How to Repair Photos Library to Fix Common Issues with Photos App on Mac OS X
The Mac Photos app works well for most users, but occasionally a variety of hiccups can be encountered when interacting with photo libraries, ranging from crashes, to hanging on Photos app launch, a failed import, thumbnails missing from an image library, pictures missing from a library that was imported, or even a completely empty Photos app on launch despite having the proper photo library selected in the Photos app.
If you encounter any of these library management and photo library viewing issues, you can manually trigger a repair of any photo library, which will often resolve the problem being experienced.
How to Repair Photos Library in Photos App for Mac OS X
Though repairing the library is supposed to fix problems, it’s a good idea to backup the Mac and your photos library into Time Machine, or your backup method of choice, before attempting to repair it. This is a precautionary measure just in case something happens to go wrong in the repair process. Pictures and image files are often some of the most important data that users maintain, thus it’s good practice to take extra care and back up of these critical files.
- Quit out of Photos app if you have it open on the Mac
- Re-launch Photos app and immediately hold down Command+Option keys
- When the Repair Library message appears in the app “You are about to repair the library “Library Name” – choose “Repair” to start the library repair process
- Let the entire process complete before interacting with Photos app, when finished the library will appear as usual
You can keep track of progress by watching the “Repairing Library” status bar, the process of repairing a library can be fast or very slow, depending on the speed of the Mac, the size of the photo library, and numerous other factors. If you have a large library, be prepared to wait a while.
Do note this will offer the library repair procedure on the currently active and selected photo library, so if you’re juggling multiple libraries be sure you switch to the one you wish to repair.
If repairing the library doesn’t fix your issue, you could always try to use iPhoto instead of Photos app in OS X either as a temporary measure, or perform the same repair procedure in iPhoto before attempting again to migrate the iPhoto library into Photos app again. As always, back up your data before doing so.
Did repairing the Photos Library resolve the issue you were experiencing with Photos app? Leave us a comment and let us know what the problem was, and if it worked to fix it, or if you happened to find another solution.