10 Replies Latest reply: Jun 7, 2014 3:02 PM by goldensam
goldensam Level 1 (0 points)

No problems otherwise.  Large library of 10,000 photos.  I cannot open--says it is "in use" but it is not.


I shut down computer and reopened iPhoto with "option" and "command" pressed down.  No luck.

MacBook Air, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5)
  • adambadura Level 1 (30 points)

    Do Command+Option+Escape and force quit the application, then try to start it again.



  • goldensam Level 1 (0 points)

    No luck.  The same message comes up.

  • adambadura Level 1 (30 points)

    Your iPhoto may be corrupt. Contact Apple Support to see how or where you need to go to restore it.

    1-800-692-7753 (MY-APPLE)



  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,843 points)

    These are your options:

    1. Restore the iPhoto library from the most recent backup that predates the issue.

    Advantages: Always works, if library damage is causing the problem and the backup is intact.

    Disadvantages: Impossible if you don't have a backup. All changes made since the backup are lost.

    2. Repair or rebuild the library. Be sure to back it up first.

    Advantages: May solve the problem with no loss of data.

    Disadvantages: May fail. May take a long time if the library is large.

    3. Scavenge the library with a third-party application called "iPhoto Library Manager," which you can find in a web search. From the application's menu bar (not the iPhoto menu bar), select

    Library Rebuild

    Advantages: All images should be preserved.

    Disadvantages: All books, calendars, and slideshows will be lost.

  • goldensam Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks--sounds hopeful.  I made appt. at Genius bar for tomorrow as I am not savvy about how to "restore".  I have a hard drive backup too so perhaps all is not lost.  Thank you.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,522 points)

    As a test launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and try to create a new, test library.  Import some photos and test to see if the same problem persists. Does it? 


    If you have no problem with the new library your current library may be damaged.  If you're running iPhoto 9 or later try the following:


    1 - launch iPhoto with the Command+Option keys held down to open the First Aid window.



    2 - Run Option #4, Rebuild Database.



  • goldensam Level 1 (0 points)

    I visited the Genius Bar and they were able to repair with no loss.  They recommended getting Aperture since I have such a huge number of photos (10,000) so my iPhoto is overwhelmed.  Thanks for your help.

  • LarryHN Level 9 (77,114 points)

    Sorry but the "genius" is NOT - iPhoto is good for up to 1,000,000 photos (the same as Apertuure) - I personally have over 65,000 in my iPhoto library and it is fine


    If you are happy with Aperture great - but that is not the solution



  • léonie Level 10 (91,094 points)

    They recommended getting Aperture since I have such a huge number of photos (10,000) so my iPhoto is overwhelmed.  Thanks for your help.

    Aperture and iPhoto are using exactly the same Library format. So the size of the library is no reason for upgrading, only Aperture's more advanced editing and search features would be.


    To prevent library corruption in future, avoid things, that terminate iPhoto without closing the internal databases properly, like force quitting, crashes because of insufficient disk space, accessing the library from outside iPhoto or from a different user account, storing it on drives with the wrong file system, using cleaning apps on the library.

  • goldensam Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I have to say that it didn't make complete sense to me but I'm obviously no expert.  I have not done any of the above things you mentioned to my library in the past.  I do plan to delete many photos and save others to discs, etc.  I do have an external hard drive which would have saved me I suppose but I'm glad I didn't have to use it.  I'm lucky this is just a "warning."  Thank you for the support.