How to Migrate Pictures from iPhoto or Aperture to Photos for OS X

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With the launch of OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite, Apple released its much-anticipated Photos app, which was first announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2014. The Photos for OS X app took several months to complete because it was designed from the ground up to work with OS X Yosemite and integrate with both the Photos for iOS app and iCloud Photo Library.

Because Photos for OS X replaces both of Apple's existing photo apps, Aperture and iPhoto, you're going to need to migrate your Aperture and iPhoto libraries into the new Photos app if you want to be able to use Apple's latest and greatest photo editing tools with your images.

The migration from iPhoto or Aperture to Photos actually happens automatically if you only have one library in your Pictures folder. However, you may have more than one photo library on your Mac if you've split your iPhoto library up or if you use both iPhoto and Aperture, which makes things a little more difficult. You may need some help figuring out how to manually migrate additional libraries, so we've created a handy guide to explain how to get those other libraries into Photos quickly and easily.

One quick note: Before you migrate all of your existing photos into Photos for OS X, make sure you have enough iCloud storage space if you want to take advantage of iCloud Photo Library, which syncs your images across al of your devices. With iCloud Photo Library turned on in the Photos app, all of your images will be uploaded to the cloud, which does eat up your iCloud storage space. You can use Photos without iCloud Photo Library -- just make sure you turn it off in the Preferences menu.

Click here to read more...

Article Link: How to Migrate Pictures from iPhoto or Aperture to Photos for OS X
 

rtdunham

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2003
982
77
St. Petersburg, FL, Northern KY
I transferred about 31,000 pictures. But it's stalled with three pics remaining for upload. Is there any way to tell what those three are?

BTW I've learned photos in cloud is good way to save space on iOS devices, but not on the Mac: if you delete the full sized images from your computer, there's no way to back them up.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,740
4,213
This is one of my favorite features. Not just this, but iCloud Drive actually working from finder. No need to go to iCloud.com
 

eoblaed

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,580
2,127
What does it do with the photos for a library that sits on an external device? I have the better part of a terabyte of photos in my iPhoto library on an external RAID array. The last thing I want it to do is to try to move all of that to an internal drive. In other words, will a migration leave the photos where they are?
 

ReelAction

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2010
52
0
NorCal
Be Careful before migrating

I recently migrated from iPhoto to Photos after installing OS X 10.10.3

I found several features lacking in Photos that exist within iPhoto.

Geotagging - in iPhoto one could add a location to a photo. I've done this with old scanned family photos, for which I know the location. Not possible with the Photos app.

Smart Albums, not very smart in the Photo App. I had an iPhoto smart album to locate unconfirmed faces. This feature doesn't exist in the Photo app. I found this handy to use on occasion to assign names to unconfirmed faces and chose those to ignore.

As others have mentioned, once the photo library is transitioned over from iPhoto to Photo, further edits made in iPhoto will not be available in the Photo App.
 

newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,091
23
I transferred about 31,000 pictures. But it's stalled with three pics remaining for upload. Is there any way to tell what those three are?

BTW I've learned photos in cloud is good way to save space on iOS devices, but not on the Mac: if you delete the full sized images from your computer, there's no way to back them up.
Yep, if you choose to optimize storage on iOS devices, you get all of your photos and videos but it takes up very little storage if you start running out of space. And keeping full sized images on your Mac means your photos get automatically backed up with Time Machine and of course all of them are on iCloud as well.

So the Photos app gives you the best of both worlds. All your photos are available from all your computers and devices and you get a local backup and a cloud backup.

Plus unlike the alternative solutions (Google, Amazon, Dropbox, etc.), you also get non-destructive edits synced across all devices, for a true synced backup. You really can't get any better than that.
 

2457282

Suspended
Dec 6, 2012
3,327
3,014
I recently migrated from iPhoto to Photos after installing OS X 10.10.3

I found several features lacking in Photos that exist within iPhoto.

Geotagging - in iPhoto one could add a location to a photo. I've done this with old scanned family photos, for which I know the location. Not possible with the Photos app.

Smart Albums, not very smart in the Photo App. I had an iPhoto smart album to locate unconfirmed faces. This feature doesn't exist in the Photo app. I found this handy to use on occasion to assign names to unconfirmed faces and chose those to ignore.

As others have mentioned, once the photo library is transitioned over from iPhoto to Photo, further edits made in iPhoto will not be available in the Photo App.
The Geotagging is something I miss when I import photos from a camera that does not geotag. Those are fewer and fewer every day, but still a bummer. Even on my iphone, sometimes it fails to tag the photo correctly and I like to fix those tags (well I use to).

The other issue I am finding is that there were a few pictures that were tagged with a year of 2099. I can change the date through Photo, but it seems to retain the original date and still sorts against that original date. A bit of a pain.
 

slprescott

macrumors member
Mar 22, 2012
52
182
How does the speed of iCloud Photos compare to accessing photos stored on the internal drive? Can anyone benchmark typical use-cases?

I like the idea of iCloud Photos eliminating concern of filling my hard disk, (thereby allowing my next Mac to have less storage), but will it be painfully slow to access hundreds / thousands of photos & videos remotely?
 

davey0

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2006
46
8
I recently migrated a 350GB Aperature library to Photos and I noticed that it created a new library in the same directory. I assume that this is just a duplicate of the old Aperature library. Is that correct? Can I delete the old library?

BTW, it took almost twelve hours to migrate and it was stuck on 14% for over an hour.
 

bacaramac

macrumors 65816
Dec 29, 2007
1,414
78
I've migrated to Photos app and love it. Face detection seems way smarter. I also upgrade cloud storage to cover my 100+ GB library and must say it has been uploading for over a week. Down to 500 photos and 50 videos remaining. Although I get 60mb down, my upload is pathetic at around 5mb. Can't wait to keep photos 100% in sync across all devices including deleting. Having access to all photos on iPhone without downloading is priceless.
 

dredlew

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2014
83
105
I like Photos overall and a lot of the keyboard shortcuts were migrated from Aperture, so editing is a breeze for basic stuff. For anything that needs more custom editing with brushes and the like, I going to use Capture One. This seems to be the best successor to Aperture. To Lightroom I just can’t warm up to and it’s missing some very basic features.

The timezone bug in Photos however does prevent me from completely migrating at this point. If a photo was taken in a different timezone, it will display the time in your current local time as opposed to the local time when the photo was taken. So you’re looking at a photo of a scene in Shanghai at 2:00pm but the time displayed in the metadata is 2:00am. Unfortunately, this does not just seem to be a display issue, it will also export the wrong time in the EXIF data. Until this bug is fixed, I don’t feel comfortable to migrate the timezone adjusted images over just yet.

That reminds me, the timezone adjustment tool is another great feature from Aperture that I will sorely miss… sigh.
 

rtdunham

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2003
982
77
St. Petersburg, FL, Northern KY
So the Photos app gives you the best of both worlds. All your photos are available from all your computers and devices and you get a local backup and a cloud backup.
.
I'm not sure I understand you – or you didn't understand me? The only way to get a local backup is if you've kept all your full-size images on your computer. So no space is saved on the computer.
 

m343

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2012
4
3
Alternate way of merging libraries?

Is it possible to: turn on iCloud Photo Library, open one library, let that library upload entirely, quit, open your other library, let that upload.

At this point wouldn't all photos now be in iCloud, and you can delete/let stuff download however you want?

Or do I remember seeing something about how only 1 library can use iCloud at a time?
 

avafi

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2015
2
0
Internal Drive Space Saver??

I'm not sure I understand you – or you didn't understand me? The only way to get a local backup is if you've kept all your full-size images on your computer. So no space is saved on the computer.
So what if we upload the iPhoto library to Photos in iCloud and delete on the internal hard drive on the mac and simply keep an external hard drive for a local back up (not using Time Machine)? And as we add new photos to the computer, we can drag and drop into the external hard drive, then have them added to Photos in iCloud and then delete from the internal hard drive.
Would that work?
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
I'm not sure I understand you – or you didn't understand me? The only way to get a local backup is if you've kept all your full-size images on your computer. So no space is saved on the computer.
After migration and upload, you can select "optimize storage" option on your Mac just like iOS. The full size photos will live on in the cloud and Photos will start replacing the ones on your hard drive with thumbnails once you start running out of space.

You may not be able to make a reliable local backup if you go this route, so iCloud would effectively become your only backup. A bit risky...
 

rtdunham

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2003
982
77
St. Petersburg, FL, Northern KY
After migration and upload, you can select "optimize storage" option on your Mac just like iOS. The full size photos will live on in the cloud and Photos will start replacing the ones on your hard drive with thumbnails once you start running out of space.

You may not be able to make a reliable local backup if you go this route, so iCloud would effectively become your only backup. A bit risky...
Now we're on the same page.

Any idea why the created Photos library on my computer is 174GB but the iPhoto library it was created from is 213GB?
 

saintforlife

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2011
1,026
319
iCloud storage pricing is ridiculous. That makes iCloud Photo Library a no go for many people. Apple cloud storage pricing is a bigger rip off than the Apple Watch pricing.
 

avafi

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2015
2
0
After migration and upload, you can select "optimize storage" option on your Mac just like iOS. The full size photos will live on in the cloud and Photos will start replacing the ones on your hard drive with thumbnails once you start running out of space.

You may not be able to make a reliable local backup if you go this route, so iCloud would effectively become your only backup. A bit risky...
True that we can't have a reliable "automatic" back system like a Time Machine, but I will drag and drop newly added photos from my internal drive to an external hard drive that I have, just in case iCloud ever crashes.
 

kirky29

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,468
308
Lincolnshire, England
I recently migrated a 350GB Aperature library to Photos and I noticed that it created a new library in the same directory. I assume that this is just a duplicate of the old Aperature library. Is that correct? Can I delete the old library?

BTW, it took almost twelve hours to migrate and it was stuck on 14% for over an hour.
What file size is your new Photos library? I migrated a 370GB Aperture library and the new Photos library has made it 420GB.... No extra pictures or anything.
 

newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,091
23
True that we can't have a reliable "automatic" back system like a Time Machine, but I will drag and drop newly added photos from my internal drive to an external hard drive that I have, just in case iCloud ever crashes.
You can have a reliable automatic backup system with Photos using Time Machine. Just don't choose to "Optimize Photos" on your Mac. That will make your Mac store the full resolution images locally and Time Machine will back up your entire library automatically.
 

Mikea0589

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2011
10
0
What does it do with the photos for a library that sits on an external device? I have the better part of a terabyte of photos in my iPhoto library on an external RAID array. The last thing I want it to do is to try to move all of that to an internal drive. In other words, will a migration leave the photos where they are?
Similar problem but it has stopped the migration process completely for me after 8%. I'm getting the error "There is not enough free space to migrate your picture library. You need an additional 899 GB"

Which doesn't make sense. My 225 GB iPhoto pictures library is on a 2 TB external drive with 896 GB free.

Any thoughts?
 

swamyg1

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2007
189
36
Can anybody comment on this:

"There is no tool within the Photos app to combine multiple libraries into one library, so if you have more than one, you're going to need to work with each library separately or use alternate means to combine them."

I have a 400gb Aperture library that I migrated to a Photos library, but I would like to import that into my main system library. Any suggestions? I am currently trying to export my system Photos library, and I will then try to import those photos into my newly created Photos lib from Aperture.
 

DrKarl

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2010
37
26
Montana
Auto-migrated without asking

I had launched Photos to see what it was like, vs Aperture - and the entire iPhoto/Aperture library was migrated automatically and renamed without even asking me. Not sure if that's a bug, or just plain rude. ;-)

Had to restore my Aperture library from a (Time Machine) backup to get back to 'normal'.

Too many missing features in Photos. Was happy with Aperture and prefer it to Adobe Lightroom, but guess I have no choice but to move to Lightroom when Aperture support ends with a future OS X release.
 

msandersen

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2003
216
30
Sydney, Australia
Now we're on the same page.

Any idea why the created Photos library on my computer is 174GB but the iPhoto library it was created from is 213GB?
Could be because in iPhoto when you edit a photo, it keeps a copy of the original as well as the modified copy. Photos app uses nondestructive editing, it only has one copy and instructions on each edit, so anything can be undone down the line. That is the legacy of Aperture, even though at this point most of Aperture's features are missing and likely won't return, unless they have a 'Pro' version in development, which I very much doubt.
I haven't used iPhoto in some time, but in Aperture you could set the size of previews, all of which take up room. Aperture also can have painted masks, which are greyscale images, all of which take up room.
I assume Photos has Preview thumbnails, but they could be a different size or optimised better, and I expect one reason it takes so long to convert a library, as all images has to be reprocessed and new thumbnails have to be produced.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
Now we're on the same page.

Any idea why the created Photos library on my computer is 174GB but the iPhoto library it was created from is 213GB?
I looked through my iPhoto library (before migration). There are quite a few duplicates under different folders. I guess they are done to speed up the system: previews, photo cache for iTunes synced devices etc. As computers are faster nowadays, maybe Photos app does not need to generate and store previews. Maybe, it can generate them on the fly.

----------

True that we can't have a reliable "automatic" back system like a Time Machine, but I will drag and drop newly added photos from my internal drive to an external hard drive that I have, just in case iCloud ever crashes.
That's fine for originals, but it would not keep track of your edits.

Statistically, iCloud backups on average are probably safer than the local backups of users, so I shouldn't be concerned but it still makes me a bit queasy.
 
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