Help with going backwards from Photos to iPhoto

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by worboys, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. worboys macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2016
    The iMac in question is quite old now, maybe 2009? Not sure. Anyway, it has been updated over time to the newest OS and now runs very sluggish. I want to internet recovery it back to original OS and start fresh to speed it back up again.

    This is not a problem, I can handle this.

    My worry is with my photos which are now condensed in the new Apple Photos app.

    How do I back these up to add them back to the old iPhoto app after the restore?

    Are they backwards compatible?

    Can I simply drag the PhotosLibrary.photoslibrary file in my pictures folder onto an external HDD and then drag it back over to my newly formatted machine with an old OS as I would normally do if I was formatting it back to a new OS?

    Will iPhoto will simply add them all no problem like the new photos app would on a clean new OS machine or am I going to run into problems going from a Photos library to an iPhoto library?

    Thanks to anyone that can help me.
  2. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    iPhoto wont recognise the library because its from newer OS. Furthermore Photos isn't backwards compatible so Yosemite Photos wont recognise El Capitan photoslibrary...

    Hopefully you have a previous backup which includes compatible iPhoto & library? Then you only have to copy new pictures, not all of them.

    If you don't have backup easiest way is to export all pictures from Photos to folder in external drive and downgrade to previous OS, then install iPhoto, open iPhoto and import pictures from the folder. Needles to say it's likely some metadata will be lost in the process.

    If import/export process wont work for some reason you could try opening the photoslibrary while control key is pressed and select "show package contents", it will open a new window which shows the contents of the library, masters folder contains all original pictures.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    The old iPhoto cannot read the new Photos library format, so you will need to export the photos from the Photos app, then move them to the new install and import them into iPhoto.

    This may help you with the Photos export.

Share This Page