How To

Error 4302 In The macOS Photos App – Fix

The error “Photos Library was unable to open the library” was displayed when you attempted to open the library in your Photos app. (4302). In the update 11.5.1, macOS 11 Big Sur no longer supports photo libraries on external drives formatted for Windows OS or exFAT. APFS is the only file system that macOS currently supports.

What Is Error 4302 In Photos On Mac?

Many customers who updated their Mac to Big Sur (11.5.1) needed help accessing their Photos library from an external hard drive and encountered error 4302. The error may also appear when.

  • There are disk errors.
  • Incompatible permissions.
  • Library corruption.

How To Fix Easily Error 4302 In The macOS Photos App?

Repair Corruption Issues With Photos Library

Library corruption, as previously stated, may be one of the causes of this error. The good news is that you can identify and fix the issue using the Photos’ “Repair” tool. Below are the steps to achieve it.

1 – Quit the Photos app.

2 – Open Photos from the Launchpad or Dock.

3 – Select Repair.

4 – Enter the password for your Mac.

5 – Await the conclusion of the process.

Use Time Machine Backup

Using a Time Machine backup, restoring Photo Library to a time when everything was functioning normally is doable. Since you won’t be able to restore Photo Library unless the drive was included in a Time Machine backup,

1 – Quit the Photos app.

2 – Launch Finder and navigate to the directory that holds your photo library.

3 – Select Time Machine and then Enter Time Machine from the menu bar.

4 – Use the up and down arrow keys to navigate the Time Machine backups.

5 – After locating the desired version, click Restore.

6 – Photos Are Open. If you use iCloud Photos, recent modifications will shortly begin to sync.

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Ignore Ownership Of External Hard Drive

Note: The choice “Ignore ownership on this volume” is available for APFS and HFS+ drives.

1 – Select the External drive using ctrl + click or File > Get Info from the Finder’s sidebar.

2 – Click the Lock icon and enter your admin password.

3 – Select Sharing & Permissions by clicking the arrow.

4 – Check the option labeled Ignore ownership on this volume.

Perform System Update

Your Mac needs regular software updates. Bugs are fixed, and new features are introduced with these upgrades. A simple update may fix the issue. The steps to update macOS are listed below.

1 – Click the Apple Menu. 

2 – Choose System Preferences. 

3 – Choose Update Now.


4 – You will see an Upgrade Now button if an update is available.

Check again to see whether the photo library opens without the error 4302 messages.

Repair External Drive Using Disk Utility

The probability of disk-related issues cannot be ruled out when encountering error 4302 despite attempting the abovementioned options. However, you may use Disk Utility’s First Aid option to identify and eliminate such issues.

1 – Launch Launchpad. 

2 – Click Disk Utility after selecting Other.

3 – Choose the drive from the sidebar. 

4 – Select the First Aid option.


5 – Click Run. 

6 – Wait until Mac checks for errors, then click Done when the process is complete.


Please let us know if you can now access your Photos Library and are no longer experiencing the error message 4302 while using the Photos application on your Mac. And if you have, please let us know which options worked for you in the comments area below.

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