Skip navigation

Missing originals in Aperture

379 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Mar 8, 2013 11:32 AM by léonie RSS
swvincent Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 7, 2013 8:51 PM

Hello All,


I'm having an odd problem.  


First off, a little background, I am using Aperture 3.4.3. and because of the size of my photo library, I store it on a raided external drive.  I have photos from 1999 to 2013 stored in Aperture.  I started storing digital photos originally on a PC, using Photoshop Elements.  When I migrated to Mac in 2006, I started off using iPhoto.  In 2009, I started using Aperture.   At that point I moved almost everything into the Aperture Library.


My problem is this, I have some photos that have gone missing.   I think they're still online in the system, but confused with other photos.  I know where Aperture stores it's files, in the Masters folder, hidden inside the Aperture Library Package Contents.  But my Aperture Library only shows Master Folders to 2009.   I have no idea where the Masters for 1999-2008 are located.  


Does anyone here have a suggestion?



Aperture 3, iOS 6.1.2
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 7, 2013 9:49 PM (in response to swvincent)

    Aperture organises the "Masters" folder by the date of the import session, not by the capture date of the photo. So probably all your earlier original image files will also be in the "2009" folder, since you first imported them in 2009.


    The Import session of an image is one of the Metadata fields in the "Aperture" section of the Metadata tags. You can edit your Metadata presets to show it in addition to other Metadata tags.


    Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 06.42.54.png

    In the example above the image was taken in February, but the master folder will show it in the folder





  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 6:02 AM (in response to swvincent)

    Also note that Aperture requires it's library to be on a locally mounted OS X Extended formatted drive. If the RAID box you are using is not OS X Extended that will be a problem/



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 10:31 AM (in response to swvincent)

    I guess missing only 100 photos out of 30,000 isn't a bad record, right?

    That is good, but finding the pictures would be better.

    In what way are the image files missing? Don't you see them at all in your library? Or do you see black thumbnails with warnings about missing original image files?


    Sometimes images miraculously reappear when you rebuild the library - if there are orphaned originals in the Aperture library, they will be collected in a project named "Recovered ....". So you could try, if rebuilding can retrieve some files, but make sure you have a backup of your library before rebuilding.


    I started off using iPhoto.  In 2009, I started using Aperture.

    Do you still have the original iPhoto Libraries, to check, if you really imported everything?



  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 8, 2013 11:32 AM (in response to swvincent)

    Now, they display as offline empty frames.   I remember spotting them in some folder at some in the past year and thinking, "I should mark this location" and of course, didn't mark it.

    • If they have been imported into Aperture as managed, but Aperture lost the connection, rebuilding the library may recover them, if you are lucky - launch Aperture with the ⌘⌥-key held down after backing up he library.
    • If they have been imported as referenced and the connection is broken, you need to locate them yourself.
    • They were acting like corrupted files.  Sometimes they would display correctly, sometimes as static, sometimes as other photos.

    If they really are corrupted, your best bet would be to find the originals on your PC, like you are planning to do.


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.