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The library database is locked

There may be some times when trying to view a library in PowerPhotos where you receive a message saying that the library database is locked. The most common reason for this is if the library is still open in the Photos app itself. Since Photos has the library open, PowerPhotos can’t read it until Photos closes the library. In this case, you should be able to just quit Photos, and PowerPhotos will then be able to read the library.

If Photos is already closed, and you’re running macOS 10.12 Sierra or later, then the message may be a result of the new face and object recognition features that were introduced in Sierra.

When a library is first migrated or updated to the Sierra version of Photos, a background process starts analyzing all the photos in the library, and that process stays open even if Photos itself has quit. This presents the same problem with PowerPhotos being unable to open the library, except there is no simple way to tell the background analysis to stop, and Photos doesn’t display any obvious progress information on how long it will take.

If you are receiving this message while Photos is closed, your options are:

  1. Wait for Photos to finish its analysis. Most times, simply waiting will eventually free up the library so that PowerPhotos can read it. If you want to keep an eye on it, you can open the Activity Monitor app in /Applications/Utilities and look for a process named “photoanalysisd”. That’s the process responsible for analyzing the photos in the library, and it will probably be using a decent amount of CPU while it’s doing work. When that process calms down and is no longer using CPU, that should indicate that it’s done, at which point you can try viewing the library again in PowerPhotos.
  2. Change the library’s name, then log out and log back in again. In some rare cases, even if the photoanalysisd process seems to have finished doing its work, it will continue to keep the library open in the background. Logging out and logging back in will shut down photoanalysisd (force quitting it is not recommended), but depending on your setup, it will sometimes simply open the same library back up when you log back in. However, if you first rename the library, then log out and log back in, then photoanalysisd will not open the library back up, since it is now in a different location. You can rename the library from within PowerPhotos.

If you continue having trouble reading a library even after performing these steps, please contact us at support@fatcatsoftware.com for further assistance.

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