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Question: Photo library won't open, can't be repaired

I'm using Photos Version 2.0 (3161.4.140) on a MacBook Air running OS X version 10.12.6 (16G29).


Last time I opened the library successfully was in July or August. When I went to open it yesterday it said "The library could not be opened". Following instructions on the support forums I tried to repair it and got the message "The library “Photos Library.photoslibrary” could not be recognized." and it won't repair the library.


Finder reports the file is 917 bytes...obviously empty. I use Time Machine to back up, but even going back before when the issue occurred, the file is 917 bytes. I've restored several versions anyway, on hope, and none will open and none can be repaired.


I also use Backblaze, and I've restored the oldest version they have, four weeks old, but it too is 917 bytes, can't be opened and can't be repaired.


Any ideas of what else I can try? Any ideas what might have happened?

MacBook Air, macOS Sierra (10.12.6)

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Nov 16, 2017 12:05 AM in response to leonc2 In response to leonc2

It is on the machine's hard drive, in the Pictures folder, and I don't think I was running any de-duping software.

In the Pictures folder a Photos Library should work. And you have not been running CleanMyMac or Mac Keeper, or similar?

Is there another Photos Library on your Mac? Launch Photos while holding down the options key, while Photos is launching. Keep holding down the key, until you are seeing the Library Chooser panel. Is it showing more than one library?


If there is only one library, something must have removed the Photos from the Photos Library. are you perhaps using DropBox and allowed it to upload the photos to dropbox?

Has your Photos Library been restored from Time Machine? If yes, have you used the Time Machine interface to let Time Machine restore the library, or did you drag it from the Time Machine Drive in the Finder?

Nov 16, 2017 12:05 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 3:50 AM in response to léonie In response to léonie

I don't think I've been running CleanMyMac or MacKeeper, or any de-duping software.


The only libraries are the normal one, and now several that I have restored from Time Machine, and one I restored from BackBlaze. They all have the same issue.


DropBox doesn't have the photos as I only have a few TB of storage there.


I did you TimeMachine to restore the photos, and I used TM to do it. I didn't drag and drop.

Nov 16, 2017 3:50 AM

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Nov 16, 2017 9:10 AM in response to leonc2 In response to leonc2

Download and run Etrecheck. Copy and paste the results into your reply. Etrecheck is a diagnostic tool that was developed by one of the most respected users here in the ASC and recommended by Apple Support to provide a snapshot of the system and help identify the more obvious culprits that can adversely affect a Mac's performance.

User uploaded file

Nov 16, 2017 9:10 AM

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Question: Photo library won't open, can't be repaired