I have an iPhoto library of about 2100 photos. It's iPhoto 11, v9.4.1 (701.67).

At some point I imported some photo's from memory stick and played around with the 'store photos in library' vs. 'link to existing photos'. Whatever was the cause, now every time I open iPhoto I get several messages telling me photos are missing and whether I can find them. I tediously selected some of them one by one (why isn't iPhoto smart enough to look for the others in the folder I just selected?? :/ ) but some I still cannot find.

I'd rather now remove them from my library, but every time I try to select a missing picture for deletion iPhoto freezes and I have to force-quit.

I tried the repair options with Cmd+Option, but those don't seem to help and the thumbnails rebuild will just ask me for the source of 100s of photos so I just cancelled that.

I also tried the script in: http://philatwarrimoo.blogspot.nl/2010/06/iphoto-script-to-remove-missing-photos.html but after some time iPhoto freezes again and the script times out.

Any ideas?

  • Missing photos seem to occur because they were deleted from your file system (not by iPhoto) or like what you may have done: somehow linked files from a device rather than importing them into iPhoto. Nov 3, 2012 at 14:15
  • My script mostly works but others have made some mods that work for them. I'd suggest working on smaller subset of photos first to see if any 'missing' photos get deleted to prove my script. Nov 3, 2012 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Your Library is corrupted.

Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. (In Library Manager it's the FIle -> Rebuild command) Note: this does not require purchasing Library Manager

This will create an entirely new library. It will then copy (or try to) your photos and all the associated metadata and versions to this new Library, and arrange it as close as it can to what you had in the damaged Library. It does this based on information it finds in the iPhoto sharing mechanism - but that means that things not shared won't be there, so no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your events, albums and keywords, faces and places back.

Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one.  

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