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Finder does not recognize Pictures folder after Photos migration from secondary disk


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I have a 2012 Mac Mini Running Catalina 10.15.7. I was migrating my Photos database (Photos Library) which is over 90Gb of photos and videos back to my main drive. I deleted the empty Photos Library in the Pictures directory and proceeded to restore my Photos Library from a connected USB harddrive. I had to tar and then untar things using the command line.


Now when I i click on the Pictures directory for this account things hang and the process CoreServicesUIAgent runs on all my cores and makes everything non-responsive. Finder now does not recognize Pictures as a special folder.

Thus I restarted in Safe Mode performed disk integrity checks, still same issue.

I copied the contents of the Photos Library to a new directory and Photos works fine. However I still cannot get the pictures directory to work in finder. Then from there I copied the Pictures directory to a Picutres2 directory and both are not accessible. I can access them from the terminal.

If you look at the screenshot Finder is not recognizing the folder correctly for both Pictures and Pictures2.

Additional Information:

In general, Finder cannot access my Pictures directory. It hangs and ramps up my CPU to 700% with the CoreUIService process.

When this happens I have to Force Kill finder. If you download the picture and preview it then you can see that process highlighted in the terminal. AND you can also see the finder window where Pictures and Pictures2 are located. Notice that there isn't a gray arrow or marker there to indicate that you can drill down into those folders. There is a gray marker for Projects.


So Finder cannot access those folders (Pictures and Pictures2) for some reason. The only thing I did previously was to move my photo's library from the USB drive to my local mac mini drive. The only way I can access contents in the folder is via the terminal.


As far as the Photos app is concerned my NEW library is called Photos-Apple that is where the Photos-library resides now and the Photos app is using that directory only. No other files is in that directory.


in short Finder is having issues accessing my Pictures directory for some reason.




1 Answer

I suspect that moving the pictures thru tar caused your problem.  Photo library is not a normal folder, it is a package, and uses lots of HFS+ tricky bits and extended attributes.  Tar won't necessarily preserve HFS+ extended attributes, and can also strip away symlinks and hard links that may be inside.  (there's an open source "hfstar" you can get from macports, etc., that is supposed to support the HFS+ extended attributes, but no guarantees it can successfully move a photo library either).

The only officially-supported way to move a photo library is via Finder copy.