7 Fixes for Error 4302 With Images on a Mac

Do you keep getting error 4302 while trying to open the Photos app on your Mac? A variety of reasons – such as library corruption, disk failure, and conflicting permissions – can cause it to appear.

Work your way through the following fixes to resolve error 4302 on your Mac and regain access to your photo library.

1. Fix corruption issues in the photo library

It is best to start things by checking for corruption problems in your photo library and fixing them. You can use the Photos app library repair tool to do this:

  1. Leave the photos App.

  2. Press opportunity + command and open the photos App from the Dock or Launchpad.

  3. Choose repair.

  4. Authenticate the action by entering your Mac's administrator password or using Touch ID.

  5. Wait for the Repair Library tool to finish repairing the photo library. If successful, the Photos app will then automatically open the repaired library.

By default, the Repair Library tool only repairs the most recently opened photo library in the Photos app. If you want to repair another library, first go to the library selection screen (press opportunity when starting the Photos app). Then select a library, press and hold opportunity + command, and choose Select library.

2. Update the system software on your Mac

If the problem occurs again, try updating the system software on your Mac. Photos error 4302 appears on certain macOS iterations (e.g. macOS 11.5.1 Big Sur), and subsequent point updates will fix the problem. To update macOS:

  1. Open that Apple Menu and select System settings.

  2. Choose Software update and wait for your Mac to check for the latest updates.

  3. Choose Update now. If you don't need to upgrade to the next version of macOS just yet, a Upgrade now Button instead.

3. Use Time Machine to restore the photo library

Using Time Machine, you can easily restore a troubled photo library to when it was opened in the Photos app. However, if the library is on an external storage device, it will not be able to do so unless the drive is part of your regular Time Machine backups.

Related: How to Use Time Machine to Back Up Your Mac

How to restore a photo backup:

  1. Leave the photos App.

  2. Open minded finder and visit the directory that contains your photo library. If you're having problems with the system's default photo library, see the pictures Folder of your Mac user account.

  3. Choose time Machine Icon in the menu bar and select Enter the time machine. Or enter time Machine into the Spotlight search (which you can open with) command + place) and press Enter.

  4. Use the High and Down Arrow keys to navigate through the available Time Machine backups for the photo library. When you find the version you want to restore, select Restore.

  5. Open the Photos app. If you're using iCloud Photos, any recent changes made to the Photo Library will be synced shortly afterwards.

4. Ignore volume ownership on an external drive

If the photo library is on an external drive, file permissions issues can lead to error 4302. Ignore ownership of the drive and see if it makes any difference. To do that:

  1. Ctrl + click the external drive on your Mac's desktop or in the Finder sidebar and select get information.

  2. Press the Lock and enter your Mac's administrator password or use Touch ID.

  3. Check the option next to Ignore ownership of this volume.

Note: This option is only available on drives that use the HFS + and APFS file systems.

5. Use first aid to repair hard drive errors

If error 4302 persists when opening a photo library from an external drive, check the storage device for hard drive errors. Your Mac's Disk Utility can help you:

  1. Open that Launchpad and choose miscellaneous > Disk utility.

  2. Select the external drive in the sidebar.

  3. Select the button labeled First aid.

  4. Choose Run.

  5. Wait for your Mac to finish checking and fixing errors. Then choose complete.

6. Copy your photo library to internal storage

If space allows, try copying an externally located photo library to your Mac's internal drive and see if that helps. This is how it works:

  1. Leave the photos App.

  2. Copy and paste the photo library into your Mac's internal storage.

  3. hold the opportunity Button and select the photos Icon on the Dock or Launchpad.

  4. Choose Different library.

  5. Select the library in the new location and choose Open minded.

If the Photos app has no problems opening the library, the next fix can help you identify the source of the problem.

7. Format the external drive in HSF + or APFS

Sometimes photo libraries on external drives formatted in exFAT format can cause the Photos app to display error 4302. You can fix this by formatting them in HFS + (Mac OS Extended) or APFS (Apple File System) formats.

Important: Converting an exFAT drive to HFS + or APFS will result in you losing all data on the external drive. Copy your photo library (including all other files and folders) to another external drive or internal storage before proceeding. In addition, the drive becomes incompatible with Windows operating systems.

If you want to format your drive, please do the following:

  1. Open that Disk utility App.

  2. Select the external drive in the sidebar.

  3. Choose Extinguish Button.

  4. Set the format to Mac OS Extended or APFS and set the To plan to GUID partition scheme.

  5. Choose Extinguish again to confirm. When Disk Utility finishes formatting the drive, select complete.

Note: APFS is superior in terms of stability and performance. However, it works best with SSDs (solid state drives) and is not compatible with older versions of macOS (El Capitan and earlier).

You can now copy your photo library back to the external drive you just formatted. The Photos app will likely no longer encounter error 4302.

Related: Which Mac File System Is Best for an External Drive?

Enjoy a flawless photo library on your Mac

The above fixes should have helped you fix Error 4302 with Photos on your Mac. However, if it does happen again, repeated actions like repairing your photo library and installing the latest macOS updates will likely fix it again. If you are still having problems with photos, you should also check other sources of error like iCloud Photos.

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About the author

Dilum Senevirathne
(31 published articles)

Dilum Senevirathne is a freelance tech writer and blogger with over three years of experience contributing to online technology publications. He specializes in topics related to iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Windows and Google web apps. Dilum holds an Advanced Diploma in Management Accounting from CIMA and AICPA.

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