Lightroom CC: Apple Photos migration error

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  • Updated 5 months ago
Platform: macOS Mojave

I am trying to use the migration tool to migrate my apple photos library. But after I start, it sits at 1% progress for a while, then I get an error window saying "Could not access apple photos library".

I have read this help page (Resolve issues while migrating Apple Photos to Lightroom CC) and checked each point:
- My photos are stored locally (not on an external drive)
- I use iCloud Photos, my library is setup as the "Use as System Photo Library"
- I have it set to Download Originals and the status of the sync is complete (ie not uploads or downloads happening)
- I have just repaired the library using the repair tool, and waited for everything to subsequently upload to the cloud again
- My copy of Lightroom is legit!
- I have tried restarting my computer multiple times

So the only thing left is this issue they describe where:
Apple Photos Library is locked and inaccessible. This can happen when the Apple Photos database is locked by a viewer application of services working on Photos Library for updating the data.
But I don't really understand how to check that? I have selected the apple photos library package in the Pictures folder and done a Show Info, and the Locked checkbox is unchecked. So I don't think that is the issue. Is there something else that might be causing it to be locked/inaccessible?

Or any other ideas of what I can check to get this to work?

(Lightroom and my OS is all up to date)
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Ben Merven

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Posted 5 months ago

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Priya Verma, Employee

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Hi Ben, 
Firstly, let us try to figure out if it is an issue with your Photos library or migrator setup.

One simple way to verify if everything is set up to work fine is
- Create a new Apple Photos Library with just a few photos (just one image is also fine). Hold Option Button when you launch Photos - you will see an option to Create a New Library.
- Set it as your System Photos Library (turn off sync with iCloud so it doesn't start downloading your iCloud photos)
- Try Migration
If this works fine, the migrator setup is okay and we will then try to look at specific issue with your library.

Also, please help us with some more information about your Photos Library - What's the size of your Apple Photos Library? #Photos, Size in GB
(Edited)
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Ben Merven

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Hi Priya

I have tried you suggestion and created a new photos library (just one photo in there). iCloud is off and the new library is set as the system library.

I still get the same error when trying to perform the migration. So I don't think it is a problem with the library, but rather with Lightroom.

My photos library that I want to migrate is:
- 21,000 photos
- 900 videos
- 185GB in size

Lightroom v 2.1.1
macOS 10.14.2
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Ben Merven

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Think I just solved this. It is in fact a permissions issue.

I went to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy
Then I selected the Photos app in the left column
I could see the Adobe Lightroom CC app listed there, but the box allowing access was unchecked - check this box

Then I went back to Lightroom and tried the migration again. This time I got a system pop up asking if Lightroom CC could have access to the Photos app. I said Yes, then it ran.

So it seems that for some reason this system pop up didn't work the first time around, meaning I had to follow the steps above to manually allow access.
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Priya Verma, Employee

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Thanks for sharing this Ben, 
We will get this added to our documentation as other users might also find your tip very helpful.