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macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
Searching through the internet there doesn't seem to be a solution to merge libraries in the Mac Photos app. I now have 3 libraries, aperture, photos, and iPhoto. I just use photos to import stuff so keeping albums and edits aren't a big deal.

What would be the easiest way? Find the content folder for each library and put the files into a new folder?

I've been putting this off for too long, I need to rebuild my photos into one unified library. I don't want to pay for some software either. What I've seen it's about $30. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks


macrumors regular
Jan 18, 2008
For a long time, iPhoto and Aperture shared a library, so it was much easier. I'm in a similar situation to you - I've been a bad boy and let me photos "creep" around 2 or more computers and I have been procrastinating like a champ in getting everything back under "one roof"...I don't see an easy solution other than manually to get things organized...and since Aperture has been long EOL'd, my next step after unifying everything is then importing that new library into a new DAM, likely Lightroom...


macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
Are there completely different images in each? or did you migrate say iPhotos to Aperture, and then Aperture to Photos?

You could just go that route again, and then deal in Photos with the duplicates. You don't wanna pay for a utility that would make that easier, so just budget lots of time.

Once they go from iPhoto to Aperture, I'd use Aperture's superior tools to sort out duplicates and clean it up. Unfortunately you can't go from Photos to Aperture, at least not with importing FROM Photos.

Another option is to just remove all the Masters from the libraries and re-import them into Aperture, clean 'em all up, and then convert that to Photos. You'd lose the organization you did in the separate applications, but it sounds like it's a mess anyway.


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
The problems mentioned above are why I don't let ANY photo editing application "manage" my photos.

I manage them myself, on a separate drive volume, in a "library" created by =me=, using a folder/file hierarchy of my own design.

For editing apps, I choose to set them up to use "referenced" libraries -- i.e., the original master pics are never copied into the library of any particular app, but remain in my own master library.

More work to set up, and I don't generate hundreds of pics each day.
But it works for me.
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