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I noticed that some of my photos won't load when double clicked, displaying a grey placeholder instead.

Looking for them in Photos library, I did find them in the Masters folder, so they aren't lost.

As far as I can tell, this happens for a bunch of photos in the interval of a few months from last year. I still have to investigate if this happens further back in time.

The problem only affects photos. Videos are fine.

Repairing the library didn't improve the situation. I did find a suggestion of creating a new Photos library from the Masters, but I understand that would discard any editing, so I consider it a last resort.

I've tried dragging the pictures from the Masters folder back into Photos and it seems to work. Photos warns me that it's a duplicate but in the end it keeps only the new copy. It appears to be imported at the current date, losing the previous, dragged folder.

Any concerns I should be aware of with this procedure?

Any ideas on how to do a proper automatic recovery?

Is there any way I can do the "reimport from Masters" and keep the original import date?

Any ideas on how to find any other affected photos without manually examining them?

I'm running El Capitan, latest update.

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  • This happens every time you double-click the photos in question? I ask because this happens to me sporadically, but zooming back to Moments view, then reopening the photo usually clears things up. Also, what happens if you try to edit the affected photos?
    – user11633
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:57
  • Yes, it happens everytime I try to open those pictures, and I can't edit them. In iPhoto I had a problem where some photos wouldn't appear as thumbnails but I could open and edit them. Also in iPhoto, some photos would show a broken thumbnail but I could open and rotate them 360 degrees to fix the problem.
    – lpacheco
    Aug 31, 2016 at 15:05

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