I really dislike macOS's Photos.app (thought I could get use to it), but would like to use iPhoto again. It's in my apps, but was replaced with a more current version when my stuff was installed onto the new Mac. When I click on iPhoto, it says it needs to update the photo library before I can use it.

I'm running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and worry about compatibility since I'm reading some scary things. Don't want to end up in a jam or a pile of lost photos. Has anyone done this upgrade with Sierra in order to use the latest iPhoto? And has everything worked like clockwork?

1 Answer 1


I don't think the update will work. I've seen an update for iPhoto in the App store before and it usually gives you an error message that the item is no longer available (tho it has been a long time since I last saw that update). If you ever delete iPhoto, the update will disappear from the App Store.

I didn't think there was a way to continue to use iPhoto, but there appears to be a work around I found in Apple's Discussions forum. The basic idea is to delete then replace the iPhoto app by using the purchased list in the App Store. Theoretically, that version will be an updated version that will work. If it doesn't, work: No harm cuz it hasn't worked anyway. Check if your purchased list includes iPhoto and which version it downloads before attempting to remove the iPhoto app. Once iPhoto is the Trash, don't empty the Trash. You can put iPhoto back if this plan doesn't work and maybe someone will come up with a different plan later. And don't worry about losing the old library. Deleting the older version of iPhoto, or just moving it to Trash, will not remove the iPhoto library which usually resides in the Pictures folder of the home folder.

If that plan does work, the question then becomes how do you get pics from the Photos app to iPhoto that you added since you switched to Photos? Drag and drop will likely work even if you have to drag to desktop then drag to iPhoto. Try dragging pics directly from Photos to iPhoto first.

  • Thanks so much! I did try to go to the App store and seemed to me that it was either grayed out or iPhoto was not there. When I was looking through the Help section on Photos it said that I could use iPhoto because it was still in my Applications... and it is...just an updated version with the old one crossed out. So theoretically this new version setting in my Applications is the most current. I bought the new Mac in December of 2017...and the old one was a 2009. Course there could be a newer update but it shows no version at all when I go to Get Info...so difficult to know.
    – Mary
    Dec 10, 2018 at 20:00
  • If you had an iPhoto update showing in the Updates tab of the App Store before you had the not-prohibited version installed, move the prohibited version to the trash and open the App store. If iPhotos does not appear the OS thinks you have the latest version.
    – D. Geren
    Dec 11, 2018 at 2:54
  • Keep in mind eventually you will have to leave iPhoto behind. Getting to know Photos might be easier in the short term and the long run!
    – D. Geren
    Dec 11, 2018 at 3:01

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