4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 29, 2014 9:02 AM by norbertmuc
MacGuido Level 1 Level 1

I wanted to clean my aperture library (70+ Gb) to move it to my new SSD.

This is what I did.


1. Rebuild library database and repair.

2. Deleted all the previews from library.

3. Backed up 50,000 pictures on an external drive and then deleted the masters (referenced).


So far I did not get much, the size went from 70 to 64 Gb.


4. Made a copy of the library, right click to show content and deleted the thumbnails folder (40 Gb).

5. Launched Aperture on this library to let it rebuild all the thumbnails (took almost the whole day).


This worked! My library is now 15 Gb. The thumbnails folder within the library is only 10 Gb.


My question, is it possible that Aperture keeps all the thumbnails in the library when deleting the masters??

  • léonie Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    My question, is it possible that Aperture keeps all the thumbnails in the library when deleting the masters??

    Wow, that is an impressive reduction in library size. I checked this with several test libraries in Aperture 3.4.1. Deleting images and emptying the Aperture trash resulted immediately in removing the thumbnails from the Aperture library. So what you observed is not the normal behaviour. At some point your library must have been corrupted, so that the thumbnails could not be removed, or Aperture crashed, before removing the thumbnails. The solution you found is somewhat drastic, but certainly effective Probably would importing your current library into a new library also cleared the orphaned thumbs and previews.




  • MacGuido Level 1 Level 1

    Well probably the library was corrupted due to some crash or something, but I first did a repair + a rebuild...

    Anyway it's good that thumbnails are actually removed along with masters, otherwise I should do this at least once in a month!


    Thanks for your opinion though,




  • hibhaven Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for this post.


    I follows your steps and reduced my library from 69 GB to 24 GB. I am surprised that a product from Apple is so faulty when it comes to professional performance. Aperture does NOT delete thumbnails and previews when one deletes original images. And hence the library gets bloated.


    Other than reclaiming space, I do not notice any improvement in performance or speed howsoever.


    I also feel that Aperture is probably a faulty product by Apple and hence is being discontinued. I am a pro photographer and solely rely on Aperture for storage and editing. Everytime I run it (on my fairly high end MBP and iMac), the whole system gets bogged down, working on it is almost like trying to pull a ship with a bike).

  • norbertmuc Level 1 Level 1

    As far as I recall from older Apertures, there was a time, when thumbnails were not removed upon deleting a master.