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Newly Discovered macOS Image Capture Bug Can Fill Up Hard Drives With Empty Data

allapple

macrumors member
May 22, 2011
61
66
Maine
Using new Imac running Mojave 14.6 with PREVIEW with my old Epson 1600 scanner! Work great! Never had to install drivers.
 
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tooloud10

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2012
363
512
I love how all the fanbois defend this sloppy practice by acting like "nobody uses this app". Why would Apple include a useless bloatware app on their latest version of macOS if it's no big deal? I've downloaded tens of thousands of photos off my wife's iOS devices using Image Capture--do the math.

It boggles the mind that this was happening for so long. Not sure what's worse--that Apple didn't notice or that Apple didn't care?
 
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allapple

macrumors member
May 22, 2011
61
66
Maine
I have been using Image capture so I can just import the photos I want and not have doubles. They into a folder, then to separate distinct folders, that then get imported to Photos. Much easier and done! How would I check to see if my photos have this Heif and can they be converted to save space? Or set up to only be Jpeg when taken in the phone?
 
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Eithanius

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2005
1,467
327
Another question, how far back on macOS does this bug started to appear...?

While manage to reproduce the problem with an HEIC image, an image originally taken using JPEG after importing thru IC seems to devoid of this issue. I guess a temporary solution is to set format to Most Compatible from the iOS Camera settings.

Managed to get GC to fix the problems on some of my .jpg images. File size variance can be up to 3MB...
 
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Jacquesvw

macrumors regular
Sep 12, 2012
162
398
Managed to get GC to fix the problems on some of my .jpg images. File size variance can be up to 3MB...

How does one fix the problem using GC? I don’t know the software and not finding the option to do this. Does GC have the ability to process a large number of images where some have the problem and others not?
 
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Eithanius

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2005
1,467
327
How does one fix the problem using GC? I don’t know the software and not finding the option to do this. Does GC have the ability to process a large number of images where some have the problem and others not?

I'm not sure if there's a way for GC to identify which images are affected since I'm new to GC for less than an hour. But I'm going thru all my images that were taken from my iPhone 11 since I got that phone back in Oct last year, and my previous iPhone 6 does not support HEIC, that oughtta do it - backtrack all my images until Oct 2019.

You can identify the affected images by opening them with the app Hex Fiend, scroll all the way down, look for a bunch of 00000000 00000000 strings...

As for batch removing zeros from the affected images, select all the affected images, right-click > General Metadata > Remove Zeros at the End of JPEGs...

This will create a set of new image files retaining the same file name while adding "(original)" text onto the existing image file name.

However, one tiny problem cropped up - because fixing the problem involves creating new set of image files, hence new date of creation and modification. You may want to retain the old creation and modification date by doing the following - right click > Exif Metadata > Set Creation and Modification Date Depending on Exif...

Until Apple fixes the IC bug, temporary workaround includes using GC to replace IC, or set Camera > Format settings from High Efficiency (then inport via GC) to Most Compatible (continue importing via IC)...

Hope this helps...
 
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TheIntruder

macrumors 65816
Jul 2, 2008
1,297
827
Another question, how far back on macOS does this bug started to appear...?

iOS 11 and macOS 10.13 introduced HEIC support, so at least a couple years. It could also be a latent bug in the image frameworks that didn't manifest itself until HEIC support was added.

It's unfortunate that it primarily affects what is an accommodation for backward compatibility, but at least there are plenty of easy workarounds now that it has been revealed, though remedying the affected files will be more difficult.

Apple has long had a bad habit of not prioritizing, if not neglecting, its stable of small utility apps, and when they do turn their attention to them, disasters like the post-Yosemite versions of Disk Utility can result.

Lame comments from the peanut gallery notwithstanding, any smart user will always welcome having more tools at their disposal, not fewer.
 
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KoolAid-Drink

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
1,486
453
USA
I use Image Capture all the time because of iCloud Photo Library. When I've got a couple hundred images on my camera's SD card I use Image Capture to import them and cull them, so that Photos doesn't send them all up to iPL. I'm only going to keep a handful of them, so I do a quick pass first and then upload. Uploading the 20 or so photos to keep takes a lot less time than the 300 photos I started with, lol.

(As such I'm not affected by this bug: I just have my camera set to capture in JPEG anyway.)

You're right otherwise, though: with my iPhone it just goes right to iCloud Photo Library, no middle-man needed.
True. Photos.app should add a checkbox when scanning or importing asking you if you want to upload the scanned/imported photo to iCloud Photo Library. Should be quite a simple implementation; when you import or scan, there'd be a checkbox saying something to the effect of: "Upload to iCloud Photo Library when done". If you uncheck it, then it can put the newly imported/scanned item in a non-iCloud folder in Photos.app, but warn you that it won't upload to iCloud. Later, down the road, if you change your mind, just drag the photo from the non-iCloud folder to the regular library that is uploaded, and it'll upload right there and then. Seems like a simple enough solution, hmm.

Also, when scanning, which might be more likely not to be wanted in iCloud Photo Library, Photos.app can offer to save the scan to a folder outside of the application instead, or upload it to iCloud.

If they're able to incorporate those options above, what else would be missing in Image Capture.app?
 
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phenste

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2012
119
438
90%, eh? I use this app all the time to scan documents.
You are the 10%! 😂

Seriously though—I know people still use this app. I used it for quite a bit some time ago; there’s a reason I said 90% instead of 99%. Tends to be power users. Mac users were already a microcosm of the computing world ten years ago—things have changed, more people have MBAs, but the new “microcosm” is power users, people who use apps like Image Capture that most people look at and just think “what is that?” lmaooo. I’m in the process of teaching my aunt how to use her new MBA (they rly knocked it outta the park with that one imo, just don’t ****ing put a Touch Bar on it PLEASE) and I’ll report back when she discovers IC/what her thoughts are. ;)
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2015
482
489
True. Photos.app should add a checkbox when scanning or importing asking you if you want to upload the scanned/imported photo to iCloud Photo Library. Should be quite a simple implementation; when you import or scan, there'd be a checkbox saying something to the effect of: "Upload to iCloud Photo Library when done". If you uncheck it, then it can put the newly imported/scanned item in a non-iCloud folder in Photos.app, but warn you that it won't upload to iCloud. Later, down the road, if you change your mind, just drag the photo from the non-iCloud folder to the regular library that is uploaded, and it'll upload right there and then. Seems like a simple enough solution, hmm.

Also, when scanning, which might be more likely not to be wanted in iCloud Photo Library, Photos.app can offer to save the scan to a folder outside of the application instead, or upload it to iCloud.

If they're able to incorporate those options above, what else would be missing in Image Capture.app?
Yes, something like this exactly. Or a “staging area" of some kind.

An earlier response to my post referenced “pointers” in Photos, and I did a little quick research, and some form of what we’re talking about already exists! Not a hack, an actual function of Photos. I still think my Image Capture workflow is simpler and more direct, but that might just be because I’ve used it for years. Anyway have a look if you’re curious.

At the moment at least, this bug doesn’t affect me because I’m not doing an import from iOS. Would still like them to lock it down anyway.
 
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Radio Signal

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2015
10
17
Michigan
Since Image Capture isn't on the Dock by default, I wonder how many people use this app to import photos from an iOS device when Photos can do it automatically? As others, I use IC just with my scanner. So I haven't seen that issue yet.
When you have other intentions for your images than using Photos, Image Capture can quickly become part of your (my) regular toolset.
 
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posguy99

macrumors 65816
Nov 3, 2004
1,488
905
It's unbelievable in 2020, one is still unable to clear the recently deleted folder with huge amounts of photos without freezing the entire phone and messing up the local storage space.

Haven't had this problem. Can you be more specific?

They try to lock you to iCloud in a disgusting way but give you 5gb of storage which is laughable.

They (presumably Apple) "try" how? I certainly don't use iCloud for anything important. Apple's repeatedly demonstrated incompetence at services makes sure of that.
 
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Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,447
555
UK
Doesn't AirDrop still remove key metadata from images by default? I've also seen suggestion that at one stage it reduced or resampled larger images, not sure if that's still the case though.

Probably, but Im not too fussed with that. Generally the images I'm transferring across are to go up on the web anyways, so a little quality loss is not noticeable for my intended uses!
 
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Regbial

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
626
469
I only ever use Image Capture when scanning a document from my printer.
Otherwise I transfer any images or videos from my iPhone using Airdrop.
So unnecessary battery drain and time... ok... you do you...
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It honestly really angers me how much little attention is given to Image Capture... we don't ALL want to use iPhoto for all our photos and internet screen grabs Apple...

Image Capture on my previous Mac would just stop importing suddenly and just never stop. Image Capture on my new Mac with Mojave doesn't even let me know of which photos are imported or not. And then there's some photos appearing on their side when you took them horizontal...

Did I mention there's no progress bar for some reason? WTH...

It's such a necessary tool, and so useful, but Apple doesn't care... it's such a mess. They just seem to care about memojis and iPhones/iPads with bare improvements these days...
 
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russell_314

macrumors 68000
Feb 10, 2019
1,929
2,564
USA
If you have a scanner you have no choice, I have an older epson scanner that stopped developing drivers and forced me to use that app. I opted to use windows, as the epson software was more robust then Image Capture ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Is Image Capture the same as in going to settings, Printers & Scanners, Scan, then click the Open Scanner button? I used that method to scan documents over the network with my scanner and also scanned some documents for a friend using their scanner. I didn't download drivers but perhaps that's automatically done?

I rarely scan things so I just found out how to do it that way messing around in the settings.
 
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Regbial

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
626
469
Same here. I use Image Capture (yes it is on my dock) to import pictures from my dslr, ipad, and iphone. I put images into an import folder (that I don’t delete). Then I move the pictures and cull to dated folders. From there, I add only really good photos to my Photos albums using reference pointers within Photos. Then I go back and delete photos from the devices. I only do it a few times a year. I don’t want to pay for icloud which isn’t guaranteed to work or be backed up like my synced drives and off site backups.
Not only that, iCloud Photos messes up your metadata... I mean, if you download the photos, they'll appear with the "created" and "added" dates on the date you download them, instead of when you took them. It's a mess, I think you have to activate it on the Photos app and then download ALL the photos and THEN move them with option and you get the dates... I don't remember how I did it when I noticed iCloud Photos was activated by default on my new iphone. (or the one I reset I can't remember) But it was a headache dealing with it. Not even able to download more than 1000 photos from iCloud using Safari...
 
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Ifti

macrumors 68020
Dec 14, 2010
2,447
555
UK
So unnecessary battery drain and time... ok... you do you...

I have no care for battery whatsoever. The batteries in the newer phones last plenty long enough for most. I have chargers at home and at my workplace. The battery lasts plenty long enough for anything in between. I have honestly never been in a position where my handset is out of power. So using a little extra for airdrop makes no difference for me.
As i said, I only transfer the odd image or video when need be. How much time I would save by plugging the handset in and using Image Capture is again no cause for concern. I can wait an extra 2 seconds.

For me, Image Capture is a must for scanning documents. I don't really use it for much else TBH.
 
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PinnyHead

macrumors newbie
Apr 2, 2019
24
51
I occasionally take a massive number of photos, and I use IC to transfer them from SD to my mac to photos. I back my photos up to Amazon (it's free, why not) because both my old Aperture and new Photos library get corrupted ocassionally. It happens every two or three years, but do you really want to lose your entire photo library every two-three years? I can live with the loss of metadata.

When my library was smaller Time Machine could handle it, but my library's over 3TB, which seems to be beyond TM's abilities.
I actually just purchased a cheap 2014 Mac Mini the function as a backup/Folding@Home machine. My library is at 1.4 TB, and it got old needing to connect an external drive every time I wanted to use photos. My goal with this setup is to make constant real-time and rotating offline backups easy and almost automatic. iCloud is great in many ways, but these occasional bugs are a reminder that EVERYTHING needs a backup.
 
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