I made a bunch of songs in Garageband a few years ago, on my old MacBookPro (ended up with Mountain Lion, I believe). When I open them on my new computer (a MacBookAir running Yosemite) some of the instruments (it's usually the drum kits) are not available. It gives me this pop up:

missing instrument error message

How can I get those old instruments so that these old files can be played and edited again?

  • Have you looked in the App store for the 'old' version of garageband? Should be in your 'purchases.' Aug 19, 2015 at 4:37
  • I didn't purchase Garageband. It came on my computer. (I also made the projects not all from my own computer. Some I made elsewhere and saved them to my computer.)
    – tscizzle
    Aug 22, 2015 at 6:07
  • I never specifically bought it(or used it) either, it came with my first macbook, but it shows in my purchases at the apple app store. Just a suggestion. Aug 22, 2015 at 9:04
  • where do you see your purchases? i see past orders (but it's empty)
    – tscizzle
    Aug 22, 2015 at 18:37
  • I have the exact same problem. I transferred many files from my macbook of seven years ago to my current macbook pro and some of the instruments I used back then are not available anymore in the newer version of Garageband I have at my disposal. Instead I also get "bells". Do you think that taking sounds from Garageband's sound library on my old macbook and uploading them to the library on my current macbook pro could do the trick? Feb 10, 2018 at 1:03

2 Answers 2


The 4th column, Purchased. If it is empty that ends that unless you used a different Apple ID.

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Open your new Garageband and then

Garageband menu -> Download More Sounds

see if they appear in there.

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