Moving photos from external hard drive back up

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On my old Imac (2011Mac OSSierra 10.13.6) I keep all my photos in yearly order.
I have just noticed that all my photos from 2019 are not available, so I went to backup to see if I can recover them.
I don't know when they went missing but hope I can find them in backup.
When I open the backup file on my external hard drive, it wants to do so on Imac Photos. My question is,: If I allow it to proceed to open the backup photos into Photos, will I then lose all my photos for 2020 through 2023.
i'm just not happy that I will somehow lose alot more photos in doing this. Would welcome comments of guidance as to how I can move 2019 from back up into Photos without losing later years.
I think its about time Santa treated me to a new machine :)
 
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How are you storing these images on the Mac? Are they in Photos/iPhoto, or are you directely storing the files in folders on the iMac drive?

If you are importing the images to Photos/iPhoto, are you copying the items into Photos library or are you just linking to them as files from Photos/iphoto?

Depending on the answers, the suggestions for what to do will be different, which is why I asked.
 
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Thanks for a quick reply. I hope I can accurately tell you what I do.
All my photos on my computer are held in Photos - firstly imported then in 'MY ALbums,' These are subdivided by year into Albums and then in folders by interest the albums. So for example : Folders named 'Holidays', 'Family', 'friends', 'My Hobbies' etc
I back up using the Apple backup facility, but to an external hard drive and not to icloud etc.
Hope this helps
Oh & by the way, - A Merry Xmas to everyone
 
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A couple more questions. Are the images in question still in Photos, just not showing in the various Albums, or are they totally absent? And if you open Photos/Settings, on the General tab is the "Copy items to the Photos library" checked? While on that page, take note of where the Library Location says the library is located, as you may need that to do any recovery. Finally, whe you say "Apple backup facility" do you mean TimeMachine?

And a Merry Christmas to you, too!
 
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The images from 2019 year are totally absent - the various folders are there with their respective names but all are empty.
the copy to Photos library is checked and the location of the library is: My Name-Pictures-Photo Library.
Yes, I use the Time Machine and have set it to back up to the external hard drive.
Its strange as all photos from earlier year albums and from 2020 forward are all visible and accessible.
 
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Are the pictures in "Library" at all? Do you use iCloud to sync to other devices, and are the missing pictures on those other devices (iPhone, iPad, another Mac)?

If you know when these images disappeared, you can use TM to go back to the backup just before that and use the Finder-like TM presentation to navigate to where the library is located, select the Photos library there and then click "Restore" and the library should be replaced with that version. It will take a while as the Photos library is pretty large. And any images in the current Photos lbrary added after that date will need to be re-imported to Photos. One thing you can do to protect against loss of those images, if the originals are no longer available, is to close Photos, then use Finder to navigate to where the Photos LIbrary is stored, locate the library by name and rename it to something else. For example, if it is named "Name.photoslibary" then change that to "Name-old.photoslibrary." Then use TM to bring back the older Name.photoslibrary. Now you can compare what is in Name.photoslibrary with what is in Name-old.photolibrary, export the missing images from Name-old and import them to Name. Or you can find all of the 2019 images in Name, export them and then import them to Name-old. Whichever way you go, once one of the photoslibrary files is correct, you can delete the other to recover the space.
 
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Thanks, I found them - I used the 'Go To' function and there they were. Now copying and placing back into the external hard drive. Still don't understand why they alone are missing from the hard drive but alls well that end well, Im please as there are close on 4000 photos in 2019 alone - phew!
I really appreciate your support, thanks for your patience.
 
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Thanks, I found them - I used the 'Go To' function and there they were. Now copying and placing back into the external hard drive. Still don't understand why they alone are missing from the hard drive but alls well that end well, Im please as there are close on 4000 photos in 2019 alone - phew!
I really appreciate your support, thanks for your patience.
Just where were they? "Go to" where? And what does "copying and placing back into the external hard drive" mean? I'm glad you found them, but in the context of what you originally posted that last post makes no sense.

There is an issue with iCloud Drive and how it evicts files to the cloud and then retrieves them in that sometimes they come back marked as "hidden" files, so Finder won't show them but they are, in fact, there. So some functions and applications, like Find Any File, can find these hidden files. But for that to be of any help to you, the files must not have been copied INTO Photos and still be on the drive somewhere as the original files, jpg, or whatever format. But if they had been copied INTO Photos, what gets evicted is the entire Photos photolibrary file, not the individual images within the library. So, as I said, that last post is very confusing.

It might help someone else with the same issue if you would give us the specifics of how you located the missing images and what you actually are doing to get them back into Photos. Thanks!
 
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Just picked up your reply this morning and now, thinking about it, I really dont know how I found them. I didnt want to open backups and reinstall in case I lost post 2019. They did not appear to be in the external hard drive, All that was there was just for 2019, folders and their headings, e.g. 'family'. 'friends' etc but not the actual photos. I'm now at a loss to explain and your right the comment makes no sense, but find them I did, and I then copied them and repasted the individual photo files back into their appropriate albums then ran a time machine back up - The more I try to explain what I did, the more confused I become as to where they were and how I arrived at them. I think I will go back to Kodak and hard copy albums.
 

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