Fix missing or incorrect thumbnails in Photos

If pictures in your Photos library have missing or incorrect thumbnails, you can fix the thumbnails with the steps below.

Fix thumbnails one by one

If a picture in your Photos library has an incorrect or corrupt thumbnail, you can quickly generate a new thumbnail by applying an edit and then undoing it. For example, you can rotate the picture:

  1. Double-click an affected picture in Photos.
  2. Click Edit in the upper-right corner of Photos.
  3. In the list of editing options along the right-hand side, click Rotate.
  4. Hold down the Option key and click Rotate again. This will return the picture to its original orientation.
  5. Click Done.

This process forces Photos to refresh the picture's thumbnail based on the actual image. Repeat the steps for each affected picture.

If a picture has a missing thumbnail, you can generate a new one by double-clicking the picture to open it in single-picture view.

Regenerate missing thumbnails with library repair tool

If a large number of your pictures' thumbnails are missing, you can regenerate them with the Photos library repair tool:

  1. Quit Photos.
  2. Open Photos while pressing the Command and Option keys.
  3. Click Repair in the dialog that appears.

This process recreates thumbnails for all the master images stored in your Photos library.

Note: If you use iCloud Photo Library with Photos, this action will cause Photos to re-upload all your pictures.

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