A new bug has been discovered in Apple’s macOS Image Capture app that can waste potential gigabytes of storage space when transferring photos from an iOS device to a Mac.
The issue – discovered and shared in a blog post by the developers of media asset management app NeoFinder – occurs when Apple’s Mac tool converts HEIF photos taken by iOS to more standard JPG files.
The bug pops up when users uncheck the Mac tool converts HEIF photos taken by iOS to more standard JPG files. Unfortunately, the app also adds 1.5MB of empty data to every single file copied.
“Of course, this is a colossal waste of space,” said the NeoFinder team, “especially considering that Apple is seriously still selling new Macs with a ridiculously tiny 128 GB internal SSD. Such a small disk is quickly filled with totally wasted empty data.
“With just 1000 photos, for example, this bug eats 1.5 GB off your precious and very expensive SSD disk space.”
NeoFinder developers discovered the bug by “pure chance” when working on further improving the metadata editing capabilities in NeoFinder, using a hex editor called “Hex Fiend“. The group provided an example screenshot of what the end of individual JPG files look like in hex after the transfer is complete.
It should be noted that the bug only occurs when transferring photos from Apple devices, not when importing photos from digital cameras using Image Capture.
The NeoFinder team say they have notified Apple of the bug, and recommend a short-term solution is to try a new beta version of developer Thorsten Lemke’s Graphic Converter, which includes an option to remove the unwanted empty data from the JPEG files. (That’s a great graphics conversion utility that I personally recommend for any of your graphics conversion needs.)