New bug found in macOS can quickly fill up storage when importing photos with Image Capture

The Image Capture app comes pre-installed with every Mac, allowing users to easily import photos and videos from other devices. In a recent blog post, developers of NeoFinder shared a new bug they’ve found in macOS Catalina that can quickly fill up the Mac storage when importing photos with the Image Capture app.

More specifically, the issue only affects users who import photos from an iPhone or iPad using Image Capture. Let’s say you want to manually transfer photos from your iPhone to a Mac via USB, and your photos are saved with the High Efficiency option (which is basically the HEIF format).

By unchecking the “Keep originals” option, macOS converts all HEIF image files to JPG automatically as you might expect.

The problem discovered by the NeoFinder team is that the Mac adds 1.5MB of empty data to each converted photo, making the imported files larger for no reason. By looking inside these photos through a Hex-Editor, you can find a section full of zeroes, which results in unnecessarily larger files.

With that said, if you import 1,000 images from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac using the Image Capture app, the bug will take up an additional 1.5GB of storage — which can be a lot for someone who owns a MacBook with 128GB of storage.

According to the article on NeoFinder’s blog, Apple has already been notified about the problem, but we don’t know when the company plans to release a macOS update to fix that bug. Until then, users can try the latest beta version of the Graphic Converter app, which removes the unwanted empty data from the JPG files.

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