iPhoto duplicate 'filenames'

Sep 5, 2012
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I appear to have lots of different photos that share the same filename in iPhoto.

For example, I may have 3x DSC001 files, two of which are of the same 'cat' picture, but one of which is a 'baby' shot.

At least 2 of these dupes always appear as the broken exclamation mark, and therefore unable to move/copy onto disks.

But when I subsequently search for the duped filename (DSC001) in Finder, these all open fine as the core jpeg files - but are broken in iPhoto.

Renaming the core dupe jpeg and re-importing into iPhoto seems to work but I have 7000 to go through.

Is there a 'quick' way of searching thes filename duplicates out and changing their name (so that it applies in both the bowels of the mac library and in iphoto). I simply want to back everything up but the dupes mean I can't.


Cory Cooper

May 19, 2004
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Hello and welcome.

Sounds like your iPhoto Library is corrupted, or the photos have been manually moved out of the iPhoto Library. That would be why you are getting the broken exclamation marks. This can happen when accessing photos from a Finder search rather than from within iPhoto itself. Even though files may have the same name, iPhoto organizes them by date, so they would be located in separate folders within the library folder.

-Do you have a Time Machine or other backup?
-Duplicate Annhiliator can help for any exact duplicates - i.e. "two of which are of the same 'cat' picture".

If you batch rename them from the Finder, you will get more broken links in iPhoto.

Your best bet would be to restore from a backup if you have one, or create a totally new iPhoto Library and import all your photos - this would fix the broken exclamation mark issue.

I highly recommend making a copy of the entire iPhoto Library to an external HD before proceeding.


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