Can’t change desktop image due to Aperture bug

I recently replicated a problem experienced by other Mac users who are running OS X 10.5 and use Aperture to manage and edit their photo library. An entry on the Apple Discussion Board describes the essence of the problem:

“I’m seeing a bug in Systems Preferences desktop background selector. I am unable to add a folder to the sidebar because an Aperture Projects folder appears there instead. I can add the folder I want but then I have two identical Aperture folders and my selected folder is not visible.

If I then attempt to add the folder again, I get an error message telling me the folder already exists, when it in fact does not. I deleted the Desktop background preferences and it still does not work. I deleted Aperture and rebooted and it still does not work. Is this a known bug? How do I fix it? Is there any way to delete the Aperture Projects folder from the Prefpanel? Aperture has also wrecked my Screensaver. All I get now is an error message that no pictures are in the selected folder.”

A bug report about this same issue has also been posted on

One technique to avoid this system behavior is to delete the Aperture Library file that gets installed by default into the User’s Pictures folder. However, if a user wants to use Aperture in lieu of (or in addition to) iPhoto, then this workaround solution is unsatisfactory. After a bit of experimentation, I came up with a solution that allows me to regain access to my desktop image options while retaining the ability to run Aperture: create the Aperture Library file onto another drive volume or folder outside the User’s Pictures folder.

Once you do so, your selector options in the Desktop & Screen Saver pane will return to normal.



Filed under Apple Software, Troubleshooting

9 responses to “Can’t change desktop image due to Aperture bug

  1. John

    Cedric’s answer work for me. I had not yet run iPhoto on my new machine. Run iPhoto – quit. Problem solved.

  2. Ingo

    just found in a forum:
    launch iphoto once and everything’s ok

  3. Jack

    Launching iPhoto worked for me

  4. Michael

    Thank you so much! 😉

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