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deleted photos reappear in some projects, but not others ... help! #1
Mike Neenan's picture
by Mike Neenan
April 13, 2013 - 5:21pm

Hello … Thousands of deleted photos have suddenly reappeared within some projects, but not others - and I have absolutely no idea why or how this happened. I delete photos that I do not want to process or save within Aperture and have frequently emptied the aperture trash. There are currently no photos in “aperture trash.” I import photos directly into Aperture from my Nikon SD card. … I have searched through these Aperture expert forums and Apple forums, as well, and can't seem to find any threads that are directly applicable to my situation.

1. Can anybody explain to me why this suddenly happened?
2. How do I delete them without having to painstakingly delete them one by one? (I already did this once when I first imported them)? It would take many dozens of hours to go back through and do this all over again.
3. Why would this happen in some projects, but not others? It seems random to me.
4. Am I doing something wrong with how I originally delete them? I was stunned to see that all these old photos were still somehow on my hard drive. There are many thousands of them from various trips and so on. Are they eating up precious hard drive space, without my knowledge?
5. I have been using Aperture to process photos for a couple years now, but I am weak with terminology like “master,” “versions,” and so on. Admittedly, I never took the time to read through the manual - I just started using the program.

If you are able to help me solve this, I would be most appreciative!

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
April 13, 2013 - 5:49pm


How are you deleting? Keyboard command? Menu command?

When you delete a photo, does it show up in the Aperture trash?

When you first delete a photo, it goes to Aperture trash. From there you can “undelete” it using a contextual menu command. The command is “Put Back” and it will move the image(s) back into the project they were deleted from.

Once you empty the Aperture trash, the image files are placed in the MacOS System Trash. At that point you can get them back but it requires re-importing the images back into Aperture. It won’t remember which project they used to be in or what adjustments you made earlier.

Once you empty the System Trash, you can’t get them back without some type of disk recovery utility.

Another method of deleting images is to “reject” them. To reject an image type the 9 key while it is selected. If your browser filter is set to anything except “All”, once you move off the image in the browser it will disappear. But you haven’t deleted anything. It won’t appear in the trash. It is still located in your project but it is filtered out. To get it back, set the filter to “All” and change the rating to “0” or 1 to 5 stars.

Hopefully this discussion will spark an idea of what might be happening. If you are using all the right commands to delete an image and they still don’t go away, then there might be some kind of preference file corruption or library permissions issue.


Mike Neenan's picture
by Mike Neenan
April 13, 2013 - 8:07pm

Thank you for answering, Thomas. When I delete photos, I hold down the command key and then use the “delete” key in the upper right of my keyboard. Each photo deleted in this way shows up immediately in Aperture trash. When I empty the Aperture trash, it then does, as you suggest, go to the system trash, until I also empty it, as well. I have always deleted photos in this fashion … and so I naturally assumed that they’d be gone forever. But yet, as I first mentioned in my original post, thousands are still there within Aperture. And they just a few days ago randomly showed up in my projects - thousands of photos I had assumed were long gone. I am still thoroughly confused by this.

Am I really going to have to go through these photos - perhaps 15,000 or more - and individually delete each one to permanently get rid of it? And if I do so using the same method as before - which I just described in the above paragraph, what assurances would I have that they’ll really be gone in the future?

Your last references “preference file corruption” and “library permissions issue” are beyond my computer knowledge base.

From the deletion method I described, shouldn’t they be permanently deleted?

Thanks again for graciously answering my questions.


Dena Clark's picture
by Dena Clark
October 28, 2013 - 4:08pm

I’m having the EXACT same problem, and I’m so frustrated. Any solution or explanation found yet?

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