14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2013 2:58 PM by Old Toad
Kyns22 Level 1 (0 points)

Hello Mac users. I have read every other post on here about this problem and it still hasn't resolved my issue. I open iPhoto, the color wheel spins forever, and I have to force quit it every time. I've tried doing the HD/Library/Preferences/system configuration thing and deleted the plists for iphoto AND ilife, and there was no change to iPhoto. I've tried creating a new library, also doesn't work. Every time I try to delete the system configuraion folder it just comes right back. HELP!

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,920 points)

    What version of iPhoto?


    Create a new account (systempreferences -> accounts or Users & Groups on 10.7)  and see if the problem is repeated there. If it is, then a re-install of the app might be indicated. If it's not, then it's likely the app is okay and the problem is something in the main account.







  • Kyns22 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's iPhoto '11 and my operating system is Snow Leopard. I tried your suggestion and iPhoto didn't work under the other account either. Thinking of trying to figure out how to uninstall it completely and reinstall but I think I'd lose all my photos (at this point I don't really care about that.)

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,920 points)

    Make a back up:



    Most Simple Back Up


    Drag the iPhoto Library from your Pictures Folder to another Disk. This will make a copy on that disk.


    Slightly more complex:


    Use an app that will do incremental back ups. This is a very good way to work. The first time you run the back up the app will make a complete copy of the Library. Thereafter it will update the back up with the changes you have made. That makes subsequent back ups much faster. Many of these apps also have scheduling capabilities: So set it up and it will do the back up automatically. Examples of such apps: Chronosync or DejaVu . But are many others. Search on MacUpdate





    To re-install iPhoto


    1. Put the iPhoto.app in the trash (Drag it from your Applications Folder to the trash)


    2a: On 10.5:  Go to HD/Library/Receipts and remove any pkg file there with iPhoto in the name.


    2b: On 10.6: Those receipts may be found as follows:  In the Finder use the Go menu and select Go To Folder. In the resulting window type




    2c: on 10.7 they're at




    A Finder Window will open at that location and you can remove the iPhoto pkg files.


    3. Re-install.


    If you purchased an iLife Disk, then iPhoto is on it.


    If iPhoto was installed on your Mac when you go it then it’s on the System Restore disks that came with your Mac. Insert the first one and opt to ‘Install Bundled Applications Only.


    If you purchased it on the App Store or have a Recent Mac you can find it in your Purchases List.

  • Kyns22 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay, I uninstalled it, re-installed it and it STILL doesn't work. Maybe I didn't uninstall it right? I dragged it to the trash and re-installed with the disc. Made a new library, still does the same thing.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,920 points)

    DId you delete the receipts?

  • Kyns22 Level 1 (0 points)

    I didn't, but when I went to find them there was only MS office receipts. I have a 10.68 but I couldn't find the receipts the way you described for a 10.6 so i found them the other way.

  • FNM Level 1 (0 points)

    I've done everything you suggested and I am still having problems.  Here is a screen capture of the error message that I keep getting.  Any other recommendations you can share as I'm getting really frustrated.


    Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 3.28.12 PM.png

    I don't have an option to create a new photo library. I could only quit the app.


    Please help.


    Thank you.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,920 points)

    Option 1

    Back Up and try rebuild the library: hold down the command and option (or alt) keys while launching iPhoto. Use the resulting dialogue to rebuild. Choose to Repair Database. If that doesn't help, then try again, this time using Rebuild Database.


    If that fails:


    Option 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. 




  • FNM Level 1 (0 points)



    I tried Option 1 and after a hour, it seems to have gotten stuck at this point:


    Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 5.25.52 PM.png

    What next?


    Thank you.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,388 points)

    How big is your library? How much free space do you have on your boot drive?



  • FNM Level 1 (0 points)

    About 38 gb and have about 106 gb free

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,388 points)

    That shoots down that theory.   Give it about another hour before you force quit out of iPhoto.  Then try Option 2 in TD's post.  That will leave your current library untouched for further repairs if so desired while creating a new library.

  • FNM Level 1 (0 points)

    It seems like it rebuilt the library as all my photos are now in the library.  But now I have another issue where the ball is spinning next to the "faces" icon.  What should I do now?



  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,388 points)

    Nothing. iPhoto is scanning all the faces so you can add names to them if you'd like after it completes its original scan.  If you're not interested in using the Faces feature just let it finish it's initial scan and ignore it.