How to find your iPhoto Library and iPhotos in Finder

UPDATE: This post refers to the current software versions – OS X Version 10.9 and iPhoto ’11 Version 9.5 (902.7). It has been updated as of 11/09/2013.

Ever been looking for the iPhoto library location on your Mac’s disc? I have spend more time searching for my iPhotos than I’d like to. My posts are complete and edited, the email ready to be sent out but where does Apple store the original iPhoto files that I wanted to include, where do you find the iPhoto Library?

Here’s a quick three-step guide to locating your iPhoto Library and your original iPhoto image files in Finder on your Mac. This is based on the software version I currently run on OS 10.9 and iPhoto ’11 Version 9.5 OS 10.8.2 and iPhoto 9.4.2 – but it might be the same for later versions.

Three Steps to Locate You Files

  1. Select the iPhoto image or images from your iPhoto app you want to locate in Finder. iPhoto highlights selected images with a yellow border.
  2. With iPhoto as the active app, click “File” in your Mac’s top menu bar.
  3. Select “Reveal in Finder” and then “Original File” in the drop down menu.

This will open Finder and take you right into your iPhoto library to directly to the image you were looking for. The images will be highlighted.

Did this solve your problem and save you some time? Let me know in the comments.

Join the discussion 134 Comments

  • Christine says:

    I’ve had this problem a coupe of times and it drove me nuts – Thanks a lot for sharing your solution! :)

  • AqeeCh says:

    yup it did…thanks a lot :)

  • Mary Thiesen says:

    Yes ~ super-easy and quick way to locate the original image file in Finder; fingers crossed that I’ll remember this method the *next* time I want to access an image outside of iPhoto ~ thanks!

  • Beth Brodovsky says:

    Brilliant! I searched and this was the only answer that worked. Thanks for posting.

  • Vincent says:

    thanks this very helpful!

  • eyeless says:

    Great – just the answer I was looking for (as the Masters folder inside the iPhoto package (right-click on iPhoto in Pictures to reveal the Masters folder) is nowadays hard to wade through to find anything in …)!

  • Mike says:

    Thanks for writing this up and being straight to the point. Unfortunately I tried to read through all the fanboy posts on Apple’s site before I found this one. So much worthless…

  • Thanks for this. It will help if I know what I am looking for specifically. But if I just want to browse to my pictures from another application, I still have to first open iPhoto, unfortunately. :(

    • Hi Susan! Appreciate your comment. I like to import my images with iPhoto. However, I always find them in the iPhoto folder and copy them to another location as a backup. Those folders are also the ones I use when working with images outside of iPhoto. Perhaps not ideal but it works and takes care of backups.

  • Kent says:

    My version of iPhoto did not have a Reveal in Finder option. However, when I right clicked on the photos there was a Show File option that I used to open Finder with the files highlighted. Thanks as I did find them. Now, when I go to import them into iMovie it will not let me browse through the iPhoto folder.

    • Hey Kent, thanks for your comment. I think I had the same issue with iMovie. What I normally do is fine all my images in the iPhoto folder and copy it to a second location (also as a backup). Then I import in to iMovie from there. Works great. Hope that helps. Cheers!

  • Ben says:

    hello Philip, i can’t believe i somehow missed this in the File menu, although I tried to solve this problem for over 20 minutes. Then I wrote “How to find a file in finder from Iphoto” into Google search and your note came up as the first on the list. I realized again, that using a MAC is really simple, only we got to know what to look for. Thanks for your help, dude!

  • Phil says:

    Thanks so much mate. I was the same as everyone else and couldn’t find a simple answer until I saw your post. Thanks again

  • PhilattheBeach says:

    Are you kidding me? Way too easy! I have given up several times in the past but this method is perfect.

  • Geoffrey Milner says:

    I seem to have saved an iPhoto library and renamed it with a date. I switched to this old one but When I followed your instructions it just couldn’t locate the original files. I guess what we see in the iPhoto window are thumbnails? When you try to look at the individual pictures a big exclamation mark appears.

    I have had a lot of Macs and try to get old hard drives back from the repair place.
    Maybe I didn’t save the actual files. Although I have also some photos in another place.. I will have to look at them and import them to iPhoto.
    I guess I need a thorough tutorial to know how to manage photos so I don’t lose the precious photos. Maybe there is some info in the thumbnails on iPhoto that might help me to search back ups discs for the originals.

  • Geoffrey Milner says:

    I could see the date of the missing pictures in iPhoto and just went to the folder of photos in the other place I mentioned and sure enough they are in dated folders so I found the missing photos but the link between them is broken. I wonder can I restore the link or maybe I just delete the thumbnails pics in the old iPhoto and import all the pictures again.

  • Geoffrey Milner says:

    It gets so confusing when you are trying to keep all your photos in different computers. I don’t know how to manage them … I want to keep them all in one central place. I suppose Photo Stream helps to do that… but that will run out of space in no time with all these pics!

    • Hallo Geoffrey! Thanks for your comments. iPhoto can be confusing. I was quite frustrated with the situation myself. However, I’ve found a way that works fine for me now that I’ll tell you about in a minute. It might be for you but it’s my very personal approach to it and in no way do I claim that this is the best way to handle things. I just works for me.

      But first let me address your issue: I never had the same problem so far as I always left the folder names unchanged. I tested renaming them right now. You are right. iPhoto doesn’t handle renaming well. But when switching back to the original folder name it all worked smoothly again. When I tested it was important to go back to exactly the name the folder previously had. In my iPhotos folders are named by date but also have a number code attached. I haven’t figured out what that code stands for. This is what a folder might be called: 20111109-085537 (9th of November 2011 – but can’t tell you what 085537 stands for -sorry).

      In your situation I’d probably not remember the complete folder name. Therefore I believe the easies way to get all in place would be to gather all the images in one place and run a fresh import.

      Hope that helps at least to some degree.

      Now this is how I ended up organising my images:

      I import images from a camera and my phone. Only my phone syncs with iPhoto. BUT I also make sure that I open “Image Capture”. This will let you view all images on your phone as if it was a regular camera. From there I drag and drop it to my personal image library (the one I manually created – not iPhoto). So I end up having these images in iPhoto for the easy of use but also directly in my personal archive.
      I copy all images from my camera only to my personal archive and not to iPhoto. I end up with 100% of my images in my personal archive which is organised in folder like this: Pictures>2013> 201308>image.jpg

      I keep a backup of the archive on external discs as well.

      I acknowledge that this is some manual work. It allows me full control of my images and so far it saved my from unpleasant surprises.

      Geoffrey, really hope that this was of some help to you. In case you have further questions I might be able to answer feel free to get in touch on Twitter.


      • Geoffrey Milner says:

        Hi Philipp, Thanks for going to the trouble of replying. I only renamed the old iPhoto by adding a date. The folders with the pictures may have just been copied to my external hard drive and named Photos 2008. That’s how I spotted the connection to the old iPhoto and the date I gave it. I have and have had in the past several Macs and when they die it’s difficult to keep track of everything. I download mail for several different addresses and they just clog up everything… all the junk and attachments! I was trying to clean up my mac and deleted 3000 emails the other day!
        I’m going to try to use a couple of back up systems including the PC World Knowhow cloud with massive storage, as well as an external hard drive. you always need a back-up for your back-up!

  • jaggs says:

    Thanks very useful very minute thing but never revealed.

  • uskiwis says:

    Good for finding one or two photos, but before finding this article I tried this on an iPhoto event with 500 photos in it – Finder opened hundreds of folders… took forever to shut them all down.

  • Mathew says:

    Hi , i cant open iphoto bcoz the current version of iphoto is not supported with OSX Maverick (my current OS) . also i cant update my iphoto as i dont know the password of my old Apple id and i am not able to retrieve it . So it will be very helpfull if you can show me where i can find my photos imported via iphoto in finder

    • Hey Mathew! Thanks for your comment. You can normally find your files following this path:

      Pictures > iPhoto Library > Masters > YEAR > Month > …

      You’ll find a bunch of sub-folders located in the Month folder. You should be able to find what you were looking for in them. Really hope that helps. Get back to me if I can do more.

  • Phill_NOTGV says:

    I was importing photos for my website inightingale. I didn’t know how to go from iphoto to finder. I have just spent 20 minutes going through googles results for this exact problem with no joy. They should have you at number one. you solved my problem in less than a minute. Thanks Phill

  • alan says:

    Yes this solved the problem. Can’t say I understand iPhoto’s file structure though.

  • Ted says:

    no, because I want to access photo from old time machine backups, therefore, I need to know how to access them through finder. The way you described may be useful in the future.

  • Jill says:

    This was helpful for my current situation, but I sure wish that “Masters” folder were searchable in Finder to make things even easier! I used to be able to use Finder to search before I upgraded to Lion.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jill. Glad this post helped. I see your point but also understand Apple’s side of not opening up too much. After switching to Mac a few years ago this was one thing that really annoyed me. Now I value the closed system as it lets me do what I have to do but eliminates the clutter.

  • Ilana says:

    Perfect. And perfectly explained. Thanks.

  • Excellent, thank you for the great tip. Exporting from iPhoto is tedious and this is much quicker

  • JulioC says:

    Awesome! I’ve recently started using iMac and I love it but I haven’t use iPhoto just because of this. This is the sharpest answer I’ve found to my question.

  • Tom says:

    Thanks! Simple, straighforward solution!

  • Karen says:

    Perfect. Thanks! Do you know if iPhoto original image get backed up automatically when using Time Machine?

    • Hey, Karen! It would be great if it did. However, as far as I know there are still issues with the automatic backup. Since I take a lot of images of the kids and family I like to be on the save side and back up my iphoto images separately – manually.

      I find the originals in finder and drag / drop them to my external hard drive about once a month.

      This link doesn’t hold a solution but shows that other people are having similar issues:

      Have a great day!

  • radi_el says:

    ο.κ!!……very well & no problem, its like others applications
    thank you Phill ✭ ba bye !!

  • Stephanie German says:

    Thank you so much!

  • taraji says:

    thank you !

  • jW says:

    Another reason I hate Mac.

  • Alexander Johansen says:

    Thank you so much! Why make the files so inaccessible?! Makes no sense, but thank you again for helping out:)

  • Ndriana says:

    Thanks a lot!! I don’t understand why Apple didn’t put a “Reveal in Finder” option in the contextual menu. This is a UX fail.

    • Ndriana, I guess Apple strives to make their products as user-friendly as possible and try to eliminate clutter (also from the context menu). I believe this actually helps a lot of users. However, if you know what you are looking for, which is outside the average click-path, it can be frustrating at times. Anyway, glad this little guide helped you find your images.

  • Mark says:

    Thankyou – short, succinct and it works! – perfect

  • Greg says:

    It didn’t work for me. I’m running OS X 10.9.2, an iPhoto 9.5.1. The options to reveal modified or original file were greyed out.

    • Greg, I’m sorry you are experiencing issues with this solution. I had to test and upgraded to the same version of iPhoto that you are using (was already using the same iOS version you are on). It keeps working for me (see screenshots below). The only way I could trigger the same behaviour was by not selecting an image – but you did that.

      This is just me wild guessing, but could it be that iPhoto is displaying you the thumbnail while the original is not in place – and therefore the option might be greyed out?

      Will keep testing myself. Please let me know if you figure out why it didn’t work for you.


      • I just tested my assumption and could recreate what you are experiencing. I revealed one file in Finder but then dragged it from that folder to the desktop.

        After quitting iPhoto and relaunching it the thumbnail was still there (even though I had removed the original file from its folder). Working through the 3 steps of this post the “Reveal in Finder” option was really greyed out.

        So it seems that even though your thumbnails are still showing, somehow your original files were misplaced. Is that of any help to you?

  • Paul Johnson says:

    Phillipp, so far so good…do you also understand how Finder applies the sub-sets (finder panes) it applies to a whole Event when revealed?

  • Seezal says:

    Hi Phillpp, thanks for providing this information! I’m trying to save photos from iPhoto onto an external hard drive, but can’t for the life of me work out how to do it….. Any ideas? Thanks. Lucy

    • Hey Lucy! Thanks for your comment. I like to keep as much control over my files as possible while at the same time using tools such as iPhoto for their convenience. What I did was: Import photos from my cameras with iPhoto and view them there. At the same time I also drag/dropped the same files directly in finder onto my external drive. I store my originals externally. You might find this process useful for yourself from now on.

      To backup your current files I’d follow the steps pointed out in the post. From whatever location you end up in within finder go to the root folder of your iPhoto archive. The root folder should be called “Masters”. It’s the first folder in the iPhoto Libraries folder. Copy the masters folder to any location and feel free to rename and reorder the structure of that copy. Make sure you don’t drag/drop as this would harm your iPhoto image structure and you might have to import all images again.

      Copying the folders however works fine.

      If you want to only backup images of a specific event highlight one of these images, follow the steps of this post and you’ll be taken right to the images in the right folder. Copy them from there.

      I hope that info helps. Let me know if you need more advice.

  • John Tabita says:

    Found some crazy discussion online with everyone claiming you can’t view iPhoto images through the Finder. As usual, the answer is simple. Thanks for sharing.

  • Laura says:

    This post really helped me! Thank you! I was trying to upload photos to Snapfish and couldn’t find my iPhoto Library in the finder at all. This method really helped. Thanks again!

  • Brandan says:

    Perfect solution. Thanks!

  • mr says:

    super helpful. Could you tell me how to find the path to that folder that stores the photos? I want to put it into the picture folder and also copy the whole folder to dropbox.

    • Hey, I’m sorry but I fear I don’t fully understand what you’re asking. The 3 steps of the post will show you the original iPhoto files in Finder on your Mac. Once Finder is open you’ll have the path to the files. You might want to click the “columns” button (top left) in finder to get a better overview of where you are currently within your discs structure.

      Does that help you? If not, I’d be happy to help you further if you explain a bit more.

  • DB says:

    but I cannot see any menu bar in iPhoto in MAVERICK 10.9.2
    Why not?

    do i need to change a preference? and if so, how is that dione?

    • Hey DB,

      I was referring to the bar at the very top of your screen starting with the Apple icon in the top left corner. You’ll be able to see a tab “File” there.

      Does that help?

  • Alice says:

    Thank you! that was really helpful

  • Larissa says:

    Thank you!!! Saved me a lot of time trying to search where the photos where ;)

  • Thank you so much, this was incredibly helpful. I thought I was losing my mind.

  • Claire says:

    I’ve just updated my mac air and went to open my iPhoto…it says I can’t use it with the new version of iosX any help?

    • Claire, I’m not a pro in that area. Which version of iOSx did you upgrade to – the beta of Yosemite? In that case there are two issues I can think of: Either you’re not running the latest version of iPhoto or you already set up the new and improved Photos app. As far as I could find out Yosomite requires iPhoto version 9.5.1. But once you open the Photos app and imported all you images you will aparently get a message like “iPhoto projects have moved”. My suggestion is to check the iPhoto version and if possible try to upgrade via the app store.
      But again, I’m not a pro when it comes to iOS issues and appreciate anyone adding a comment to point into a better direction.

      Clair, I hope that helped a little.

  • qlzhang says:


  • Jodi says:

    Thank you! Worked immediately! :-)

  • Piper McKinley Morgan says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!

  • abi says:

    Using “reveal in finder”, I see that iPhoto keeps the picture files under something called “iPhoto library photo library”, which isn’t accessible by clicking on it in finder (except by using iPhoto). So suppose I backup my mac to an external disk and want some day to use it with another operating system (windows, unix). will that other OS have access to my photos under this library, or will they be lost forever unless I keep using iPhoto?

  • Maria says:

    Can you also explain the process of retrieving the original image files when the iPhoto library is on an external hard drive and the Macbook Pro associated with that library is no longer working?

    • Hey, Maria! A few people see to have that issue lately. I’ve not tested this thoroughly. However, the path to your images should be identical on an external disc as if it was on your Macs disc. Have you tried finding a folder names “iPhoto Library” on your external disc? It would be the starting point. From there the path to your images would be:


      YEAR = folder named 01, 02,…, 12
      NUMBER = folder named 31, 32, … – any number really

      Please let me know if that helps. If not I might test this with my external disc.

  • Marijke Korting says:

    Thanks, did solve the problem, enabling me to delete. however there are still thumbnails showing – thought it would clear those too – wanted them gone.

  • samuel sumi says:

    I had just upgraded to Yosemite from Maverick. The problem now is that I’m unable to open iphoto. I was asked to upgrade but then apparently the installed version was not purchased with my id. If at all I am able to buy the latest version with a different id or if that is not possible too how will i retrieve my priceless unbacked photos…?? Please please help me.

    • Samuel, thanks for your comment. Please let me refer you to the answer I just gave Maria (just two comments above yours). Make sure you let me know if that fixes your issue as well.

      This is about the app store issue: I was facing a similar issue with a different app. I was able to log in to the appstore with that alternative account and upgrade the app. If that is not possible for you you could try to delete the app from your system and purchase them again with your current account. However, this would be really the last option to try. It is best to contact apple support and ask them for their help. I’m sorry there isn’t more I can do about this for you.


  • nog says:

    yes thanks very much

  • always at data capacity! says:

    this has saved me so much grief and agony and is so easy. thank you!

  • M says:

    when i select “reveal in finder” neither “modified file” nor “original file” is clickable. help.

  • Chris Riedel says:

    When I click on reveal in finder “original file” is not highlighted, so it will not let me choose it. I have been trying to do what I thought was simple drag and drop of iPhoto folder to an external hard drive, but pictures does not show up in finder.

  • Dahlia says:

    I have 10.9.4 and iPhoto 9.5.1. ( I hate this new iPhoto. ) I have over 16,000 photos. I had them all stored in albums. I’m having trouble navigating this new iPhoto app. I like having my photos in albums. Now all new photos seem to go into limbo/or “Events”, and I can’t see how to control where they go, I’d like to have my photos go into albums I’ve pre selected, but it doesn’t seem to work that way….thanks for any help!

  • Carmela2000 says:

    I do that all the time but I’ve had this problem since yesterday.

  • DMC says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  • Alexandro says:

    Really, ‘right click’?. Swell. Ok. Now, how do we find the files without going through the app because the latest (‘and greatest’) iOS update won’t allow you to even use iPhoto anymore? What is the solution there? My frustration is directed at Apple. Thank you, I’m done now.

  • Monkeypockets says:

    yes thank you so much.Why I can’t just import to a folder of my choice I don’t know.

  • Retti Retti says:

    Hey everyone, I just upgraded to Yosemite (foolishly I didn’t back up my data). And after Yosemite is live, my iPhoto asks to be updated. So I get the recent version. However, after it is installed, ALL the thumbnails are gone. Now I feel guilty to my husband because his recently imported photos from iPad are nowhere to be found. I told him the data is still in finder, but I tried to open Pictures/iPhoto Library/ but there are no folders to be clicked. How do I display the photo data that is hidden in Finder? Please help… Our son’s photos and videos are still missing :(

    Thanks a bunch everyone…

    • Retti Retti says:

      Sorry to bother everyone, but I managed to find it by myself. It turns out, we can right-click on iPhoto Library, select Show Package Contents and it will show a dropdown of folders, and I found MASTERS on it, and it shows every single file of pictures ever imported to iPhoto.
      Thanks again…

  • Cindy says:

    No. When I did that, this came up “The operation can’t be completed because the item can’t be found.”

  • Jan Oldenburg says:

    What’s the easiest way to copy the photos in iPhoto to an external backup? And, PS–I’d love to keep the association with months and dates when I do so….

  • gust says:


  • BlownZJ says:

    Worked great!! Thank you!

  • Tadeo says:

    Thank You so very MUCHO!!!!! Genio!

  • Tadeo says:

    Now, got a question for you: If I want to back up all those pics.. How should I do it? Sorry, not very tech savvy myself me and/or I ….

  • Danni says:

    When I select “reveal in Finder”, the drop down menu does not allow you to click on original file (it is not black or darkened to allow you to select it. ) What now?

  • E says:

    Brilliant man! Thank you!!

  • Sandra says:

    I have a large group of photos scanned into finder and tagged. I want to move them into iPhoto in the order in which they were scanned, intending to produce a slide show. What is the best way to do a large group?

  • Teuntje says:

    Hi, I read the forum however do not see anyone with a similar problem. I have tried to open my ‘old’ iPhoto file from my broken down MacBook Pro (opening from Time Machine). Iphoto could not open because this was from a backup (bummer, but not my main issue). I reopend my normal iPhoto which is stored on the iMac I currently use. Now Iphoto only shows pictures/events from 2011 and older…. If I look in the master data I can only see till 2011, if I look into Time Machine for the iMac I see in older versions also only the master data till 2011. However this morning (and passed years of couse) I reviewed all the events (about 100). Where can I find these ‘lost’ pictures from 2012 till today?

  • BarbaraH says:

    That was so helpful, easy to understand as well, thank you for unravelling the mystery of iPhoto

  • Zara Wani says:

    Oh my gosh I was going crazy. I was trying to airdrop some pictures from my mac to my iPod and I just couldn’t find the files! I spent one hour trying to find a solution and I came across this. Thank you you are an absolute lifesaver

  • Ritu Ashrafi says:

    This just saved me about 100 hours and a huge amount of frustration. I didn’t realize it would be so easy! Thank you Philipp!

  • KCC says:

    Hey, I need to pull photos from my iphoto library on my external hard drive. I don’t have the space for them on my computer. Please tell me how to do that or where the raw files are on my hard drive to get them off that way. Thanks.

  • Sunrise250 says:

    Out of date now.

  • Cecily says:

    thank you! a life saver! you used to be able to search for the file name, but no more. Why not, apple, why not?

  • why does all the photos are in like 200 hundred different folders?

    • Aldo, that is just Apple’s file system and their way to keep your content in order by years, month, events… I get it and respect it. iPhoto is a great tool for many. Honestly, I’ve stopped using it altogether and reverted back to handle all my image files manually. They are mostly family and images of our kids – so there is a lot that means a lot to me that could get screwed up or lost.

      Thanks for your comment. Appreciate it!

      • how can you manage it manually? everytime i connect my iphone the iphoto app appears by default. Thank you for answering!

        • Hey!

          This is what I do after I connect my phone:

          1) Close iTunes
          2) Close iPhoto
          3) Open Image Capture: Image Capture will allow you to drag and drop your images and videos directly from your phone to any folder in Finder.

          I think you can even change the setting for iTunes and iPhoto to not open automatically when you connect your iPhone. I just never bothered to really do so…

          Hope that helps! It’s a little more work but I like the control over my files it gives me. I know where I want them and simply place them there myself.

  • Veronica says:

    Thank you for your helpful post. I spend all morning trying to figure this out by myself but lucky enough to find your post that has save the rest of my day!

  • Emma McIntosh says:

    Thanks – do you know how I could find the photo without going thru iPhoto?

  • Laura Dillon says:

    Unfortunately, it did not work on OSX 10.10.4 and Photos version 1.0.1. When I highlight a photo (border is blue in 1,0.1) and go to File menu, the option to “Show Referenced File in Finder” is grayed out. :-(

  • Mel says:

    No longer have iPhoto access when system upgraded to Yosemite 10.10.5. Photos are visible only in Photos and I cannot figure a way to find the original jpg files. Very frustrating given the drag-and-drop feature from iPhotos will not work with Mac’s Photo app :(

  • Dominic Kawaja says:

    did not work, I saw where that is an option but it was greyed out – not an option to chose

  • maureen says:

    The problem i have is that my “IPHOTO” library has dissapeared and transformed into “PHOTOS” therefore I cant open my library and locate the photos that way.

    I need to restore my old library but I need 92 gb of space to do that.
    I have deleted everything in my computer (excepto my photos from iphoto library).
    I need to find them directly in my finder and transfer them to an external hard drive so I can delete them from my computer and have more space..

    Does any of this make sense? Hope i can receive some help! Thankyou!

    • Maureen, I understand what you’re asking. I’m in the middle of something right now, but will get back to you with an answer in a few hours. Really hope you can wait that long.

      Thanks for asking!

  • Julia says:

    Suddenly, my folders are not showing when I open iphoto. Can you help? It seems that the thousands of pictures are all still there – just not showing in the folders on the left of the screen.

    • Hey Julia! Thanks for your message. I’m glad to have a look. Can you provide some more details. Can you share a screenshot of what you see when you open Photos?

  • Becky says:


  • Kate Sampson says:

    Tried and mine says “view referenced file” and it is greyed out

  • Roger says:

    Doesn’t work. How about just finding the FOLDER where the photos are in?

  • Jean Lang says:

    when I click on file I don’t have the reveal in finder option

  • Rich Ewoods says:

    I have been having trouble with iPhoto and Photos being unable to open files or find the original. I’ve tried your 3-step method and it has worked for me but once I have located the files in the Finder and try to open them with, say, in Photoshop, I get the message that I “Do not have authority to open this file” which is incredibly annoying. HOWEVER, moving on, I have found that this method works…
    1. Follow Philipp Knoll’s instructions to find the File (brilliant, thank you Philipp)
    2. Click on the located File in the Finder to select it
    3. Under the File Menu select Duplicate
    4. Then use Photoshop or similar app to open the Duplicate (you will need to Log in as the Administrator of your computer in order to complete this step)
    5. Then save it safely away from the iPhoto or Photos master folders – from then on the Duplicate file will behave just like any other ‘normal’ file
    This is only a partial solution for me as I have some 45,000 images in the old iPhoto Master Folders. I could be here for quite a while. I’m sure others have far more massive Libraries.