iPhoto Library Manager > Help > A note about iPhoto version numbers

A note about iPhoto version numbers

Apple has created some confusion with the versioning scheme it has used for iPhoto through the years. There are two separate ways a version of iPhoto can be referred to: the version number (e.g. iPhoto 9.0), or the marketing name (e.g. iPhoto '11). The numbers used in both cases used to be the same, but have diverged over the years, so it can be tricky to keep things straight sometimes.

To summarize iPhoto's version history:

Version number

Marketing name

Release date





iPhoto 2



iPhoto '04



iPhoto '05



iPhoto '06



iPhoto '08



iPhoto '09



iPhoto '11


This documentation attempts to be consistent in using the actual version rather than the "marketing" nomenclature, calling them iPhoto 7.0, 8.0, etc. This is consistent with Apple own documentation, which usually (but not always!) uses the iPhoto version number rather than the iLife release name. This is also the version number you will see in iPhoto Library Manager when looking at the version of a library or the installed version of iPhoto.

The Full Sordid History

The first version iPhoto was released in January of 2002. The first two versions of iPhoto, versions 1 and 2, were offered for free, and were available as individual downloads. Starting with the next version, Apple started bundling iPhoto with their new iLife suite, which also included other applications such as iMovie and iDVD. That release was called iLife '04, since it was released in January of 2004. However, since iPhoto was only at version 2, they decided to skip a version number, so the version of iPhoto that came with iLife '04 was iPhoto 4.0. There was never any such thing as iPhoto 3.

Apple continued this naming scheme in 2005 and 2006, releasing iLife '05 and iLife '06 at the Macworld show in January, which included iPhoto 5.0 and iPhoto 6.0, respectively. However, in 2007, iLife was not ready in time for the usual January release, and was instead released in September of 2007. Since the year was already nearly over by the time they were able to release it, Apple decided to name this release iLife '08. Unlike in 2004, they did not skip a version number with iPhoto, so iLife '08 actually included iPhoto version 7.0. This version of iPhoto can be referred to as either iPhoto '08 or iPhoto 7, depending on where you look.

The next release of iLife was in January 2009. The bundle was named iLife '09, and again, the actual version number of iPhoto only advanced by one, so iPhoto '09 is actually iPhoto version 8.0. The next release was iPhoto '11, which came out in October of 2010, and contained iPhoto version 9.0.

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