Recently, after using my Mac’s Photos app and uploading some photos, I wasn’t able to close Photos. I saw a pop-up message that Photos was “Closing the Library.” I left it “as is” for hours only to see that same message still there–it was still stuck on “Closing the Library” message. And the app wouldn’t close, no matter what! It remained open and unresponsive.
I wasn’t even able to properly shut down my Mac without it requesting to exit Photos and that cannot be done without first closing the library! It’s a no-win situation. My only two options were Cancel or Try Again.
If this problem sounds familiar, you are not alone. Luckily, I learned a few tricks on the way that alleviated my problem with the Photos Library. And I’m sharing those with you today.
So let’s get to it!
Stuck on “Closing the Library” Message: Think Simple
Sometimes we make things complex when simplicity saves the day. SO the first measure to try is to force quit Photos.
Try the Simple Commands First
- Close the application using Command + W
- Or try Command + Q to quit the application
Force Quit a few ways:
- Choose Force Quit from the Apple Menu
- Press Command-Option-Esc
- Select Photos from the Force Quit list, then click Force Quit
- Relaunch the Finder
- Press the Option key and then click and hold Finder in your Dock
- Select Relaunch from menu options
Once Photos quits, shut down your Mac and wait for a few minutes. Power the computer back up and open Photos. See if your Photos app seems to be working fine, and updates the library with photos taken recently.
Force Quit Not Working?
If force quit isn’t working, force your Mac to shut down by holding down the power button until your Mac turns off. You lose any unsaved changes to open and unsaved files.
Repair Your Photos Library
- Backup your Mac (and Photos) if possible using Time Machine, iCloud Photo Library, or your backup method of choice
- If you use iCloud Photo Library, remember that only the photos and video in your System Photo Library are synchronized with iCloud
- Or Manually copy your photo library to an external storage device: Drag the Photos library (by default in the Pictures folder on your Mac) to your storage device to create a copy
- Press Option-Command and double-click the Photos icon in the Dock or in your Applications folder
- The Repair Library window opens
- Click Repair to rebuild your photo library
Once repaired, take a look around and make sure that all your photos, videos, screenshots, etc. are showing up in your albums.
- I clicked on Photos so that the word Photos showed in my Bookmarks Bar. Then I went to the Apple Icon in the Bar and clicked on force quit. That made a pop up that highlighted Photos and I clicked force quit and my Photos all opened up right where I left off
- Here is what I ended up doing. First, I made a copy of the Photos Library on an external drive and since I was using iCloud Photo Library, I made sure the photos were synced to the cloud. Then I deleted the library from my drive and created a new one and allowed the pictured to resync with the new library. I lost my projects doing it this way.
- I clicked on Photos so that the word Photos showed in my Bookmarks Bar. Then I went to the Apple Icon in the Bar and clicked on force quit. That made a pop up that highlighted Photos and I clicked force quit and my Photos all opened up right where I left off.
For most of her professional life, Amanda Elizabeth (Liz for short) trained all sorts of folks on how to use media as a tool to tell their own unique stories. She knows a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides!
Her clients include Edutopia, Scribe Video Center, Third Path Institute, Bracket, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Big Picture Alliance.
Elizabeth received her Master of Fine Arts degree in media making from Temple University, where she also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member in their department of Film and Media Arts.