[Solved] This Photo Library is Locked or You do not have Permission to Make Changes to it

Sometimes, when you use iPhoto to open a photo library, you may see an error that says ‘This photo library is locked, on a locked disk or you do not have permissions to make changes’. What are the reasons for the error and how can you resolve it? Let us understand more in this article.

Case 1: Make sure iPhoto is being accessed from only one machine

Please note that the iPhoto library can be accessed from only one iPhoto at a time. So, if you are accessing the library that is already open on another machine (using file sharing or any such feature) you may receive the error. In that case, close the iPhoto on the machine that has it open and try re-opening it on your machine.

Case 2: Obtain read and write permissions

To be able to open the iPhoto library, it requires that you have both read and write permissions. Even if you don’t intend to make changes to the library, you still need to have write permissions just to open the library and view images.

  • If the iPhoto library is on an external hard drive or a USB pen drive, follow the steps below to obtain permissions.
  1. Connect the device on which you have iPhoto library and open Finder
  2. Choose the device from the list and click on File > Info
  3. At the bottom of the Info dialogue, check the box next to ‘Ignore ownership on this volume’ and close the window.

This will help you obtain all read-write permissions to the drive on which iPhoto library is present. Now you should be able to open the library without any issues.

  • The same is the case when you are accessing an iPhoto library from a NAS drive or Time Capsule; make sure you obtain write permissions.

Case 3: Repair iPhoto library

If the above methods don’t help, there may be corruption issues within your iPhoto library. To repair such issues, use the built in Repair library feature as explained in the steps below.

  1. Click on the Command + Option keys and open iPhoto
  2. Press the keys until the Rebuild Photo Library dialog box appears
  3. Click on Repair the iPhoto Library Database for the tool to repair the database and click on Rebuild
  4. Then proceed with the on-screen instructions to repair the library’s database

If Repair library doesn’t fix the issue, you can also use ‘Rebuild the iPhoto library database’ feature which will allow you to rebuild the library. This can resolve most problems, but before you attempt this step, make sure to have a backup of your photos just in case anything happens during the process.

However if you have lost photos after repairing or rebuilding library, and no backup is available, you can use Remo Recover to recover lost photos from iPhoto library. A trial version of the software is available for free, be sure to try it out today!

[Solved] This Photo Library is Locked or You do not have Permission to Make Changes to it was last modified: October 3rd, 2018 by John Harris

Customer Evangelist @remosoftware. Trying to perfect the art of writing while running a business. Fan of exceptional customer service.

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