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Question: Cannot import photos from iPhone

If I plug my iPhone up to my iMac and try to import the photos from the phone to the computer, I get a cannot import error. It says they may be an unrecognizable format or may not contain valid data. I attached a photo of the error. iOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.1, Photos 3.0. I also tried importing from my wife's iPhone 6 into her photos library and got the same result. Some photos imported just fine, many will not. I even took random photos after rebooting the computer and phones and tried again with the same error on the just taken photos. Any ideas?User uploaded file

IMAC (RETINA 5K, 27-INCH, LATE 2015), macOS High Sierra (10.13.1)

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Feb 4, 2018 11:47 AM in response to jrocket16 In response to jrocket16

Where is your Photos Library stored? Is it on an external drive? If yes, the file system format may be a problem.


This error message is typical for a Photos Library stored on a drive, that has the file system format "case-sensitive".

Then Photos cannot find the video components.


Another possibility - is iCloud photo library enabled on the iPhone?

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Question marked as Helpful

Feb 4, 2018 11:47 AM in response to jrocket16 In response to jrocket16

Where is your Photos Library stored? Is it on an external drive? If yes, the file system format may be a problem.


This error message is typical for a Photos Library stored on a drive, that has the file system format "case-sensitive".

Then Photos cannot find the video components.


Another possibility - is iCloud photo library enabled on the iPhone?

Feb 4, 2018 11:47 AM

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Dec 12, 2017 8:15 AM in response to jrocket16 In response to jrocket16

You can see the format of the file system, if you select the icon of the external drive in the Finder, then open the info panel with "File > Info" or the keyboard shortcut ⌘I .

The format line in the "General" section of the panel should be showing "MacOS Extended (Journaled)" or "APFS", without an added "case-sensitive" in the format name.

If your drive is formatted differently, copy the library to a different drive, the format the drive using Disk Utility. Formatting verses it, so you need to save any data on a different drive, before you do that.


User uploaded file


Formatting external drives for photo libraries is described here for Aperture, but the procedure is the same for Photos Libraries: Format external drives to Mac OS Extended before using with Aperture - Apple Support

Dec 12, 2017 8:15 AM

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Dec 19, 2017 8:56 PM in response to jrocket16 In response to jrocket16

See if this helps.

Live photos cannot import into Photos app in High Sierra


I have similar problem and it is related to having my Photos Library on an external drive that uses the case sensitive format. Unfortunately I cannot solve the problem but I can work around it by importing via the Image Capture app.

Dec 19, 2017 8:56 PM

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Question: Cannot import photos from iPhone