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Need some detective work for issue with Photos..  


Hi guys,
Wondering if you can help me sleuth an evasive Photos problem.
The client's machine is a MBA Mid-2013 running 10.15.4. When going through his Photos library we noticed some very old photos, and especially videos, appeared to be grayed out, broken, or incomplete. Using our friend PowerPhotos we pulled in an old library from an old backup drive, and merged it into the existing one. All photos and videos came back, and sync perfectly through iCloud Photos to his phone. Hooray! Except...there's now a very specific syncing problem just with iCloud Shared Albums.
The client wants to share these newly-recovered photos & videos with his wife through their family shared iCloud photos album. He drags several of the videos to the shared album, but they look really strange and fuzzy when viewing them within the share. They also do not sync from this album to his phone or his wife's devices. However – since everything is looking beautiful on his phone he's able to interact with the photos and videos there and upload them to the shared album for his wife to see.
In his own words, "There seems to be no connection between my phone shared folder and my laptop shared folder. New photos from my phone go to my laptop. But (a) I don't see on my phone the new shared folder I created on my laptop; (b) the shared folder I see on my phone is not visible on the laptop; and (c) the videos I share from my laptop Photos app to the shared folder in my laptop do not run except when I hover over the thumbnails. "
So now it seems we've confirmed that the photos in the cloud are fine, and there's something wrong with his local copy. I tried repairing the library, but no dice. I tried backing up and then deleting the whole local library, downloading all the photos back from the cloud. Again, same problem. 
I'm scratching my head here, and looking at an OS reinstall at this point, but before subjecting this very patient client to another time-consuming troubleshooting step I wondered if you guys had any thoughts or suggestions? Do you think just turning iCloud photos off and then on might do it? Deleting some plist file? Everything else works great on his computer, and iCloud works great other than for the shared albums.
4 Answers

Did you try disabling Shared Albums on both Mac and iPhone and reenabling?


Great idea Ben! No dice though. The shared albums have now just disappeared from Photos on the Mac. Everything still looks and works great on the phone though.

This post was modified 4 months ago by ari

Have you verified that the shared albums are visible in Photos at If so, I'd probably go through with signing out of iCloud on the Mac.


Oddly enough, shared albums are not a thing in :/ 

Strange. They are supposed to be according to Apple's iCloud User Guide:


Yeah, it's tricky, but no.


• Your friends and family can use iCloud to view, like, and comment on your shared photos and videos from their iOS or iPadOS devices, Mac and Windows computers, or even Apple TV. 

• Friends and family who don’t use iCloud can view your publicly shared albums on the web.


If I go to I'm unable to see my own shared albums either.