The Secret to Correcting and Preventing Broken Photo and Multimedia Links in Reunion 9

Moving genealogy photos and other multimedia files around can wreak havoc on Reunion 9. This is because Reunion stores links to the files in the family file rather than duplicating the files. This is a good thing because it preserves disk space on your Mac, but it can result in broken links if you move your files after adding them to Reunion.

You’re gonna love this! A simple preference setting can eliminate this problem for you. If you use the GenealogyTools recommended folder structure it can correct existing broken links and prevent them in the future. If you use a different folder structure this tip is still effective. It just means you’ve got to figure out for yourself what folders to configure in the preference setting. Let me show you how it’s done. Just watch this video from the MacGenealogist Archives:

In it I demonstrate the problem and how to make the preference change that will correct and prevent it in the future.


  1. says

    If you go to Preferences ——> Multimedia ——> Locations there is a slightly different window appears there – this one has a “Repair” button on it.

    This forces Reunion to search your hard drive looking for the images and it will add the necessary paths to the Locations list as it finds the images.

    So if you've moved a multimedia item and get the broken multimedia icon in Reunion, and aren't sure where you've moved it to, Reunion can find it for you and update the list.

    And if over time your list of Locations has become jumbled, you can delete everything from that list, run the Repair and at the end only the minimum number of paths needed will be added back to the list.


  2. cynthianielsen says

    Thank you so much! I had not used the multimedia feature because of the broken link problem.
    A question: What gets written into a gedcom if multimedia links are used?

  3. says

    Hi Roger. Great tip for repairing a slew of broken links!

    Unfortunately, it isn't automatically invoked when a multimedia file link is broken. The same result can be achieved using the approach I presented by adding your home directory (~/) to the multimedia locations preference pane. And it will automatically search all the files and folders under your home directory when a link is broken. I still prefer to stick to putting the top level genealogy folder in there so that Reunion doesn't have to waste time searching where the files aren't going to be.

    Thanks again for pointing out that “repair” button.


  4. says

    The GEDCOM standard only supports file locations (links) so links are all that are ever written–even in applications that store the multimedia file in its database.

    A really neat capability resulting from the repair function Roger pointed out is that Reunion should be able to repair links in the following scenario: Imagine that a family member sends you a CD with their GEDCOM file and folders of multimedia files, but you don't want the files in their folder structure. You prefer your own. So you move the multimedia files into the locations you prefer, import the GEDCOM, and run the repair. Assuming the file names are all unique, Reunion should be able to reconnect everything. I haven't tried it, but it should work.

    If any of you are interested in me running the experiment and producing a screencast demonstration of this, let me know here.

  5. Joan says

    Like this one very much, although you have now finally persuaded me to undertake a lot of work (guess I know a New Year's resolution now). I really need to set up my MacGenealogist folder structure and move stuff there… get rid of the accumulated clutter on my computer….

  6. Blair Wheeler says

    I have lost all of my pictures that I had on the family cards. The only one that is still there is the source family card. I just went to the reunion program and they were gone.

    have been reading the information on you site. My problem is I am 64 and do not know where to start to correct my picture problem.

    Blair Wheeler

  7. Blair Wheeler says

    I can not see the video on how to eliminate picture lost in reunion 9. I could hear it . While listening it was hard to try to follow what you were saying. So I still have lost pictures.

    Blair Wheeler

  8. Jay Anderson says

    The discussion and video of using the multimedia preference to correct lost links is very well done. It doesn't solve our problem, however. In upgrading from Reunion 9.07 to 9.08 the photo links were lost, and attempting to repair using the preferences and pointing to the directory where the photographs are has not restored them in either the multimedia pages or the person pages. Furthermore, it seems that comments about the photo have also been lost. I think we're following your instructions, and Reunion's instructions, but we still seem to be faced with relinking hundreds of photos. Any further ideas?

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