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Why does iphoto really never delete a photo?  Can someone explain.

1274 Views 30 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2013 9:55 PM by Tigervision RSS
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Tigervision Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Feb 9, 2013 4:01 PM

Hi all.


I have an iphoto library.  I'll often import hundreds of pics at a time.  I go through and delete bad pics I don't want.

i.e. I put pics in trash and then empty trash.  I do try not to put more than 100 in trash at any one time before emptying.  Sometimes there is more that than.  But I do empty trash frequently from iphoto.


To my surprise, I went into my computer/pictures/  Saw my library.  Right clicked and show package contents.

I looked in the masters folder....


EVERY PICTURE IS THERE.   Including hundreds of ones I have 'deleted'.

They don't show in my events in Iphoto... but there are there 'behnid the scenes I guess'.


What is going on???


Any explaination would be greately appreciated.

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,060 points)

    Sound like a damage library.  Try this:  launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and create a new, test library.  Import some photos and check to see if the same problem persists.


    If it does Try the following:


    1 - delete the iPhoto preference file,, that resides in your

         User/Home/Library/ Preferences folder.


    2 - delete iPhoto's cache file, Cache.db, that is located in your

    User/Home/Library/Caches/ folder (Snow Leopard and Earlier).


    or with Mt. Lion from the User/Library/Containers/



    3 - launch iPhoto and try again.


    NOTE: If you're moved your library from its default location in your Home/Pictures folder you will have to point iPhoto to its new location when you next open iPhoto by holding down the Option key when launching iPhoto.  You'll also have to reset the iPhoto's various preferences.


    NOTE 2:  In Lion and Mountain Lion the Library folder is now invisible. To make it permanently visible enter the following in the Terminal application window: chflags nohidden ~/Library and hit the Enter button - 10.7: Un-hide the User Library folder.




  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,060 points)

    1 - Open the Terminal application and enter chflags nohidden ~/Library followed by a return.  Then look in your Home folder for the Library folder.


    2 - deleting the iPhoto preference file applies to all libraries.  You will need to launch iPhoto with the Option key held down to select the library you want to open.


    3 - no guarantee.  If the problem is a damaged preference file then it will start working OK.  If it's a damage library there are other fixes we'll have to apply.


    There is a method that should give you a new library with only the visible photos in the library. It's non destructive so if it doesn't produce the results you want you can delete the new library and continue with your current one:


    Using iPhoto Library Manager  to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library


      1. Download iPhoto Library Manager and launch.
      2. Click on the Add Library button,

        iPhoto Library Manager002.jpg 

        navigate to your Home/Pictures folder and select your iPhoto Library folder.

      3. Now that the library is listed in the left hand pane of iPLM, click on your library and go to the Library ➙ Rebuild Library menu option

        iPhoto Library Manager001.jpg

      4. In the next  window name the new library and select the location you want it to be placed.
      5. Click on the Create button.


    Note: This creates a new library based on the LIbraryData.xml file in the library and will recover Events, Albums, keywords, titles and comments. However, books, calendars, cards and slideshows will be lost. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)

    It's quite simple: If you have a Managed Library then to delete a photo from iPhoto and the HD you simply put the Photo in the iPhoto trash, then empty it.


    If you have iPhoto 11, then there is the additional step of emptying the System trash.


    If that doesn't work, then you have a corrupted library, and you need to investigate why that keeps happening.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)

    Because you're library is corrupted. Where is it stored?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,650 points)

    Do you find iPhoto crashes a lot?

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10 (113,060 points)

    The Terminal application is located in the Applications/Utilities folder.  You can do a Spotlight search for it and double click on Terminal in Spotlight to open it.

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