How to upgrade an old iPhoto library to Photos (or recover it)

Reader Celia Drummond had a Mac crash so severe, she had to upgrade her system from Mavericks to El Capitan—I didn’t ask about Sierra—although she was able to recover her data from Time Machine.

However, after using the iPhoto Library Upgrader, Apple’s recommended path for converting iPhoto 7 and earlier libraries to a newer format that iPhoto 8 and 9 can use, “The result is photos a fraction of their original size—most were between 1MB and 7MB each—and all are pixelated.”

I never used the utility, so I don’t know what went wrong, but something did if that’s the outcome, or something is missing in the Time Machine backup. Because she can’t run the older version of iPhoto, she can’t simply rebuild the library, which is the usual suggestion. (I’d make sure you had version 1.1 via the link above, as older versions are out there, too.)

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How to fix an uncopyable iPhoto or Photos Library

Martha Helena writes in with a problem that may have a few different angles. Her startup drive started to fill. Her Photos Library file is 12.5GB, and she had just a few gigabytes left on the drive. While she was able to copy an older iPhoto Library to the other drive, the Finder kept hanging up during the Photos Library transfer with this error:

The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “Photos Library” can’t be read or written. (Error code -36)

A decent number of people have received this error with an iPhoto or Photos Library, possibly because the media library folders are big folders full of other folders. This increases the odds that if you have a faulty file, it will scotch the copy. Because the library files are packages which look like files, the error gets reported for the package name, rather than revealing which file within the package is at fault.

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Getting the best performance on your Mac between two networking methods

Lukas writes from Switzerland with a question about network inconsistency. He has 60Mbps Internet access, but his Wi-Fi network often drops anywhere from half to a twelfth of that. He has ethernet in his home, but uses a version of powerline networking, which carries about 30 to 40Mbps.

He asks:

Would it be possible that OS X (or other software) constantly observes speed performance and, if performance is bad, automatically switches from Wi-Fi to ethernet?

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How to fix a “can’t be moved” permissions problem on your Mac

Noelle Oliveira says her Mac isn’t letting her save files from several different programs. She consistently receives the error (with various filenames and folder locations):

“filename” couldn’t be moved because you don’t have permission to access “folder”.

macOS says she needs to change permissions on Desktop, but I’d wager most Mac users haven’t had to wrangle with this. Permissions are a Unix-level property attached to files (including apps) and folder that control the rights a given user or system agent has to read, write, execute, or act in other ways upon a file or folder.

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How to get Remove Attachments back in Mail for macOS

Gunnar is having a problem with Mail in macOS:

Since upgrading to Sierra, the Remove Attachments command in Mail is no longer working. It is greyed out. My Mail database is getting larger and larger. I do not want to delete the emails (for archive reasons), just the attachments.

Because it worked for Gunnar before upgrading, the most likely cause probably doesn’t apply: in Mail > Preferences > Accounts under Account Information, you can set Download Attachments to None, which might affect whether you can remove them without having forced them to download from the mail server.

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