13 Replies Latest reply: Jun 27, 2011 11:08 AM by Old Toad
jrc362 Level 1 (5 points)

Am trying to cull the iPhoto Library and certain photos will hang iPhoto when I try to delete them and I have to Force Quit. Others move to the trash and are emptied from the trash just fine. Thoughts?

MacPro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,725 points)
    Select one of the affected photos in the iPhoto Window and right click on it. From the resulting menu select 'Show File (or 'Show Original File' if that's available). A Finder Window should open with the file selected. Does it?


  • jrc362 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for the quick response. Right click does show file. I dragged it to the trash from the Finder Window and while the Finder Window is now empty, the photo still shows up in iPhoto even after restart. Another right click on the photo after restart shows an empty window. Tried to delete again and got the same result.
  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,625 points)
    TD's suggestion was to help diagnose the problem - not a way to delete the photos - you must NEVER ever delete photos (or make any other changes to the content or structure of the iPhoto library) from the iPhoto library using the finder - if you have not emptied the finder trash you should put the photo(s) you deleted back and then try to resolve the problem

  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,390 points)
    Make a temporary, duplicate copy of the library and try the two fixes below in order as needed:

    Fix #1

    1 - delete the iPhoto preference file, com.apple.iPhoto.plist, that resides in your Home/Library/Preferences folder.

    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 the the Option key. You'll also have to reset the iPhoto's various preferences.

    2 - delete iPhoto's cache files that are located in the Home/Library/Caches/com.apple.iPhoto folder.

    Fix #2

    Launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys depressed and follow the instructions to rebuild the library. Select all options.

    Click to view full size

  • jrc362 Level 1 (5 points)

    Wish I'd seen this a minute earlier! Already emptied Trash Folder. Might still have it in Time Machine. Should I try to get it back from there? Still looking for an answer re: deleting photos. Again, some I can delete with no problem. I did notice that many of the photos that will not delete are a single photo inside of an Event. Usually a pic I have imported from email or downloaded from the internet. Note, these are not the only ones I cannot delete. In fact, it seems more random than anything else. Just thought I'd point it out on the outside chance it tells us something.


  • jrc362 Level 1 (5 points)
    Old Toad,

    Had a quick question: Will I lose my Faces settings with any of these fixes? My library is huge and it took me a long time to Name photos. Am hoping not to lose all that labor if possible.
  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,390 points)
    You shouldn't lose any faces or metadata. But make that temp copy of the library beforehand just in case.
  • jrc362 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hello Old Toad,


    So, I did both of your recommended fixes and no luck. When I try to trash the "problem" photos, I get the spinning ball and have to force quit. This seems so ridiculous not to be able to delete photos. The application works fine otherwise. Any other thoughts?





  • yogamommy Level 1 (0 points)

    I am having the same problem. Some photos in iphotos '09 delete whereas others turn my computer into the ever dreaded locked beachball. So, I have to force quit it. I can delete some pictures, while others are the problem. I am new to the MAC work, so please help me!!

  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,390 points)

    You can try rebuilding the library with iPhoto Library Manager and see if you can delete those photos from the new library. As you can see by the note at the bottom your current library will not be touched so you can keep using is if the rebuild isn't good.  Here's how:


    Using  iPhoto Library Manager to Rebuild Your iPhoto Library

      1. Download iPhoto Library Manager and launch. 
      2. Click on the Add Library button, navigate to your User/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 File ➙ Rebuild Library menu option 
      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 but not books, calendars or slideshows. The original library will be left untouched for further attempts at fixing the problem or in case the rebuilt library is not satisfactory.

  • yogamommy Level 1 (0 points)

    THANK YOU! I finally had an interrupted period of time where I did this and it worked. Thank you for your detailed step by step instructions.

  • yogamommy Level 1 (0 points)

    Now that I have rebuilt the library and deleted those photos that I had been unsuccessfully trying to with my first library. Do I delete my first library? If so, how?


  • Old Toad Level 10 (133,390 points)

    Once you're sure the new library has all of your photos just drag the old library to the Trash in the Dock and empty.