Skip navigation

iPhoto opens empty, but library is in Pictures folder.

1155 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2012 3:30 AM by Sof6 RSS
Sof6 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 15, 2012 7:23 AM

Dear all!


My iphoto shows up empty, when I open it. The iPhoto library is in the pictures folder and takes up 55 GB space, so it is there. When I try the Command function while opening to choose library, I cannot choose the iphotolibrary in the Pictures folder. I was told in the store this might happen because another empty library is excisting somewhere on my mac -but I cannot find this anywhere.


My iPhoto is iPhoto ´08 v. 7.1.5, my mac is a macbook -mac OS X v 10.6.8.


What to do to get all my pictures, folders and albums back into my iphoto to acces them? I have a backup on an external harddisk, but I'm not interested in having two times 55 GB taking up space -and I want to make sure albums, files and edits are there.


Hope you are able to help! Thanks:-)



iPhoto '08, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,485 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2012 7:31 AM (in response to Sof6)

    Have you tried to dpen the library in your "pictures" folder by selecting it in the Finder and double clicking it? What happens, when you do that?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,710 points)

    Leonie: There's an oddity of iPhoto08 that means that doing that will open the last used Library rather than the one you have clicked on.


    To select a Library in 08:

    Hold down the option (or alt) key key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Choose Library'


    If that fails:


    Try these in order - from best option on down...


    1. Do you have an up-to-date back up? If so, try copy the library6.iphoto file from the back up to the iPhoto Library (Right Click -> Show Package Contents) allowing it to overwrite the damaged file.


    2. Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. (In Library Manager it's the FIle -> Rebuild command)


    This will create an entirely new library. It will then copy (or try to) your photos and all the associated metadata and versions to this new Library, and arrange it as close as it can to what you had in the damaged Library. It does this based on information it finds in the iPhoto sharing mechanism - but that means that things not shared won't be there, so no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your events, albums and keywords, faces and places back.


    Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one. 


    3. If neither of these work then you'll need to create and populate a new library.


    To create and populate a new *iPhoto 08* library:


    Note this will give you a working library with the same Events and pictures as before, however, you will lose your albums, keywords, modified versions, books, calendars etc.


    In the iPhoto Preferences -> Events Uncheck the box at 'Imported Items from the Finder'


    Move the iPhoto Library to the desktop


    Launch iPhoto. It will ask if you wish to create a new Library. Say Yes.


    Go into the iPhoto Library (Right Click -> Show Package Contents) on your desktop and find the Originals folder. From the Originals folder drag the individual Event Folders to the iPhoto Window and it will recreate them in the new library.


    When you're sure all is well you can delete the iPhoto Library on your desktop.


    In the future, in addition to your usual back up routine, you might like to make a copy of the library6.iPhoto file whenever you have made changes to the library as protection against database corruption. 

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,485 points)

    Thanks, TD for correcting this!

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2012 6:52 AM (in response to Sof6)

    The same thing happens with option one -I open package content and drag the library6.iphoto file to iPhoto, and it opens empty.


    You open the package of the Backup Library and copy the library6.iphoto file from it to the damaged library - not the iPhoto icon, but the damaged Library and replace the library6.iphoto file there.


    No option 2 is entirely different.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.