Working with Media

I have just spent over an hour working on the Media page scrolling 1 line at a time (you can’t scroll 1 page at a time) to identify 42 unlinked items amongst 23,000 media items.

Can I suggest that a new option is added that will show only the unlinked media items.


Fix broken media links should fix them without having to identify them individually. Unless of course there was another reason why you wished to identify them.

I ran that option and all I got was that 42 media files had broken links. No other options were given to identify these, hence the manual job of finding them (they all had a X on them) and deleting them.

If it didn’t fix the broken link then I can only assume that it couldn’t find them and that the media file no longer exists on your machine. I guess the only way to delete all the thumbnails is to do what you are doing - unless anybody else has any bright ideas.

I ran into this same problem. “Fix broken media links” is great, but it doesn’t work if you have changed the name of the original file. It did help to at least change the media page to show a list, rather than thumbnails – just a little faster to scroll through and visually identify the broken links, at least for me. But yeah, a “show broken links” option would have been great!

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I’ve just found a way that might find broken media links without resorting to scanning the media gallery for the dreaded little red crosses!

  1. Go to the Publish Icon on the Side Bar > All Reports and Charts > Multimedia List

  2. Run the report for everyone and all media (unless you are aware of what item or type of media file might have the broken link). Be warned - the report does seem to take a while to generate!

  3. Once the report has been generated save as an Excel report

  4. Open the report in Excel and there will be two columns headed “Name” and “Media”.

  5. Filter the columns, and in the “Media” column search for NOT FOUND. (For me, these files were the first on the list). I’m guessing you could also save the file to Word and search for NOT FOUND but I didn’t test this.


  1. Review both the name and the filename path (after the [NOT FOUND]) and this should then provide direction where the media file might have been refiled or how it might have been renamed.

I deliberately broke some links as I wanted to test how to find broken links without scanning.

I did this because the issue that I have is that my RM7 media files are all “linked”. Yet when I import into RM8 it shows 1 file as being unlinked. A manual scan of the media gallery (both in list and thumbnails) has not located the rogue file (but there are over 8,000 media files). But neither did the search using the above process (it only found the ones deliberately broken).

I’m stumped how else to find that 1 rogue file, but I posted this as I’m hoping the above process might help others find broken links without resorting to eyeballing a sometimes very long media list! :grinning:


Wow Jill, that’s some work you have put into this issue and much appreciated. While I believe I have now fixed my “Broken links” I will do another run based on your method to see what I find.

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This time I located 54 broken links to media in an RM7 media folder. I found these via the method outlined above by Jill, and moved them into my new RM8 Media folder. So far so good. There remained 16 broken links to media I no longer wanted. I found these in the Media folder within RM8 (not in Windows Explorer) but I cannot delete or remove these thumbnails at all.
Something is not working here.

due to the awful jerky scrolling this is a terrible effort to find missing media.
however, just choose fix the links and then tell RM8 the correct folders to look in. It also helps to set the proper default folders in settings.

RM7 & 8 are much better at finding and fixing media links than family tree maker. That program fights you all the way especially if you organize media in family subfolders.

My issue was in trying to identify media files that I needed to delete, and I had to manually search for these by scrolling through 23,000 thumbnails to find them. Jill’s suggestion made that task so much easier.

I am hopeful that RM8 is a lot more efficient in dealing with media files. For example my RM7 Media folder contained 26GB with 37,000 files (and 55,500 multimedia links) and now RM8 has only 16GB with 23,000 files (and 24,000 multimedia links). RM8 has also more people than RM7 as I haven’t worked on that for many months.

I also hope and have yet to find out that when you delete a person, than all the media files associated with them are also deleted?

Do you mean that you hope that the media files are deleted from your computer if you delete the person? Or do you mean that the link and the thumbnail is deleted? RM would not be able to delete the media files from your hard drive, thank goodness, as it does not manage your folders it only provides a link.

I did mean the original file in the Rootsweb Media folder. This was the problem with RM7 hence the large file size of the folder which was obviously storing files that were no longer part of my Tree.

Surely if RM8 can put media files into its Media folder, it should be able to remove them?

Thank you Jill - this is exactly what I needed to find which links were the missing ones scattered through thousands of media items. If only the slog of correcting them were so easy!

RootsMagic does not have a folder on my computer. I have a media folder. It contains all sorts of media, some attached to events or people in RootsMagic and some not. It has a folder structure to my design which I do modify from time to time. RootsMagic does not put anything into these folders - I do.

Terry, When you create a new database in RM it automatically creates a Media folder within the RM folder structure using the name of the database you have created. What you have done I am guessing is to create a different media folder outside of RM and then use the “Fix broken links” tool to point to your new folder.
What I am referring to is that I use Ancestry Treeshare to update RM and all those media files associated with any new or changed records do go into the media folder created by RM.

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If RM doesn’t remove media files associated with events that we delete, then we need a tool to locate those files to delete them ourselves.

My media is where it has been since RootsMagic began. If RM has created a folder called Media then I have never used it. My media folders contain media for more than one database. I have not used Fix broken media links except on the occasions when I have modified my folder structure. I do not use Ancestry TreeShare. If I download a media file from Ancestry, FindMyPast or any other site I save it to the appropriate folder in my folder structure. All my media files have meaningful names which I understand does not happen for media downloaded from Ancestry.


A TreeShare download into a new RM database creates a flat media folder under the location of the db file.

Just a TreeShare thing then. That’s why I was unaware of it. Never done it, never will.

Well done Jill, I found my illusive ONE missing photo… must have moved folders lol!

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