I have updated the iWork applications from '09 to 2013. After updating, I do not know why Apple doesn't automatically delete the old version. So now, I have two versions on my Mac.

What's the best way to uninstall or delete the old version - should I just simply move it to Trash or use some uninstall application?

Would there be any effect with my old iWork files if I delete the old iWork version?

  • 1
    Before removing iWork ’09, convert all your files with this new version, and check that the set of missing functions doesn't change them beyond what you think acceptable. From my naïve point of vue, a serious editor shouldn't change that much a seriously used software.
    – dan
    Aug 26, 2014 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


Since the apps have been rewritten, there have been some features missing from the new iWork that was in iWork '09. In addition, documents created with older iWork apps will be permanently updated to the new one, and the new files can remove certain features that existed in the documents created using iWork '09. Due to this, if you need to share files with people who are still on the old iWork that make use of such features, then you would need the old version of iWork to do this. This has brought about the opposite question

When opening one of my files that I created using the iWork '09 Pages in the new Pages, some things were broken:

iWork '09 can be uninstalled simply by deleting the iWork '09 folder, however for a more complete uninstallation you can use an app such as AppCleaner to remove the preference files and other associated files, however beware that using such an app will probably not be able to tell the difference between the two versions, so any settings that you have set in the new iWork apps will be deleted if you attempt to clean the associated files. If you installed iWork '09 through a retail CD, the app data is not sandboxed, and you can tell whether the data is related to iWork '09 or the new iWork by checking the location of the files - if they are in the sandbox, they are for the new iWork. Unfortunately, this doesn't work if you installed iWork '09 through the Mac App Store. If you don't care for your settings in the new iWork (i.e. you haven't run it yet) then there should be no problems running AppCleaner since there should be no preference files for the new iWork yet.

  • 2
    I personally wouldn't trust AppCleaner to know what preferences belong to the old and new iWork and would have a very solid backup before letting it loose on a Mavericks computer until they had time to update the program after a month or so of user reports of what it breaks. Since the App store offered to upgrade my iWork it's not clear the bundle ID are separate and any cleaner will know what support files belongs to which version of each app.
    – bmike
    Oct 26, 2013 at 19:21
  • 1
    @bmike Indeed, AppCleaner is not able to differentiate between the two versions since they do use the same bundle ID. In my case, the old iWork was installed from retail CD, and so the app data was not sandboxed. This way, I could tell whether the files were related to the old/new iWork by whether the files were in the sandbox. As yet, I haven't found an automatic cleaner that can tell the difference between sandbox and not… :( but that doesn't mean that it can't be done manually!
    – grg
    Oct 26, 2013 at 19:52
  • To my knowledge, simply dragging the particular version to the Trash suffices to get rid of it. If you have Software Update set in in your System Preferences (the Default) Apple will either continue to Automatically reinstall Pages 5, or nag you to do so. You can turn this off but for the users experiencing these problems they do not know how nor that it is possible. Many do not even realise that the new Pages has been installed, despite the fact it looks dramatically different and has an orange document icon versus the blue ink bottle of previous versions.
    – PeterBreis
    Aug 26, 2014 at 20:43

To clarify the issue of deleting old versions of Pages and retaining only Pages 5 you need to be aware that Apple has removed over 110 features from Pages 5 and there are many bugs, some serious.

You can get rid of either version by simply dragging them to the Trash, but will lose the ability to access either the new Pages 5 format files, or have access to older version files and templates or .rtf or rtfd files.

To determine the consequences of keeping one version over another, read the Removed and Altered lists from freeforum

To obtain greater compatibility with Pages on iOS, Pages 5 has a much smaller subset of the features in Pages '09. If you migrate your files to Pages 5 it will be simpler to transfer files back and forth from your iPad to your Mac, but there will be a large number of things you will not be able to do in the new format.

The new format has the additional problem of being unreadable if there is a problem with the file. It also has many problems when Exported to Word .doc/x and .pdfs.

Because Pages 5 only runs in Mavericks and iOS 7 there will also be problems swapping files with other Mac users, not just PC users.

In addition Pages 5 files, transferred by 3rd party servers such as GMail, DropBox and Amazon, are damaged because these servers do not understand the special zipped packages that Apple is using.

Your choices are to go with Apple's new direction and accept the consequences, or stay with Pages '09 which works exactly as it always has, even in Mavericks, or look for current alternatives such as LibreOffice [free] or NisusWriter.

There are other alternatives arriving early next year, which will give more choices for low cost DTP users, but it will be difficult to match Pages' meld of DTP, Word Processing and Spreadsheet.

I along with most of the experienced support people in Apples Pages forums are choosing to keep using Pages '09, whilst keeping a copy of Pages 5 on our Macs. We are keeping an eye on developments with LibreOffice and alternative DTP software from Serif Software.

Apple will not be altering course and has only made minor corrections to Pages 5 in the year since it was launched. Users will simply have to wait to see what develops, but can carry on using the more functional and reliable Pages '09 until Apple no longer supports it in a future OSX or iOS.

"Will I be able to read my files in the future?". Unfortunately the record shows that if you are using any version of Pages you will have progressively more problems. then ultimately reach a point where Apple will no longer support the file format, and dead end it. Probably without warning as it has done previously and in particular with the current version last October.

  • I had a detailed summary of what happens in all the instances of having various versions of Pages installed, when trying to open all the different formats of .pages files. This was deemed to exceed the bounds of the question. A shame as it is exactly the point of confusion that leads to these questions being asked in the first place. My summary has been posted probably a thousand times in Apple's Pages forum (not an exaggeration, it is THE most asked question) but does not show up when searching with google, which is why I tried to post it here.
    – PeterBreis
    Aug 26, 2014 at 20:32
  • Could you upgrade the URL toward freeforum101.com which looks like… "dead".
    – dan
    Dec 3, 2014 at 15:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .