Lightroom and Photoshop: Stop reading HEIC files in an hour after launch

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  • Updated 3 weeks ago
  • (Edited)
Lightroom and Photoshop stop reading HEIC files in an hour after launch with error "File appears to be unsupported or damaged" (Lightroom) and "Could not open “file.heic” because the file-format module cannot parse the file" (Photoshop).

A restart always helps, but I have to restart the apps every hour or so. That's extremely inconvenient. The issue is critical. Worked fine in the past with the same files.

P.S. The login in Safari doesn't work. This issue is also critical.
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Dmitry

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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This smells like a hardware problem. For example, a memory block may be going bad, and it takes a while using the apps before they stumble over it. Have you run memory and disk diagnostics?
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Dmitry

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No. The issue happens with all HEIC files at once. I can open the same files in other applications, for example in Photoshop after Lightroom fails (it would fail in an hour as well). Both apps stop reading all HEIC files in an hour or so. It's not required to use the apps for the issue to appear.

My mac works perfectly fine. There are no any other issues with any other apps. 
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Those symptoms aren't inconsistent with a failing memory block -- both LR and PS use much more memory than other apps, especially after you've been using them for a while. 

If this were a software problem, it's very likely there would have been other reports of these symptoms by now.  It's not impossible, just less likely.


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Dmitry

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An example of the steps to reproduce the issue:
1. Start Lightroom.
2. Open 1 photo to see that it works.
3. Change the photo.
4. Wait an hour.
5. Open the same photo. It wouldn't work.

Another example:
1. Start Photoshop.
2. Open 1 photo to see that it works.
4. Wait an hour.
5. Open the same photo. It wouldn't work.

So, there is no much memory usage here. 
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Dmitry

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I restarted the mac and it's working so far. But the issue was really strange.
(Edited)
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Dmitry

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Check the login in Safari. It's completely broken. Just nothing happens after the new window shows that the login was successful.
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Carlos Cardona

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Login to what, your Adobe account? That would be a totally separate problem, which looks like a damaged cache or application state. Run Onyx! Download the free Onyx (https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html), select the Onyx version for YOUR SPECIFIC OS, download, run it, reboot.

In Onyx run almost everything in the Maintenance tab, deselecting things you may not want deleted, like Launch Services . Hit the "Options" button across from Internet and deselect more stuff like Cookies & Other Site Data, Browser History, Form Values, etc. (most of these are OFF by default). If you don’t know what something is, google it, or don’t run it, or ask me), then hit Run Tasks. After it's done it will ask for a reboot.

It doesn't hurt to also try to fix any directory damage by running Disk First Aid from Disk Utility: boot into Recovery Mode, (hold down Command-R when booting). When you're in Recovery Mode go to the Utilities menu and launch Disk Utility, say Repair Disk. When done go to Apple Menu for Startup disk and restart normally. Maybe this will help the HEIC issue, which could result from a damaged directory.

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Dmitry

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Yes, Adobe account. I think Safari blocks your servers as ads. Cross-domain redirects in Safari have not been allowed for many years. But it still works for some time for each user before it fails. This is how it’s implemented.

But I suppose it fails for all users because there is a little chance that it could fail simultaneously on all macOS and iOS devices. It doesn’t work on all of them! You could spend your time trying to reproduce the issue instead of writing that long commend about repairing my file system which has nothing to do with the issue.
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Carlos Cardona

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I've fixed thousands of similar issues with Onyx and Disk Warrior during my 25-year Mac IT career. You can't be sure it has NOTHING to do with it, NO ONE CAN before they try it (it's too complex).

PS-Adobe's back end authentication servers have been a problem forever, so I'm not surprised if you are having an issue (I'm not). I can't tell you how many times I've had to delete a user account and recreate them, because they couldn't log in!
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Carlos Cardona

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@Dmitry: I didn't have to write my long "comment" for you, it's boilerplate I've used hundreds of times to help people here. The fact that a restart helps indicates a damaged cache or application state.
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Dmitry

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After the restart the issue returned in a few hours.
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Just Shot Me

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I do believe John R. Ellis has giving you a place to start, hardware, Memory, problem.

But to check could you post one of your original HEIC files to someplace like Dropbox and post a Public Link to it so we can load it into our systems and let it run to see if we get the same result?

In all honesty I doubt we will.
You can't be the only users of LR Classic and PS that work with these type files and AFAIK no one else has posted this problem before.
So that leaves your computer, Hardware, as the source of your problem.
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Dmitry

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1. There is no point to post HEIC files because the issue happens with all of them (captured on iPhone). The same files work fine before the issue appears and after the app restart.

2. Only one in 1000 users post the bug report and I found at least 20 reports of this issue since 2013. You continue to ignore it! It means it happened for at least 20,000 users. Reinstalling Lightroom helped many users. But this is a workaround - not a fix! Also, for me it’s happening in Photoshop as well (probably, other users just didn’t notice that).

3. My Mac has not a single sign of any hardware or software problems. It works perfectly. Only your apps have the same issue which appears every few hours even when the apps are not used but launched.

The login in Safari doesn’t work completely not only on Mac, but on iPad as well. You preferred to ignore this another critical issue as well.
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Carlos Cardona

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Have you tried MY suggestions? NO ONE knows if their Mac works perfectly, it's too complicated a system. Just because one is not sick yet, doesn't mean damage isn't happening inside you.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"I found at least 20 reports of this issue since 2013."

Can you provide links to some of those reports? I follow LR issues closely in the two Adobe forums and in lightroomqueen.com, and I don't recall anyone posting symptoms similar to yours, where access to HEIC images works initially but fails after an hour or so. I searched those forums again and didn't find anything relevant. (Note that HEIC support was introduced in LR 7.4, June 2018.)

"There is no point to post HEIC files because the issue happens with all of them (captured on iPhone). The same files work fine before the issue appears and after the app restart."

It's conceivable that there is something about your particular hardware/software configuration that is producing or modifying HEICs that are triggering this problem (e.g. a bug in LR) in a way that most others don't experience. Posting a couple sample photos would help others try to reproduce the problem and is a simple way to eliminate that possibility.  

So far, I've had my LR 9.2.1 / Mac OS 10.15.5 open for many hours, and it continues to let me take Iphone 7 .HEIC photos into Develop.

Also, please copy/paste the first ten lines from the menu command Help > System Info.

(By the way, I don't work for Adobe.)

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Another possibility: If the photos are on an external drive, Mac OS may be putting it to sleep and not properly waking it up when LR tries to access a photo. I recall sporadic reports about that. To troubleshoot this:

- In Mac System Preferences > Energy Saver > Power Adapter, uncheck the option Put Hard Disks To Sleep When Possible.

- Put one of the HEICs on your desktop (internal drive) and see if the problem happens with that. I read one report that LR was losing to connection over time to an external disk regardless of the setting of the option above, and the user discovered it was related to a powered USB hub.
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Carlos Cardona

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Right John, USB is notorious for deciding to quit for no reason!
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Dmitry

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It's not an external drive.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"So, there is no much memory usage here."

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the possibility of a bad memory block. When I open LR on my catalog with 30K photos, scroll a bit, filter to find a .heic, then edit it in Develop, LR's real-memory usage increases to 3.4 GB. When I open a .heic photo in PS, it's memory increases to 1.5 GB.

Compare this to other apps: Music (200 MB), Terminal (110 MB), Preview (95 MB), Mail (245 MB).
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Dmitry

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I updated Lightroom Classic and I still see this error. It happens even for the newly imported files. All you need to reproduce the issue is wait several hours with the app launched. No need to use it.


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John R. Ellis, Champion

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You haven't provided the first ten lines of Help > System Info, or sample photos, or links to additional reports, and you've resisted running hardware diagnostics.  No one else has reporting reproducing the issue yet (I've left my LR running for over 24 hours, and it's still able to take .heic photos into Develop). So as it stands, it's hard to justify further action troubleshooting the issue.