Mayday: iPhoto destroying library

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Every once in a while I find a photo with a missing thumbnail. When I click it, the information of the photograph is there, but the photo itself is missing. A spotlight search of the title of the photo yields no results. Either iPhoto fails to properly delete photos, or it's randomly deleting photos. I need to know which of the two it is, before it deletes more photos, and what I can do about it. It's happening fast. Yesterday I found it happened to at least twenty of them, apparently in one day.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    High time to 1) make a backup set (or two) of your photos, and 2) to not use iPhoto anymore. iPhoto is suspect. It destroyed my entire photo library of nearly 30,000 images a couple years ago (luckily I had good backups!). I think it happens when iPhoto's library exceeds a certain number of images.

    My conclusion: iPhoto is for Tom, Dick, and Harry, snapshot shooters with a limited photo library. iPhoto is not for advanced photo amateurs and (semi) pros with extensive image libraries.

    Since that crash I never used iPhoto anymore, because I don't trust it anymore. I use the Finder's folder system (YY/MM/DD/jobname/sequential number) and Lightroom or Photo Mechanic for sorting, managing, and archiving images. And for editing a host of other editors, but not iPhoto anymore!
  • Reply 2 of 2
    tontontonton Posts: 14,067
    I doubt that this is a widespread problem. I've got 17,000 photos in iPhoto and I've never ever lost a photo. The Faces feature, Events, Albums, Smart Albums, Slideshow, simple editing features and Facebook uploading make it irreplacable for me.

    That said, I do back up my photos.

    RS's experience very well could have been a bad hard drive, or bad permissions, as could yours. I've never heard of anyone losing their photo library before. iPhoto doesn't delete photos, even if you delete the iPhoto library file or it becomes corrupted. And the title of the photo is not the same thing as the filename, so you can't rely on spotlight to find the photos you're missing. You should use another technique to find the missing photo. My bet is you will find it.
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