If you were at Saturday's PMUG meeting you heard John Carter answer various concerns of those in the audience. Now, John has more to share! What follows should all be enclosed with quotation marks: it's all quoting him!
There may be times when you open iPhoto and you are presented with a cryptic error message that the iPhoto library is locked.
That indicates that the library was open at a time when the computer was improperly shut down and iPhoto did not have a chance to unlock the library. Or it could be that you are using two different computers or two different logins using the same library, and that the other computer or user left the library in a locked state or one or the other is still using it.
You can unlock any file/folder/library using the following procedure:
- Open Finder and navigate to the Pictures folder.
- Look carefully in the lower left corner of the icon for the iPhoto Library. If it has a tiny lock pictured there, go to the next step. Otherwise, jump over steps 3 and 4.
- Select the iPhoto Library folder (left-click once), and then hold down the Command key and press the ‘i’ key momentarily. This will bring up a new window.
- In the new window, look for the box in the General section that says “Locked.” Uncheck the box and close the window. You should now be able to open the iPhoto Library.
If the iPhoto Library is not locked, there may be an item inside that folder that is locked. Of course, the only way to see the contents of that folder is by the following:
- Right-click on the iPhoto Library folder and select “Show package contents.”
- In the content, look for a tiny lock icon on any item, and if found, unlock it as in step 4 above.
If none of the above helps, restart the computer.
If that doesn’t help, restart the computer and do a PRAM reset. This is done by holding down the Command, Option, P, and R keys all at the same time when you start the computer - and keep holding the keys down until you hear the second “gong” (the startup sound).
If that doesn’t help, open Disk Utility and run Verify Disk Permissions and Verify Disk. If you get an error on Verify Disk, you then need to restart your computer in Recovery Mode and run Disk Utility to perform Repair Disk. To start up in Recovery Mode, hold down the Command and R keys together until you see the Apple logo appear. After selecting English for language, you will be presented with a menu. In the menu is Disk Utilities, and it works just like it does when running in user mode. After running Repair Disk, click on the Apple logo in the menu bar and restart the computer.
If that doesn’t help, call Apple Support. If you are out of warranty, the call will be just $19.99, and it’s good for up to 60 days on the same issue - no matter how long you are on the phone with them or how many calls you have to make to clear up the problem.
There may be times when you get the message about a locked file when opening a document or the iTunes library. The same steps apply as above.
(Thanks to John for this step-by-step solution.)