Fix “Photos Quit Unexpectedly” Error on Mac

Feb 15, 2024 - Leave a Comment

Photos quit unexpectedly error on Mac

Rarely, Mac users may experience an issue with the Photos app crashing during usage, or crashing in the background when not in use, but a pop-up error message appears on the Mac stating Photos quit unexpectedly. Click Reopen to open the application again. Click Report to see more detailed information and send a report to Apple.”

While the error message gives you three options; reopen Photos again, report to Apple, or ignore, and 2/3 of those very well may resolve the issue (reporting to Apple seems to send a bug report to some corporate /dev/null so don’t count on any resolution associated with this), sometimes you may require additional troubleshooting steps to fix a recurring “Photos quit unexpectedly” error on the Mac.

We’re going to cover six troubleshooting steps for resolving crashing Photos app and the Photos app quitting unexpectedly error messages on the Mac.

Resolving Photos Crashing on Mac and “Photos Quit Unexpectedly” Error Messages

Try these in order, with the easiest first and getting more complicated as the tips continue.

1: Reopen Photos, and try again

The majority of the time, simply clicking on “Reopen” to relaunch Photos app, will resolve the problem, and you won’t experience it again.

If you didn’t reopen the Photos app from the dialog window, just launch it again from your Dock, Applications folder, Launchpad, Spotlight, or your preferred method of choice.

2: Restart the Mac, try again

The next easy solution that usually works is to simply restart the Mac, then relaunch the Photos app again.

You can restart the Mac by going to  Apple menu > Restart.

3: Repair the Photos Library

While Photos app typically works flawlessly for most Mac users, obviously if you’re reading about an error message regarding Photos app then you’re in a situation where things are not so flawless. However, the Photos app has a built-in repair mechanism that will repair the photos library, which often resolves issues with the app itself too.

To repair the Photos library on a Mac, hold down the OPTION+COMMAND keys while launching the Photos app. Then, click on Repair when you see the splash screen.

Repair Photos Library on Mac

This is a useful trick to learn in general, because repairing the Photos library is a common troubleshooting technique for a variety of difficulties that Photos app can experience.

Rebooting the Mac and repairing the photos library should resolve the issue, but if not, continue on.

4: Make Sure Wi-Fi is Enabled and Internet Access is Live

If you use iCloud Photos on the Mac you’ll want to make sure that wi-fi is enabled on the Mac, and that internet access is active.

If the Photos app on Mac is unable to retrieve photos from iCloud, it can result in a variety of issues with Photos app, usually with simply the library not loading, but it can also potentially lead to other issues like app crashing.

5: Create a New Photos Library

The next trick to try is to create an all new Photos library, separate from your original primary one. The idea behind this is to try and narrow down the cause of the app crashing, and if a new photos library does not crash the app, while the original photos library does, then that suggests an issue with the original photos library.

To create a new photos library, hold down the OPTION key while launching Photos app. At the Choose Library screen, select “New Library”.

Create new photos library on the Mac

If the Photos app is not crashing with the new library (which will be blank, but don’t worry your photos are still preserved in the other library), now try again to switch back to your original photos library. Open the Photos app holding down OPTION and select your original photos library, if the app no longer crashes, obviously the problem is resolved.

Usually this type of crashing happens when an extremely large file is contained within the Photos library, or if there is a corrupt photo or video in the library that is causing the app to crash.

6: Restart the Mac in Safe Mode, Try Again

Restart the Mac, but this time into Safe Mode.

For Intel Macs, simply reboot and hold down the SHIFT key until the Mac starts into Safe Mode.

For Apple Silicon Macs, reboot the Mac and hold down the POWER key, and then at the boot options menu, hold down the SHIFT key, and choose to “Continue in Safe Mode”.

Booting into Safe Mode can be a helpful way to diagnose and troubleshoot system problems on a Mac, so once you’re in Safe Mode, try opening the Photos app with your regular library again. If it works, that suggests an issue with something that is loading in regular boot mode, perhaps a compatibility issue with other software that is running concurrently, perhaps anti-virus software or something else that may block the functionality or behavior of Photos on Mac.

Reboot the Mac as usual, and try again.

If you continue to experience problems with the Photos app on Mac, it may be useful to reach out to Apple Support and get official assistance from the experts at Apple.

Did you resolve your issues with the Photos app crashing and Photos app quitting unexpectedly? Which solution worked for you? Did you find another solution? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

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