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iPhoto '11 upgrades deleting photo collections

updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon October 25, 2010

Partial, complete library deletions happening

Some people are losing part or all of their photo libraries when upgrading from iPhoto '09 to iPhoto '11, a part of the new iLife '11 suite, according to complaints. Still other people are reporting issues such as repeated requests to upgrade a library, glitches in Events and Faces, and trouble importing from connected devices like iPhones and DSLRs. Unofficial solutions include repairing permissions in Disk Utility, or going through a more complex procedure involving deleting the iPhoto PLIST file and forcing the software to rebuild a library.

iPhoto '11 has also engendered resentment unrelated to bugs. The app can no longer create photo calendars, for example, or work with a first-generation Apple TV. Its primary upgrades include things like new fullscreen interfaces, and extra e-mail and Facebook sharing tools.

by MacNN Staff



  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No Calendar or 1st Gen AppleTV

    The no connection to 1st Gen AppleTV will keep me from upgrading.

  1. el_gonzote

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One word: Backup!

    I suppose it should go without saying, but sometimes we need a reminder to perform regular backups.

    I personally use Aperture, but the same goes for iPhoto:

    If you used managed libraries such as in iPhoto (where it organizes the photos for you,) I would suggest exporting all your images into organized folders (your preference) into a separate folder or another drive -- especially prior to upgrading from one version of iPhoto/Aperture to another. iPhoto '09 to iPhoto '11 is certainly not the first time we've heard of a library upgrade doing strange things to users' photo libraries.

    At the very least, you could copy the entire iPhoto Library folder to another location or drive as a backup in case your original library is damaged during the upgrade.

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What they Apple drops!

    Apple sure is good about selling their new features, but they never tell you the features of supporting hardware they drop. It's always up to the user base.

  1. facebook_Doug

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Mine broke

    The update removed 90% of my pictures. I had to do a complete restore of my MacBook to get rid of iLife '11 and restore my iLife '09 iPhoto library.

  1. vintagegeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    1st Gen Apple TV Does work

    Re: AppleTV and iPhoto '11 not compatible
    Posted: Oct 22, 2010 5:03 PM in response to: DefenseEngineer Solved
    Reply Email
    I'm not having any such issues with my old 160GB ATV, nor my new black ATV using iPhoto '11. Sync is fine, no errors and I can display the photos same as always. Did you try restarting your ATV, iTunes and/or computer? If that doesn't work you might unlink your library from the ATV and then link them again and let everything resync... a drag if you have a lot of stuff to sync, but it may be the only solution.
    Late 2008 MacBook Pro 15" Mac OS X (10.6.4)

    Re: AppleTV and iPhoto '11 not compatible
    Posted: Oct 23, 2010 12:19 PM Reply Email
    That worked perfectly. Unselecting the photos from syncing, forcing it to sync, rebooting the AppleTV and selecting the photos to be synced again worked perfectly. Thank you for the assistance!

  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My iPhone will not even show up

    Guess I'll wait for an update

  1. Tanker10a

    Joined: Dec 1969



    None Here!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Problems

    Me neither!

    Then again, I'm not crazy enough to install a new version of iLife right after it's been released, nor am I rich enough to warrant throwing $50 at the 'updates' which really doesn't update much of what I use of it.

  1. daqman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    One think I have disliked about recent versions of iPhoto is that they take your original photographs and hide them inside the iPhoto library package. Then move the files around inside the package. In my mind the best thing to do would have been to leave the originals untouched and read only. If someone touches up a photo then you make a copy. I want the originals always under my control.

    I've been taking digital photographs for over ten years now and have some scanned prints from before that. Not only is it a huge database to back up but it is also a very precious one since it has photographs of my children growing up and family members that are no longer alive. I can't imagine losing part or all of that.

    So, I've got time machine, a Drobo disk array and "cloud storage" too.

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