Resolve possible issues while migrating photos and videos from Apple Photos to Lightroom.

Could not access Apple Photos Library

Error: Could not access Apple Photos Library.

This issue can occur when one of the following is true:

  • Apple Photos Library is corrupted or damaged. This can happen when the Apple Photos database is corrupted.
  • 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.
  • Your copy of Lightroom may not be genuine.
  • Apple Photos Library is on an external drive. If other applications, such as Apple Photos, is accessing the external drive at the same time as Lightroom, Apple Photos Library can be inaccessible. In this case, wait for some time and retry migration.

Solution: Ensure that Apple Photos Library is not damaged or locked and try again. To learn how to solve this issue, refer to the Apple's documentation How to use the Photos library repair tool.

Apple Photos is busy

Error: Apple Photos works on HEIF images and videos in order to make them ready for migration. While the processing is going on, some assets might not be available for migration. This processing may take several minutes based on the number and size of HEIF assets.

Solution: Wait for Apple Photos to complete the processing so that all the assets can be migrated.

Not enough cloud storage

Error: Not enough cloud storage. Please upgrade your storage limit. Once you reach your current limit, new photos will not be synced to the Creative Cloud and will only be stored locally.

Solution: This message is a warning rather than an error. You can use Lightroom without syncing everything to the Cloud, but some of your files will not be backed up nor accessible from other devices. It is recommended to visit your Account Management Plans page on to explore the upgrade options.

See related helpful information at:

Burst photos detected

Error: Only key photo of a burst set is available for migration.

Solution: If you want other photos in the burst set to be migrated to Lightroom, visit your Apple Photos Library and expand the burst and select all the frames of the burst that you want to migrate.

No assets available for migration

This error message lets you know that none of the Apple Photos Library assets are available to Lightroom for migration. Hence, the migration cannot continue.

Solution: Ensure that there are non-zero assets available for migration in your Photos Library that has been set as System Photo Library.


The following types of assets are not available for migration:

  • Hidden or deleted photos
  • Photos with originals that are not stored locally
  • Photos with missing originals

Insufficient disk space

Error: Not enough disk space to complete the migration. Lightroom needs enough space to copy your photos and videos before uploading to the cloud.

Solution: Before Lightroom can import your photos and videos, it copies them to a new location on your local system. Over time, as they are backed up to the Cloud, Lightroom may remove these large and original files and replace them with smaller and smart previews to save disk space. The process of the initial copy can require large space.

If you see this error, you can direct Lightroom to store original files on a separate drive. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. From the error message, note down the amount of space that you require.

  2. In Lightroom, select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences (Mac).

  3. Select the Local Storage panel. Now click Change Location to select a drive with the minimum amount of free space recommended in the above error message.


While migrating the Apple Photos Library, Lightroom creates a database and Smart Previews on your local hard drive to enable viewing and editing of your images during migration. This can take up significant extra space, that can be as much as 20% of the size of your catalog and original files. Especially when migrating large catalogs, ensure that you have that amount of free space on your local drive.

Photos Library already migrated

Error: Already migrated. You already moved this Photos Library to Lightroom.

Solution: A Photos Library can be migrated to Lightroom only once. You can, however, migrate additional libraries.

Lightroom is not up to date

Error: Please update Lightroom and try again. 

Solution: If you see this error, check the Creative Cloud desktop app for a newer version of Lightroom.

Not connected to power source

Error: Migration is a power intensive process, it is recommended that the device is connected to power source before continuing with migration.

Solution: Connect the device to power source.

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