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Aperture 3: Troubleshooting Basics
Posted by UCS IT Support 4 on 05 April 2010 03:47 PM

Aperture 3: Troubleshooting Basics

  • Last Modified: March 12, 2010


    If Aperture 3 isn't starting up properly or performing normally, try these basic steps to troubleshoot the situation. Please note that these steps aren't exhaustive and are not intended to cover any specific issue. These are fundamental, basic steps for getting Aperture into good working order, and are the steps most often suggested by AppleCare Technical Support. If you are using Aperture 1 through 2 refer to this article.

    Products Affected

    Aperture 3.x

    Confirm requirements and versions

    1. Check system requirements
      Make sure that you haven't overlooked any hardware aspect that's required to use Aperture. You can view the system requirements on the Aperture Technical Specifications page.
    2. Check for camera compatibility
      Make sure that your camera's digital RAW format is supported. You can find a list of supported cameras on the Aperture RAW Cameras page.
    3. Update to the latest software versions
      Choose Software Update from the Apple () menu to make sure that you have the most recent updates for your versions of Aperture, Mac OS X, Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Updates, and other important system files. Installing updates ensures that your software has the latest improvements and enhancements.

    Use the Aperture Library First Aid tools

    Press and hold the Option and Command keys as you start Aperture. The Aperture Library First Aid dialog will appear and offer the following three troubleshooting options: 


    • Repair Permissions

    Some issues in Aperture may be caused by incorrect permissions for items in the library. To correct the permissions for your library, select the option to Repair Permissions then click the Repair button. You must authenticate with a user name and password for a user account with administrative access to perform this operation.

    • Repair Database

    Sometimes internal structures within the library may become damaged and cause unexpected behavior; you can use Repair Database to try to correct the issue. Select the option to Repair Database then click the Repair button. 

    • Rebuild Database

    For more severe issues that can't be corrected with Repair Permissions or Repair Database, you can try Rebuild Database. It is strongly recommended that you have a complete backup of your Aperture library before performing this operation, either in the form of a recently updated vault, or a Time Machine backup. Select the option to Rebuild Database then click the Rebuild button in the Aperture Library First Aid dialog. 

    Restore the library

    Restore your library from a recently backed up vault or Time Machine backup. 

    Delete the user preferences

    You can resolve many issues by restoring Aperture back to its original settings. This will not impact your image files or your library. To reset your Aperture user preference settings to their original state, do the following:

    1. Quit Aperture.
    2. In the Finder go to ~/Library/Preferences. (The tilde "~" represents your Home folder).
    3. Remove the "" file from the Preferences folder.

    Defer preview generation

    If Aperture does not open, it may help to defer creation of previews. Press the Shift key immediately after you start Aperture to prevent preview generation for that session. If a damaged image in your library is preventing normal opening, this may allow you to start Aperture.

    Move the user created presets, keyword lists, and so on...

    1. Quit Aperture.
    2. In the Finder, go to ~/Library/Application Support/Aperture.
    3. Move the contents of this folder to your Desktop
    4. Start Aperture and see if the issue is resolved. Note: Permanently removing these files will delete presets, metadata sets, keyword sets, and so on. If moving these files to the Desktop does not resolve the issue, move them back to their original location to restore the presets, adjustment chain presets, and metadata sets. In no case will removing these files affect metadata, keywords, or adjustments already applied to images.

    Reinstall Aperture

    Another approach you might consider is reinstalling Aperture. To do this effectively, you need to remove the application, then install Aperture and use Software Update to install additional updates. You don't have to remove everything that was installed with Aperture. Follow the steps below to completely reinstall a fresh copy of Aperture. 

    Note: Make sure that you have your installation discs nearby before starting this.

    On Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard:

    On Mac OS X v10.6. Snow Leopard:

    For further information on settings or installation, please refer to the Aperture documentation available on your installation discs.

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