible and leads to photo loss. Excessive disk fragmentation and access permission errors are some of the other reasons responsible for missing of images and other data files from the machine.

Note: Before performing photo recovery procedure, it is advised not to enter any new data to the machine as the lost data will be overwritten and the chances to recover image files will reduce.

If you have a backup –

You can restore lost images from Time Machine backup if it has been set previously. Follow the steps below:

  1. Click on Apple menu, select System Preferences and then click on the Time Machine icon
  2. Click on the checkbox associated with Show Time Machine in menu bar
  3. From Time Machine menu, select Enter Time Machine, and it will take you to Time Machine window
  4. From Time Machine window, select the image file that needs to be restored
  5. Once the file is selected, click on Space Bar to preview its contents
  6. Then, click on Restore or press Ctrl and click simultaneously to view other options
  7. The file will be restored to the original location on Mac storage media

The recovery of image files from Time Machine backup is only possible if it has been set previously by the user. If there is no backup schedule or if no backup is available, it is simply impossible to recover the lost images. In such situations, the deleted or lost files can only be recovered using a third-party image recovery software.

If you do not have a backup –

Stellar Photo Recovery Mac is an effective tool that helps recover lost photos after a Sierra upgrade. It is the only solution available to recover photos, audios or videos in the absence of a backup. The functional procedure is quite simple and can be completed in a few clicks. Let’s know the steps to recover photos when files appear missing after an upgrade.
photo recovery mac

Step #1: Install & Run

For getting started, it is required to download, install, and run Stellar Photo Recovery software. On the home screen of the software – ‘Select What to Recover’. Click Next. Now, select the drive from where deleted files need to be recovered. PhotoRecovery11screen1

Step #2: Set Preferences

After selecting the drive, click on the Advanced Settings button and then select the file format corresponding to the missing files under Photo File Format heading.  Select Close.Next, click on Scan button.

Step #3: Recover & Restore Missing Image(s)

After the scan completes, the tool will next display all the images corresponding to selected file formats. Select the file to preview its content in the tool window. After selecting the desired files, click on the Recover button and specify the destination location to store the recovered photos on the hard drive.


Watch this video to know what our reviewer Sleeklens has to say about this tool

With this, the procedure to recover lost images after upgrading Mac OS X to Sierra is completed successfully. The below tips need to be adhered to while executing the photo recovery procedure:

  • Do not interfere with the computer or laptop when the photo recovery procedure is in process
  • Try to store the recovered data to some location other than the source drive on which the deleted file was stored
  • If you have cancelled the scanning process while it is in operation and attempted to exit the tool, “Save Scan Information? Click Yes if you wish to resume recovery at a later stage.” message will appear. Click on Yes to continue to save the scan report for future reference. The scan information will be saved in the specified location on storage media as .dmg file (Disk image format)

Why is Automated Recovery recommended?

Professional recovery solutions integrate powerful scan algorithms and security features. Therefore, they are more likely to maintain the integrity and security of contents being recovered. Recovering deleted images via professional utility provides numerous benefits which are not offered when the recovery is initiated using manual methods.

  • It is possible to recover deleted photos from encrypted storage media with the help of a professional photo recovery tool
  • Multiple or bulk files can be recovered altogether following a simple recovery procedure using the tool
  • It is a comprehensive solution that recovers images, audio clips, videos, and other multimedia files
  • When the tool scans a drive, it generates a scan report as ‘.dmg.’ file. It saves time and efforts as this scan report can be used to recover data from the same file in future
  • As the tool possesses the capability to execute a deep scan, it is possible to recover RAW images as well

Nothing happens without a cause as they are usually backed by reason. Therefore, when a file is lost or gets deleted from any storage media, there is something that is responsible for it. Similarly, there is a reason behind an image or any other data going missing from the Mac machine after the OS X Sierra upgrade.

What Causes Photo Loss after Mac OS X Upgrade?

When images are lost from the Mac machine after an OS X Sierra upgrade, the following may be the possible reasons:

  • When the upgrade procedure goes wrong, some of the image files may get deleted. If there is no backup available for the images existing on the Mac machine, it is impossible to recover them back on the machine
  • After upgrade to OS X Sierra from lower version, El Capitan, it is probable that the image file header is affected due to which it became inaccessible or lost from the drive
  • Upgrading to the updated version sometimes overwrites the data or deletes it from the hard drive. This is caused due to excessive disk fragmentation and further leads to drive corruption

The Bottom Line

It is not always important that you lose your photos after every upgrade, but this usually happens, and users simply can’t avoid such situations. Since backup is the solution to all the issues related to data, it is recommended to set a strict backup schedule before executing any similar tasks and operations.

Setting up an online backup drive is always helpful as it helps to access and to restore data back to its original format anytime and anywhere. It is recommended to back up the entire Mac drive before upgrading the OS X. Therefore, it is imperative to back up the Mac storage media on a regular basis to prevent photo loss!

photo recovery mac

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