New macOS Image Capture bug fills up your hard drive with empty data

Image Capture
Image Capture (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A bug has been discovered in Apple's Image Capture software.
  • It seems to be filling up hard drives with empty data.
  • That's because it's adding 1.5MB of data to every photo.

A new bug in Image Capture seems to be adding 1.5MB of empty data to photo files, filling up your Mac hard drive.

As reported by MacRumors, the bug was discovered by NeoFinder Blog which states:

By pure chance, we have discovered a very disturbing bug recently that is able to quickly fill your macOS volumes with empty data.Here is what happens.If you connect an iPhone or iPad to your Mac, and use Image Capture to transfer the photos you took with the device to the Mac, you have the option to convert the HEIC photos taken by iOS to more standard JPG files. This requires you to uncheck the "Keep Originals" option in the settings for that iOS device, as shown here.Apple's Image Capture will then happily convert the HEIF files to JPG format for you when they are copied to your Mac.But what is also does is to add 1.5 MB of totally empty data to every single photo file it creates!

The blog notes that this bug would mean 1000 photos could eat up 1.5GB of extra storage. It's unclear what exactly is causing the issue, but it only seems to affect transferring photos from other Apple devices, not a digital camera. An app called Graphic Converter seems to be one possible method for circumventing this problem until such time as Apple is able to patch the issue in a future update.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9