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Michelle
Michelle, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 982
Experience:  Apple Computers and Mobile support with 12 years of exp.
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iPhoto library cannot be accessed. Message says Time Machine

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iPhoto library cannot be accessed. Message says Time Machine may be backing up, but Time Machine is off

Appleologist :

Hi, and welcome to JustAnswer! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am excited to get started with you.

So I can better assit you, I will need additional information. Does this happen whenever you try to open iphoto?

Customer:

Whenever I click to open iPhoto, message comes on to upgrade and rebuild Library. When I have clicked on rebuild, I get spinning circle and message that Time Machine may be backing up.

Appleologist :

Is your iphoto Library currently stored on an external hard drive? Is your external hard drive currently connected to your computer?

Customer:

I am not using an external hard drive.

Appleologist :

Thanks for the additional info. From what you are describing, it sounds like iphoto may be corrupted and a new library may need to be created. (your photos are not lost) Before we do that, lets check for updates. Can you click on the apple logo in the upper left corner and choose software updates. What updates available?

Customer:

All software is up to date.

Appleologist :

Ok good. Next, we will try to repair iphotos permissions. Close iphoto it it is not closed. Press and Hold Command+Option+Shift key while launching iphoto. You will get a dialogue box. Choose to repair iphotos permission

Customer:

I tried all the options in dialogue box. "Repair iphotos permission" still results in running Time Machine screen.

Appleologist :

Ok, lets create create a new library. Close iphoto again. Press and hold down the option key while launching iphoto. Choose Create new. Name the new library iPhotonew

Appleologist :

If done correctly, you should have a blank library

Appleologist :

Are you still with me?

Appleologist :

??

Appleologist :

?

Customer:

I have created a new library. How can I import the "images" from the hard drive?

Appleologist :

Before we import can you just close iphoto and re-open it just to confirm that you do not get the time machine message

Customer:

I can open iphoto without time machine.

Appleologist :

Good, Lets import your photos. Click on the happy face icon in the dock to open your finder window. In the left column in finder, do you see pictures or your account folder

Customer:

I see pictures

Appleologist :

Click on pictures. You should now see both iphoto librares. Correct?

Customer:

yes

Appleologist :

Ok right click or control click on the old iphoto library. It should just say iphoto library. Choose show package contents

Customer:

iphoto library is asking for upgrade

Appleologist :

that means you double clicked it. Can you quit iphoto

Appleologist :

Double click on the new iphoto library again to open it

Appleologist :

Let me know when the blank library is open again

Customer:

It's open

Appleologist :

Ok now go back to finder where your old iphoto library is. Press and hold the control key while selecting your old iphoto library. Choose show package contents

Customer:

ok

Appleologist :

Now scroll all the way to the bottom. You should see either a original or masters folder

Customer:

both original and masters folders

Appleologist :

Ok this is the last step. Drag the original folder and drop it into the blank iphoto library. All of your photos will then start to import

Appleologist :

Roughly how many photos do you have?

Customer:

I have over 15,000 images. The import seems to be working, but will take a long time to complete. Will I have to recreate my albums?

Appleologist :

Wow thats a lot. Yes, the most annoying part of having a corrupt library is re-creating your albums. That will be a large project. When your photos are done importing, you will have 2 large libraries at the end. So after confirming all of your photos are in the old library, you can delete the old one

Customer:

Thanks. I hope it will work.

Appleologist :

You are very welcome. I am certain it will work. Just give it time to finish importing.

Michelle and 8 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

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