12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 30, 2014 4:11 PM by alp1116
alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

iMac mid-2011, 8 GB RAM, 1TB Internal Hard Drive, Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9, iPhoto 5, Aperture 3.5


My iPhoto library, iCloud photos and some Mac OS X Mavericks file called QTKitServer-iPhoto and QTKitServer-Aperture keep hanging and not responding. Tried repairing permissions and repairing iPhoto library multiple times. Tried re-downloading Mavericks and that did not fix it. Called Apple Support. They said they could not help me beyond what I had already tried (Apple Online Support has really gone downhill since the last time I called) and to go to my local Apple retail store to see a Genius.


After running hardware tests, the Genius told me that my iPhoto library was too large and that was what was causing iPhoto and iCloud photos to hang. Even though he acknowledged that the QTKitServer operating system file is not supposed to hang. The Genius put in an additional 8 Mb memory to see if adding more memory would help (apparantly iPhoto is supposed to give back some memory when you close it and it does not). So Apple is not flushing memory when an App is closed. Apple's apparent solution is to add more memory that you have to purchase. However, the same three files kept not responding even with the additional memory. So I passed on the additional memory until I get the iPhoto problem solved. He also said my external hard drive, a WD 2TB hard drive that I bought from the same Apple retail store two or three years ago, looked like it was failing because there were lots of disk I/O errors in the system log, even though the drive appears to work fine and disk utility reported no problems when I ran Verify Disk on the external WD drive two days ago. I do not use this drive hardly at all (I backup my iMac to my Time Capsule), exept to keep a backup copy of my iPhoto library and Documents folder, and it has lots of original pictures that are not in my existing iPhoto library. I copied my iPhoto library and Documents folder to it last night and they seemed to copy fine.


So if my iPhoto library is really too big, and that is what the issue is, my problem is that there is no apparent way to break up my existing iPhoto Library into multiple small iPhoto libraries, without losing all of my keywords, titles, photo edits, event names, album names, folders and projects etc. The last time I tried breaking up my iPhoto library into smaller iPhoto libraries, even though I told iPhoto to export  keywords and titles, it did not. And the Genius did not know if it would work now or not.


My question is to those of you who have large iPhoto libraries and are using Mac OS X Mavericks and iCloud Photos - how big are your iPhoto libraries? What is too big? Does anyone have an iPhoto library the size of mine that is working fine (who is also using Mac OS X Mavericks and iCloud)? When I talked to Apple online support, they said big iPhoto libraries are 100,000 photos and up. The Genius said anything over 1,000 is big. That's quite a spread. Currently I have 24,000 photos, most of which have been edited in some way or another, and about 1/2 of which have new titles, mulitple keywords assigned, faces and places assigned, etc., since I imported the original master photos. The Genius told me to duplicate my existing iPhoto library, create a new iPhoto library, import all of the folders in the iPhoto database except the Masters folder, and see if iPhoto still hung. If it did, he said it was all the data attached to the photos that is the problem, in which case I would need to create another new iPhoto library and import only the Masters file (images only). I think if I import only the Masters from my existing library, I will lose not only all of my keywords and titles, but also all of my photo edits, event names, album names, folder names, projects etc.


So I wasted an entire afternoon at the Apple retail store, only to buy a new external hard drive (that I may not even need), was told to buy more memory (that did not solve the problem - I passed on that), and I am no further ahead than I was when I went in. I need to know if there is any way that I can break up my iPhoto library into smaller libraries and retain all of the metadata and photo edits?


Finally, when I got home, I discovered that my husband with whom I had shared some of my photo streams, still had photos showing in shared photo streams that I had removed from iCloud two days ago. It removed them on my iMac - the place where those streams originated, but apparently left the thumbnails in the shared photo streams of everyone that I had shared the photos with. As soon as I clicked on an actual photo on my husband's iMac, the photo suddenly vanished and all the photo thumbnails in the stream did too. But the empty shared photo stream still remained on my husband's iMac and he had to physically say "Unsubscribe" to get it to go away. So something is not working right with iCloud photos, which is no doubt why iCloud photos is one of the files that keeps not responding.


Then, when I set up my iMac again this evening, and looked at iCloud on my iMac, all of my photo streams (not just the four that I had removed two days ago) were gone! And when I went into Aperture, the photo streams were all there, but with zero photos in them. Now last night when I boxed up my iMac to take to Apple, those photo streams were all there and they all had photos in them. So where did they go? And why, when you are the originator of a photo stream, and you tell iCloud to remove the photo stream, it says that it does but it leaves remnants of it with the other people you have shared it with? It seems to me that iPhoto, iCloud, and the fact that Apple is not flushing memory when an app closes is the problem with my iMac, not the size of my iPhoto library, or my external hard drive, or the fact that 8Gb of memory is apparently no longer enough memory for decent response with Mavericks (which I thought was designed to help solve some of the memory issues that OS X has).


I need help and help is apparently nowhere to be found at Apple.


Is there anyone out there who can help me?

iMac, OS X Mavericks (10.9), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7 mid-2011
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,665 points)

    If you're using iPhoto 5 as you say then, yes, 24k photos is heading close to the Limit of 25k. iPhoto 6 is good for 250,000 images, iPhoto 11 is good for 1,000,000.


    I'm going to guess that's a typo and that you have iPhoto 9.5.


    I've simply never heard of "too many photos" causing the problem you describe. You don't need more memory. You don't need to break up the Library. "Flushing Memory" is a non-isssue. One of the big improvements in 10.9 is in memory management.


    There are a couple of ways to break up a Library while preserving everything. It's dead easy with Aperture - export projects as Library - you can do it with iPhoto simply by duplicating the Library and deleting from the two libraries or use iPhoto Library Manager.


    But, as I say, 24k is a small Library. My main library is more than twice the size of that.


    Are Aperture and iPhoto using the same Library?


    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?


    Post back with the result.

  • alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

    I am using iPhoto 11. I meant to type iPhoto 9.5. And as for your very rude comment on my other post, I had forgotten that I had posted that question a month ago. And after I posted this one yesterday, I added the update to the other post. So I do not know why you are giving me such a hard time, but if you are not williing to help then do not bother replying.

  • alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

    iPhoto 11. Version 9.5. The most recent version that came with OS X Mavericks. My entire system is up to date with the latest everything and it is not working.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 (136,665 points)

    I answered a lot of the specific questions you asked - with brevity, a skill you could usefully acquire -  I sought a clarification and suggested a simple test that might help troubleshoot your problem. In response you accuse me of "giving you a hard time" because after I read through the masses of unnecessary autbiography in your post I queried why you have a second thread (with different information in it) and then, don't respond to either the request for clarification or with the result of the basic test. As you seem incapable of recognising assistance when it is offered I'll pass. Good luck with your issue.

  • alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

    The test you described is the test that the Genius did at Apple, except he only tried it with one photo. No iCloud photos. It still took iPhoto a long time to open, even with just one photo in it, but at least it did not hang. To me that was not a valid test, and he himself said that to test further I would have to do all the things that I said in my previous post. Which is why I bothered to say them. So even though you did not like my wordy question, I thought it important to share what was done already, and recommended, so I would not get people writing and saying "just repair your permissions, or repair iPhoto, etc."  I am not a novice Mac user. I have been using iPhoto and Macs for a long time. Either my OS is messed up, my version of iPhoto is messed up, or there are problems with iCloud photos that Apple is not talking about (which is clearly the case based on what I shared at the end of my question), and/or I do, in fact, have a hardware issue that is not showing up on Apple's tests. I am already working 18 hours a day running two businesses so I don't have time to duplicate my iPhoto library again, and try copying parts of folders, per the Genius recommendation, or re-entering all of my photo metadata.


    Your information on the size of your library gave me the information I need to go back to Apple and demand assistance to resolve this. It is their software that messed up my library in the first place, as I only use their software. Hopefully this time I will actually get someone who knows what he/she is talking about. And if that fails a second time to get assistance I will try your suggestion re: Aperture. And for that I thank you. Just don't get on a high horse and assume you are talking to an idiot. You'll find that people respond a lot better.

  • Arjen Hiemstra Level 1 (10 points)

    Did you manage to fix this issue?


    I am experiencing the same thing. After letting my iMac early 2013 run for 24 hours, I can see that several threads are stalling. For example Apple Mail and Safari.


    When I look at unresponsive processes, "iCloud Photos" is amongst them.


    Is the issue really caused by iCloud Photos?

  • alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

    The way that I "solved" it was to delete all shared iCloud photo streams except for my main photo stream. I also turned off Photo sharing on iCloud Services on my husband's PC. These two steps provided an immediate improvement in "iCloud Photos Not Responding" and "iPhoto Not Responding" messages, and stopped iPhoto from constantly hanging on opening and closing.


    iPhoto was still very slow to load and close, so I tried upgrading the memory on my Mac from 8 GB to 16 GB. Minor improvements in iPhoto as a result, but nothing dramatic. I am still getting an occasional QTKitServer Not Responding message in Activity Monitor, and the iPhoto Media Browser is still very very slow to open and load photos when trying to upload photos to the web. iPhoto is still much slower than it used to be opening and closing, but it is not hanging anymore.


    The only advice that I could get from Apple to try to solve the issue further is to start over with a new iPhoto library, which I may end up doing on January 1, 2014. I will probably try a clean install (erase and reinstall) of Mavericks over the holidays to see if that helps as a last resort. I may also upgrade the internal hard drive on my iMac to a SSD drive, as I have heard that can significantly improve load times.


    Hope this helps anyone else who is having similar issues.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,475 points)

    Backup your iPhoto library, depress the option and command keys, launch iPhoto and rebuild your database. This often improves speed



  • Arjen Hiemstra Level 1 (10 points)

    I use Aperture. And rebuilding the database did not fix this.


    I get the feeling that something on a very low level is in a deadlock situation.


    All programs that use iCloud appear to be hanging when accessing iCloud keychain. Mail, Safari, iCloud Photos, Aperture, Calendar... Even the iCloud Preference Panel is blocked.


    If you look at the dumps after force quit, you can see WAITING FOR SEMAPHORE. So something is not completing and the threads are waiting for something to be released.


    Even if you log off and back in, this is not restored.


    The only way out is to completely reboot. Then no problems for hours.


    For me this appears to be happening after the computer has been running for at least 15 hours.


    I have an early 2013 iMac btw.


    Because I am afraid this can be caused by malicious code, I formatted the drive and I reinstalled Mavericks. Currently the user directory (data only) is being restored through the Migration Assistant.


    I hope that this will resolve the issue.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (74,475 points)

    Note that sometimes migration assistant dies now handle the iPhoto library well. If you have issues drag the iPhoto library intact as a single entity from the old system to the pictures folder of the new system



  • alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

    If I rebuild the database, will all of my metadata be saved and restored? I have not tried a rebuild yet in iPhoto (only a repair permissions and repair database) and not even the Apple Support suggested that I try the rebuild function. I do not want to lose my photo edits, titles, descriptions, keyword tags, albums, folders, etc. I have 20,000 photos many of which have been edited to some degree and most of which have title changes, descriptions added and keywords assigned for searching.

  • alp1116 Level 1 (15 points)

    What solved it for me was (in this order):


    Deleting all shared photo streams in iCloud.

    Upgrading memory on my iMac mid-2011 from 8 Gb to 32 Gb.

    Re-shared a much smaller subset of photo streams in iCloud, with fewer people sharing each photo stream.

    Implemented most recent updates to Mavericks 10.9.1 and iPhoto 9.5.1 that came out in December after my memory upgrade.

    iPhoto no longer hangs on opening and closing.

    iPhoto Media Browser no longer hangs on opening and closing.

    My iPhoto Library is up to 24,000+ photos with no related performance problems.