Recently I was trying to access some photo’s from my Mum’s iPhoto library on her time machine backup, but my computer doesn’t have iPhoto, it has Photos App. When I tried to open the iPhoto library with the newer Photos App, it wanted to upgrade the entire iPhoto library. Here’s how to access an individual photo from an old iPhoto library.
If you go to your home directory, there is a folder called ‘Pictures’ where Apple stores all your photos. If you have used iPhoto, then in the ‘Pictures’ folder there will be a file called ‘iPhoto Library’. It appears as one file. Don’t do this, but if you were to click it then it would try to open in iPhoto, or Photos. Instead, if you hold down the control key while you click, you will see an option called ‘Show Package Contents.’ Click on this.
Now you will see all kinds of files. Find the one called ‘Originals’ and click on it.
Now you will see a new folder with a lot of years. Click on a year, then a month, and you will see all the pictures from your iPhoto library from that month. You can then open the photos one by one, copy them, or do what you like with each picture.
The photo’s are arranged in folders under the years and months they were taken.