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Aperture 3: Troubleshooting Basics

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.

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. If you are not running the most recent version of OS X, then some cameras listed on the Aperture RAW Cameras page may not be supported. Check the following pages for a list of cameras supported on your version of OS X:
    OS X Mountain Lion: Supported digital camera RAW formats
    OS X Lion: Supported digital camera RAW formats
    Mac OS X v10.6: Supported digital camera RAW formats
  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  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.
  4. Update to the latest version of Aperture. If you originally installed Aperture from a DVD, or upgraded a trial version with a serial number, choose Software Update from the Apple () menu and install any Aperture updates that may be offered. If you originally installed Aperture by purchasing it from the Mac App Store, then open the Mac App Store application to check for any available updates.

Back up your library

Before troubleshooting Aperture, it's a good idea to create a backup of your library if you don't already have one. You can use Time Machine, or create a Vault in Aperture to make your backup. Note that Time Machine does not fully back up the Aperture library when Aperture is running, so be sure to quit Aperture and allow Time Machine to perform a complete backup before proceeding. If you already use a Vault, be sure to update the Vault in Aperture before proceeding.

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 choose Go to folder from the Go menu.
  3. Type ~/Library/Preferences in the "Go to the folder" field. Press the Go button. 
  4. Remove the "com.apple.Aperture.plist" file from the Preferences folder.
  5. Restart your computer if you're using OS X Mavericks.

Note: The locations of your Aperture libraries are stored in the preference file listed above. If you have stored your library outside the default location of  ~/Pictures/Aperture Library, make a note of where the library is before deleting the Aperture preferences file. If you have more than one library, you can bring up a dialog to choose which one to load by pressing Option immediately after you open Aperture.

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 choose Go to folder from the Go menu.
  3. Type ~/Library/Application Support/Aperture in the "Go to the folder" field. Press the Go button.
  4. Move the contents of this folder to your Desktop
  5. Restart your computer if you're using OS X Mavericks.
  6. 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. 

If you originally installed Aperture from a DVD:

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

On Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard:

  1. Open the Applications folder.
  2. Drag the Aperture application to the Trash.
  3. Insert your Aperture installation disc and install Aperture.
  4. When finished, choose Software Update from the Apple () menu to update your software to the latest version.

On Mac OS X v10.6. Snow Leopard:

  1. Open the Applications folder.
  2. Drag the Aperture application to the Trash.
  3. Open the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
  4. Open the Terminal application.
  5. On the command line, type the below command (which is case-sensitive) and then press Return:

    sudo pkgutil --forget com.apple.pkg.Aperture

  6. When prompted, enter your user password and press Return.
  7. Insert your Aperture disc and install Aperture.
  8. When finished, choose Software Update from the Apple () menu to update your software to the latest version.

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

 

Last Modified: Nov 11, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Nov 11, 2013
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