Keep iPhoto - It May Come in Handy!

Last Modified: Nov 6, 2014 4:56 AM

Aperture 3.3 (or later) and iPhoto 9.3 (or later) now share an unified libary format and can open each other's library, so what would be the point of keeping iPhoto around? That is a frequently asked question.

Aperture 3.3: Using a unified photo library with iPhoto and Aperture

Aperture 3.3: How to use Aperture to merge iPhoto libraries


There are several good reasons, to keep iPhoto:

  1. iPhoto can do a few things, that Aperture cannot do:
    • Print products: Aperture cannot create calendars and cards, but iPhoto can.
    • Reveal managed originals: Aperture cannot reveal managed original image files in the Finder, but iPhoto can (File > Reveal in Finder > Original File).
    • Date and Time: Aperture cannot batch change the date and time of images in fixed increments, but iPhoto can (thanks, Frank, for pointing that out). This is very useful, if you are importing a series of scans or other image files, that have no capture date.
    • Re: How do I set all photos in a project to the same date (rather than simply time-shifting)?
    • Share selected projects or the whole library between users on the network: You can share your Aperture library by opening it in iPhoto
      iPhoto '11: Share your photos among computers on a network (iPhoto '11, version 9.4. and earlier only).
  1. Use iPhoto as a second library browser:
    • If you want to compare two photo libraries, you can open one library in iPhoto and one in Aperture. Otherwise you can only browse one library at a time - the iPhoto Browser is no longer available.
    • Use iPhoto to work with an external editor different from the one you are using in Aperture.
  2. You may need iPhoto to correct mistakes or omissions that you made when migrating your photo library to Aperture:
    • Aperture cannot reveal photos that have been hidden in iPhoto.You will need iPhoto to unhide them, to make them visible in Aperture.
    • Older iPhoto libraries need to be upgraded to the current iPhoto version using iPhoto to work with the current Aperture version.
    • iPhoto print products (books, cards, calendars) are visible in the Aperture library, but cannot be edited in Aperture. You will need to open them in iPhoto to edit them.
  3. Debugging: Just in case, you are having trouble to launch Aperture, or your images are rendered in a strange way, you may want to open your Aperture library in iPhoto to check if it is a fault of the Library or of the Aperture application. In case of system wide trouble you can even launch iPhoto in Safe boot mode (Mac OS X: What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode?), which is not possible with Aperture.


For all this reasons you may want to keep iPhoto around - the application does not need much space.