"Unsupported Library" cannot open my photos stored on an external drive

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Mike Boreham Senior Member • Posts: 1,508
Re: "Unsupported Library" cannot open my photos stored on an external drive

RSSrsvp wrote:

Over the weekend I upgraded to Catalina from High Sierra and discovered I couldn't use my Microsoft Office apps (Outlook, Word, Excel and Power Point because they were 32 bit. I used the Data Migration tool and rolled back to High Sierra. My photos are stored on an external hard drive and I discovered the following message when I attempted to open my Photos app. I then upgraded to Mojave which still supports 32 bit apps and this message still appears. I have 166GB of photos stored on the external drive and frankly and I am freaking out! How do I recover these pictures?

This is normal between major OS upgrades and some point releases.

Is the the Photos Library your iCloud Photos Library? If so you can just delete the unsupported local copy (which has been upgraded for Catalina) from your High Sierra volume and download a fresh one from iCloud, which will be High Sierra compatible of course.

If it is not your iCloud library, you could restore from Time Machine or other backup, but I guess you don't have a backup or you wouldn't be asking.

If neither of the above apply the only thing I can suggest at the moment is:

1. Install Catalina temporarily on an external, and sign in to iCloud on it.

2. While booted on the temporary Catalina make this Catalina standard library your iCloud Photos library (you might have to buy some storage for a month to get this done)

3. Let it upload to iCloud.

4. Sign in to iCloud on your High Sierra installation,

5. Download the library to your High Sierra installation

6. Turn off iCloud Photos on the High Sierra install (or leave it as your iCloud Photos Library)

There may be other ways someone will suggest.

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