Error says “some files are missing” and all the images in my site disappeared

I haven’t got this error before. Not sure what I would have done to cause this or how to fix it.

I’m not sure there is a fix. Hopefully @isaiah will have some good suggestions.

This has happened to me a couple of time. I think (but am not sure) that what seemed to cause it was:

  1. the project was open in RW
  2. I was doing something else in another app, went to the Finder and moved the RW project to a different location
  3. then when I tried to save the RW project already open it gave me a similar message.

This may not describe your case. Bottom line: first time this happened I found no fix for it. Fortunately I had a backup of the file and only lost about 10 minutes of work. The second time this happened I simply closed the RW project without saving. Quit RW. Then opened the project by clicking on it in the new location on my hard drive and all was fine. Again, this may not be your situation and may not work.

While I didn’t move the file I was running “Clean My Mac” which clears out a lot of files. This happened about the exact same time I was using it. First the page I was on was missing it’s images and then the other pages gradually started loosing their images as well. It happened to a second file I had open as well.

The two files were sharing the same resources images. I’m not sure if you are supposed to do that. I just wanted one file to be a test for trying out new features without messing with my actual project.

I keep a Time Machine backup so it should just be a matter of restoring a version of the file I had from yesterday. I’m just wondering if it will happen again.

Yes, most of these cleaning utilities cause more issues than they solve. My bet is that’s what caused the issue.

Good news that you have TimeMachine running, so it sounds like recovery should be without too much pain.

If you feel you must use something like Clean my Mac or similar product, then I suggest you follow these steps @isaiah outlined on a simular post about Dr. Cleaner a competing product:


Clean my Mac keeps reporting these immense storage savings like 80gb in this case. I keep wondering how that is. That is like the equivalent of 16 HD movies. There is nothing I did during my last cleaning that is that large. I have mainly been working with image files website files. I think my entire website project is under 1gb.

I use it because the 2TB SSD drive is starting to fill up. In previous years I was editing 4K Final Cut Pro files. I already own a MacBook Pro with 4TB was I would really like to move everything over and just mostly turn off cleaning software. In order to do that it is a bit of a process. 1. Move the files over and figure which was have already been loaded to the cloud and which still need to be moved. 2. Get a larger monitor or tv since I can’t do all my work on a 13" screen. Which may mean mounting a screen to a wall.

All this stuff requires just enough work to do that I keep pushing it off and just rely on this 2018 iMac. I’ll probably wait until my website overhaul is done and an upcoming major book project is complete before I make the jump.

Videos are real space hogs for sure.

I still wouldn’t use one of those Cleaner utilities. If you need to free up space, I think it’s best to just take a little time and manually do some housekeeping. Since you said you have large video files, you can free up quit a bit of space just by moving some of them by hand.

Since macOS Sierra, the OS has some pretty solid tools built-in to help with storage management.

  • You can opt to “Store in iCloud” automatically for Desktop and Documents, Photos. Store all original, full-resolution photos and videos, and Messages.
  • Optimize Storage option
  • Empty Trash Automatically
  • And the “Reduce Clutter” tool makes it pretty easy to find larger files that you can manually moved to either a cloud service or an external drive.

    You can find more information here:

    How to free up storage space on your Mac - Apple Support

    There’s also a pretty need tool called DaisyDisk that can help you identify the larger files, only you decide what to delete.

    But either way, you do the housekeeping or you choose to use a cleaning utility. It’s best to make sure you have good current backups, and try not to have applications running that might use files.

It was so easy when towers had two internal hard drive bays. Just put a much bigger new drive in into the second bay and copy everything over. I don’t have to store so much that I need one of those multiple drive setups and would prefer to not fill up my limited ports with external drives. In that way I feel Macs have gotten a lot worse then the older setups.

I just retrieved a working RW project from Time Machine. All the images are loading now. I also opened the the files that stopped working yesterday and those are working now too. I wonder if I stick with those original files or the one of retrived from Time Machine or if it matters?

This happened to me out of the blue and I did not move the file, or use any cleaning services or change anything. I just opened up the project to make a small change like usual. My message looks a little different though.

I unfortunately don’t keep routine Time Machine backups because I use a laptop and need to plug init in every time I do a backup. I’ve made some big changes to my site since this happened. And I don’t know how to fix this, but I really need my website back up with all image files up. There are a huge number of files missing and not all seem to be image files. That’s my biggest worry. I could manually add back all the missing images, but many of the files listed like the ones in the above screenshot do not appear to be image files.

There should be an image on the right there for each project

And most of the images on my blog are missing in my project, but in a browser they are still there, even if I use a private browser so it’s not just caching.

But I don’t know about the non image files that seem to be missing. This could be crippling on my website over time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I would be happy to pay for a pro to help me with this. thank you.


I wish I could tell you about some magical easy fix for this. I haven’t ever gotten this screen, but it appears to be a corrupted project file. Most of what I’ve seen others do is to go to a backup version of the project file.

That’s a real shame. You need to have a real solid backup strategy, and make sure you follow it. That’s important for not only RW projects, but everything you keep on your computer.

  • Laptops need to be charged, get in the habit of plugging in the time machine drive every time you charge your laptop.

  • I’ve always kept time machine running, even if I have ejected the drive. It will “catch-up” when you plug the drive back-in.

  • Most all modern Routers allow you to attach a NAS device. Most NAS devices support Time Machine over SMB. That way anytime the laptop connects to your network, Time machine is working.

  • Use an internet backup service like Backblaze, I use them besides two time-machine drives running for offsite backups. Here is a referral link.

Did you check to see if you have back-ups turned on in the publishing setting? If you did, try to grab the backup from there. If not, you really need to turn that on for every time you publish.

That is a good idea. I use wireless backup with my laptop. Hard drives are so easy to transport now days. I remember around 2007 I had to pack this thick drive with several cables including a power cord and a brick. Today you can buy multi-terabyte drives that are about the size of a cellphone which you can put into your pocket, no brick, and one cord for both data transfer and power. There is no reason to not have one.

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I have multiple backups, but I just don’t backup often enough.

I also remembered that I have cloud backup with iDrive and they have a versioning feature which should have saved me. But their sofware sees Rapidweaver projects as folders, not files. So it doesn’t update them or version them, it updates and versions all the millions of files inside them. Which is useless. They also have a feature called “snapshots” though which I’m trying to work out with them.

The Rapidweaver published backup isn’t an option because I stupidly published a update to my site after this error notice appeared, so the backup is corrupted too.

Interestingly, Aside from loosing 7 pictures on the online version of my website, everything seems functional. On my Poster 2 blog, in my project, it shows tons of images missing but online they are all still there. Everything else seems functional that I have managed to test.

Would it be a terrible idea to just tell RW to forget the files and replace the images in my blog and keep using this version of the project? The thing that worries me is that it’s not all image files that are missing. Which might create problems on different browsers or down the road.

It would be A LOT of work to go back to the June 29 iDrive backup of my site. But maybe better than risking using a corrupted project.

@Spacemonkey Ugh, what a situation you are in. So sorry!

Most of what I’m writing won’t apply right now but may help in the future. I do three different things when I’m working on a website a lot. I do these things less when a site is “stable”. They are:

  1. I archive my RW projects via naming: a project I’m working on now is currently named: CourseProject-2021-07-11. This means I have earlier versions of the project with different dates. I change the date part of the name about once a week.
  2. Take advantage of RW’s backup feature. I realize you already do this, but if you use an archiving approach to naming projects then all those archives are also on your server.
  3. I do this less often, but I will also create a zip version of RW projects on my computers. Not for the one I’m currently working on but for past ones.

I realize none of this helps you right now, but might save some pain in the future.

I have no idea if the “forget the files” approach will work. But in this case I’d rename the project file so if you need to go back to the current one and fill in all the missing images you can still do that.

Keep in mind that if your previous images were already published to the web they stay there! So what you see online right now, and what’s in your RW project, isn’t exactly the same in terms of images.

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I don’t have IDrive, but it’s a competitor of Backblaze so I would think it would have similar functionality.

In Backblaze’s restore file list you have a date range selection. You would select the to date to be prior to when you had the problem, and hit the Go button. That will update the file list to being displayed. The Backblaze default plan limit is 30 days back. I have the Extended Version History (additional cost) that extends that to 1 year.

Once you have updated the file list, you then navigate to where you had the file originally stored. Now you will find the folder (aka directory) for the RapidWeaver project in question. Yes RapidWeaver projects will look like a folder. Even on a Mac in terminal a RapidWeaver project file is a directory (folder). It’s the Mac GUI that makes these folders look like a file.

You shouldn’t care about the individual files that changed within the RW project package. You should be able to simply select the folder (it will end with an .rw8 extension).

Once I select the file date and the project folder, I select the Continue with Restore Button. They then send me an email that says my Restore is ready to download. I simply download the zip file and I have the folder as it was on that date. When I unzip the file, and I have a RapidWeaver 8 Project file as it was on that date.

A good backup strategy shouldn’t require you to do any manual backups at all. It should be automatic, without you having to remember to do anything. You can do something like what @Mathew outlined, and that has some might work for you, but with modern backup software you really don’t need to do all that.

For example, for quite some time now, macOS’s TimeMachine has been able to back up file changes on your laptop without an external drive attached using a think called local snapshots. That’s assuming you have enough hard drive space on the Mac. If you are running macOS using APFS, they save local snapshots on your internal disk, whether it’s a Mac desktop or laptop. If you are still using HFS+ then local snapshots are only available on MacBooks.

You simply leave TimeMachine On and select the box for Back Up Automatically. Every hour for 24 hours it will make a snapshot of any files that changed. You can even enter time machine and restore these files without attaching the external hard drive. You can read more here:

My bet is IDrive probably has you project file backed up for you, you just need to figure out how to get it.

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iDrive did indeed save the file for me. In addition to versions (which only work with files, not bundled folders like rw8 files) they also have snapshots that save versions of everything. I was able to recover the file this way from before the error and it only took me 2 hours to rebuild what I lost.

Next time I will use this or time machine’s internal snapshots right away and won’t loose anything.

Thank you everyone!


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