4 Replies Latest reply: May 13, 2008 7:26 PM by Beverly Maneatis
PainterLady Level 1 (5 points)
I often drag photos out of iPhoto onto my desktop, for various reasons, to work with them. I've done this for forever. All of a sudden, with a certain set of photos, it won't let me do this. When I try to place them on my desktop, instead of getting the little green plus sign, I get a white circle with a slash through it. This is only happening with a few photos that I edited (that's never mattered before). I don't know where to begin to figure this one out. Any ideas? Thanks.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,665 points)
    This could be a permissions issue.

    Download BatchMod from


    And apply it to the iPhoto Library Folder using the settings found here:


    (Credit to Old Toad for this one).


  • jordanhoffy Level 1 (0 points)
    still not working...any other ideas?
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,665 points)
    I get a white circle with a slash through it.

    This is the "You're not allowed do this" sign, which does suggest a permission issue.

    Back Up and try rebuild the library: hold down the apple and option (or alt) keys while launching iPhoto. Use the resulting dialogue to rebuild. Use All the options.

    If that fail, right click on one of the affected pics and from the resulting menu select 'Show File' A Finder window will open. Does it have the file selected?


  • Beverly Maneatis Level 5 (7,150 points)
    I had that happen to me several months ago. I somehow got several thousand photos that refused to be edited or moved.
    It turned out to be a corrupted external hard drive that I knew was failing and I copied my photos to my newer drive before the drive totally gave up. However, the copied photo libraries were corrupted.
    Fortunately, I had followed Old Toad's advice* to make copies of the library6.iPhoto files, and I had backed them up to another external drive BEFORE the old drive ruined the photos. Although I copied the photos to a new drive, I did not do a back up again, so my library6.iPhoto files were still backups from the good photos.

    I was able to retrieve these files from my backup iPhoto Library, and reimported all the 'good' photos from them to replace the 'bad' ones. It was tedious, but I recovered all but two photos!

    Hopefully you have backups of your iPhotoLibrary?

    *OT's advice from his signature:
    +TIP: For insurance against the iPhoto database corruption that many users have experienced I recommend making a backup copy of the Library6.iPhoto (iPhoto.Library for iPhoto 5 and earlier) database file and keep it current. If problems crop up where iPhoto suddenly can't see any photos or thinks there are no photos in the library, replacing the working Library6.iPhoto file with the backup will often get the library back. By keeping it current I mean backup after each import and/or any serious editing or work on books, slideshows, calendars, cards, etc. That insures that if a problem pops up and you do need to replace the database file, you'll retain all those efforts. It doesn't take long to make the backup and it's good insurance.+

    +I've created an Automator workflow application (requires Tiger or later), iPhoto dB File Backup, that will copy the selected Library6.iPhoto file from your iPhoto Library folder to the Pictures folder, replacing any previous version of it. It's compatible with iPhoto 6 and 7 libraries and Tiger and Leopard. iPhoto does not have to be closed to run the application, just idle. You can download it at Toad's Cellar. Be sure to read the Read Me pdf file.+

    One thing I did that made it easy to see which photos were bad, was to mark them with the 'Hide' command. I had all of them in albums, and didn't hide them, but since they were marked with that X it was easy to identify them and put the good photo where it belonged. I had all my photos arranged chronologically, so it was very important to put them back in order.