PC Doctor August 1, 2014

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Dear PC Doctor:

A little while ago you helped me re-build my iPhoto library.  (Thanks!)  Most of the pictures are fine -- I can view them, put them in a slideshow, post them to Facebook, etcetera.  But on a few -- the thumbnails look fine, but when I double click to view a larger version, the screen shows a blurry black exclamation point instead.  Baffling!  What’s happening?  Is there any way to fix this?

Thanks again,


Dear George:

Well, this one is new to me.  I looked up your problem on the apple support website.  It seems this has happened to many other people.  Apparently, the connection between the thumbnail and the larger photo has been lost or severed.

The first step to try is checking for software updates.  Do this by clicking your apple menu at the top left of your desktop.  Choose “Software Update.”  Sometimes, this is all you need to do to solve the problem.

If checking for software updates doesn’t work, try to locate the image or resolve the issue by following these steps:  Select the image's thumbnail in Album or Library view.  Control-click or right-click the photo, and choose Show File from the shortcut menu.  If successful, the photo's master file will appear in a Finder window.  If you locate the file this way, try opening it in Preview to be sure that it's a readable and complete image.

If the Finder does not display the desired photo, or if you can't choose Show File from the shortcut menu, try searching for the file using Spotlight with the Find command in the Finder (File > Find).

If that didn't locate the photo, try choosing Show Original File or Revert To Original from the shortcut menu.  If you previously edited the image in iPhoto, this might succeed in reverting to a pre-edited copy. If you still can't locate the photo, you should stop here and re-import the image from your backup location.

Once you locate the photo file, select it in the Finder.  From the File menu, choose Get Info.  In the Info window that appears, click the disclosure triangle near the bottom to reveal Ownership & Permissions.  Make sure that you have Read or Read & Write access to this file.  If necessary, change this using the menus.  Close the Info window.  Try to view the photo again in iPhoto.  If the photo still does not appear in iPhoto, try reimporting the file by dragging its file icon from the Finder onto the iPhoto icon in the Dock.

If none of these steps work, there’s a program you can download called “iPhoto Library Manager.”  There is a free trial version accessible from cnet.  In general, I am wary of telling readers to download programs.  Please read reviews and decide for yourself if you think it is a good choice.

If you decide to try iPhoto Library Manager, here are some tips: When you get to the install screen, you will see that some boxes are checked.  These will automatically make yahoo your default search.  If you don’t want that, uncheck those boxes before installing.

Once you download iPhoto Library Manager, choose the “Library” menu from across the top and use the “Rebuild” function.  It should create a new library based on your data.  It won’t rebuild slideshows, books, or calendars, but it should restore your photos, albums, and keywords.

To keep this problem from happening again, avoid renaming, moving, or deleting items in the iPhoto Library folder.  I do hope this solves the problem.  Let me know!

Until next time… Happy Computing!

      PC Doctor