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PowerPhotos Help

Converting iPhoto and Aperture libraries

If you used iPhoto or Aperture before transitioning to Apple’s newer Photos app, up until macOS 12.0 Monterey, Photos has had the ability to migrate your old iPhoto/Aperture library to a Photos library. However, starting in macOS 13 Ventura, Apple no longer supports its migration process, leaving importing the iPhoto library into an existing Photos library as the only option. This is far from ideal, because unlike migration, importing does not retain your album organization, photo edits, or photo metadata in the process.

If you want to preserve all that information from your iPhoto or Aperture library, you can instead use PowerPhotos to convert your old library to an equivalent Photos library. To start, choose the File > Convert iPhoto/Aperture libraries menu item. PowerPhotos will search your Mac for any iPhoto/Aperture libraries it can find, and allow you to add them to the PowerPhotos library list. You can also just drag an iPhoto/Aperture library directly from the Finder and drop it into the library list.

Once the library is in the PowerPhotos library list, you can view it alongside all your Photos libraries, so you can see how many photos it has, what albums it contains, and even view or search the photo metadata, just like with your Photos libraries. You cannot use any functions that modify the iPhoto library, such as deleting duplicates, creating albums, and so forth, but in all other respects you can do all the same things you can with a Photos library.

If you simply want to convert the library to Photos, select the library and click the “Convert…” button in the upper right. This will create a new Photos library and copy the entire contents of the iPhoto/Aperture library into the new library. You can also set up a merge to merge the iPhoto/Aperture library directly into an existing Photos library, or copy individual albums or photos by drag and drop.

PowerPhotos conversion process does differ from the old Photos migration in a few ways.

Photos Migration PowerPhotos Conversion
Preserves albums, folders, and smart albums Preserves folders and albums, converts smart albums into regular albums
Preserves photo titles, captions, keywords, dates, locations, and faces Preserves all the same metadata except for faces
Converts star ratings and flags into keywords Same
Preserves photo edits, but not lossless editing Same
Always creates new library alongside original Choose any folder to create the new library, or merge/copy directly into an existing library
Always migrates the entire library Allows copying individual photos/albums out of the library as well
Saves space by linking photos from the old library Makes new copies of the photos, requiring additional disk space
Works only on macOS Monterey and earlier Works on Monterey and Ventura
Does not support libraries before iPhoto 8 Supports iPhoto 4 or later and Aperture 3.3 or later
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