Lost Photos review: Lost Photos

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Lost Photos is easy to use and performs its core function of fetching photos perfectly.

The Bad There are few options and no search or download options, and the thumbnail viewer needs work.

The Bottom Line Interface issues aside, Lost Photos is perfect for digging up old memories buried in your e-mail account.


8.5 Overall
  • Features and Support 8.0
  • Installation and Setup 9.0
  • Interface 7.0
  • Performance 10.0

Like rummaging through a box of old photo albums, using Lost Photos shows you all of the forgotten picture attachments lying dormant in your e-mail account. What's more, it downloads them onto your machine, and offers tools for sharing them directly with your social-network services. You can use it with your Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, RocketMail, and yMail accounts, and even your (defunct) MobileMe account. Plus, its developers continue to add access to others.

Lost Photos' interface is about as straightforward as it gets. When you first open the program, type in the log-in information for one of your e-mail accounts, and hit Find My Photos. By default, the program ignores any attachments smaller than 8K, which is good for avoiding company logos and other unimportant elements from e-mail signatures. If you like, you can change this via the options screen. You can also choose to ignore images in GIF format or images received before a certain date. Unfortunately, though, you can't set any other specific search parameters and there are no downloading options.

If you've been using the same e-mail account for a long time, then prepare to wait a while as Lost Photos does its thing. For me, it took the program about an hour to sift through over 6,000 e-mails and find about 1,000 photos. So, don't be surprised if it takes more than a few minutes for you.

The great thing is that even while Lost Photos is still digging through your account, you can start looking through old photos. You can control the thumbnail viewer at the bottom with your arrow keys, and click any picture to view a larger version. There are also options to post a photo directly to Facebook or Twitter, or attach it to an e-mail using your default client. You cannot, however, share multiple photos at once.

As clean and simple as it is, Lost Photos' interface is also its biggest pain point. The thumbnail viewer accommodates only four photos and can't be resized to add more. Now, imagine my displeasure at having to use this tiny panel to scroll through my 1,000 photos. It's easy enough to view downloaded pictures in Windows Explorer or Mac Finder, but still, the interface could use some major improvements. It would also be nice to have a few sorting options in there.

Usability issues aside, Lost Photos is an awesome app. It performs as advertised, and is perfect for anyone with one or several e-mail addresses. In any case, I can almost guarantee the app will come up with some old pictures that you completely forgot about. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is another story.

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