Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Oct 14, 2012 9:15 PM by IlMolto
IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

Ok, this is a strange one! I have the latest iPhoto version. 9.4.1. In short, iPhoto isn't physically deleting photos from my hard drive when I delete them from iPhoto.


When I take photos, I like to take a bunch of the same photo. I then import it into iPhoto, select the best ones to keep and then delete the ones I don't want. I then empty the trash, of course. For some strange reason, I felt like digging into the iPhoto Library package file tonight. Don't know why. I guess I was just bored and curious as to what was in there. To my surprise, I found a whole heap of photos, even from months ago, in the Masters folder that I had supposedly deleted. At first I thought it was from my Photo Stream. To make sure, I completely turned Photo Stream off from iPhoto. Turns out it wasn't from Photo Stream. So now I have a whole bunch of photos sitting in my iPhoto Library that A) I don't need and B) iPhoto doesn't even look at. Very strange.


Anyone have any suggestions as to what might be going on? Even in my last import, iPhoto didn't delete any of the deleted photos from my hard drive, and my last import was 3 days ago from 9.4.1. Would love to know what's going on. Thanks for reading and hope to get some information on the matter soon.





Mac Pro (Mid 2010), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 12GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    Sounds like a damaged data base.


    As a Test:



    Hold down the option (or alt) key and launch iPhoto. From the resulting menu select 'Create Library'



    Import a few pics into this new, blank library. Is the Problem repeated there?

  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    I think you're right. I did a test in a brand new library and it worked perfectly. I might just drag all my photos from my current library to the Finder, and then into the new library. At least that way I won't have photos laying around that I don't need. Can take up quite a bit of space after a while. Thanks for your help.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,082 points)

    First  back up your iPhoto library, depress and hold the option and command keys, launch iPhoto and rebuild your library



  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    But will this remove the "deleted photos" from my hard drive? I'd rather just start from a new library. Will take a little extra time, but at least that way I can be sure iPhoto won't be taking up unecessary space. Thanks for your help though.

  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    Just finished re-creating my iPhoto Library. I saved 8GB! And there weren't that many edited photos either. So my point is, that 8GB wouldn't have been edited copies of photos that were in the Previews folder. It would have been photos that didn't get removed when emptying the trash in iPhoto. Glad it's working how it should be now!

  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,082 points)



    The way to find out is to give it a try



  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    I tried it and it completely messed up the library. A lot of the photos that were supposed to have been deleted were recovered and put in undesired Events. I think dragging all the photos to the Finder, then creating a new library, then dragging the photos from the Finder into the new library is a better way to fix the problem. Takes a little more time to get everything the way it was again, but at least you it's as clean as can be.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,082 points)

    Ok. That is why you always back up first



  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    iPhoto is really starting to annoy me. I have started a new library from scratch and the exact same thing is happening. All that time re-creating albums and faces for nothing! The thing is, no one will really know if it's happening to them unless they actually go looking. And since the iPhoto library is in a package type folder, no one ever bothers to check if iPhoto is actually removing these files from the Finder.


    Better yet, every time you empty the trash in iPhoto, take note of how many photos were actually in the iPhoto trash and then go to the Finder trash and make sure that same amount is in there. Sometimes it's the same and sometimes it's not. I can't work it out.


    Another thing. Is it normal for iPhoto to place a duplicate file in the "Previews" folder if it hasn't been edited? What's the deal with this? Why are some "non-edited" photos duplicated into the "Previews" folder? It's taking up unecessary space on my hard drive.


    This is ridiculous. I want to file this to Apple. How can I do this?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    iPhoto menu -> Provide iPhoto Feedback


    Is it normal for iPhoto to place a duplicate file in the "Previews" folder if it hasn't been edited?


    Usual reason: Your camera has an Auto-Rotate feature. However, the camera does not actually rotate any pixels in the file, but instead flags it with an instruction: "Display me this way". This is a tag in the Exif metadata.



    When you import a file with this tag iPhoto creates a modified version. It does this because most of the apps that integrate with it -  email clients, word processors etc - simply don't understand this Exif tag. So if you used the shot in a word processing doc, uploaded it to many Web sites etc, the shot would come out sideways.


    If you then try to Revert to Original, iPhoto will remove the edited version. However, when it then looks at the Original file again, it sees the flag, and creates a new rotated version. This loop will run as long as you Revert to the Original.


    The solution is to either a: turn off the Auto-Rotate feature on your camera or b: rotate the photos prior to importing them to iPhoto.


    But really, if you'e concerned about disk space, get a bigger disk. Use an external. Photography uses lots and lots of space.






  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi and thanks for helping me out.


    Let's get one thing straight. I'm not concerned about space that much. But when you discover that iPhoto is using an additional 8 GB of data of duplicated and undeleted files, you begin to get annoyed that it isn't doing what you expect. Also, the more data in my iPhoto Library means the more data I have to backup. All this should not be the case.


    Secondly, my camera is an iPhone 4S. The orientation of the photo is usually landcape because I feel that's the correct way to look at a photo. Not a fan of looking at photos that are taller than wide. This Auto-Rotate feature you speak of. Will the photo in the Masters folder be of a different orientation than the same photo in the Previews folder? Because for me, the unedited photo that has been duplicated into the Previews folder is exactly the same.


    Thirdly, I found a feedback section on the website for using iPhoto.


    The main thing I want to do is to help get iPhoto working as expected. This kind of issue is rarely heard of probably because not many people would actually go into their iPhoto Library package folder and investigate. But since I somehow discovered that iPhoto is doing these strange things that I have described, I have been keeping an eye on exactly what goes in and out of my library.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    The problem of undeleted images is due to a corrupted database or having the library stored on an inappropriatelt formatted Hard Disk. In very rare situations I've seen it caaued by directory damage on the disk.


    The images in the Preview folder: Are they edited in any way on the phone? Again, most of these edits are done by means of Exif tags, and that would cause precisely the same behaviour as the Rotation tag.


    I'm not sure that you can say the reason this issue is not often heard of is because people don't check. It's equally valid to say, and with exactly the same amount of evidence, that it's because it rarely happens.

  • IlMolto Level 1 (5 points)

    The photos are not edited on my phone. I take the photos, import them to iPhoto, choose the best ones to keep and then delete the rest. Sometimes I will crop the photo, and of course then you would expect there to be a duplicated version in the Previews folder. But I just can't understand why iPhoto would make a duplicated version for a photo that has not been edited at all.


    I have TechTool Pro. I do tests from time to time and there is no sign of any volume directory corruption or anything that would cause such behaviour. I have no other theory but to believe iPhoto is the culprit and not my library database or hard disk.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (137,945 points)

    Believe as you will then.

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