How To Install iPhoto in Yosemite or El Capitan (OS X 10.10 & 10.11)

by Ross McKillop on May 1, 2015

For whatever reason you’ve wound up here (probably not a fan of Photos) – this step-by-step guide will show you how to install/re-install iPhoto on your Mac running Yosemite (OS X 10.10.x). Update: this guide/method also works for OS X “El Capitan” (10.11)

iphoto working in osx El Capitan
click to enlarge

After Photos came out, you might have noticed that iPhoto no longer wanted to run.

Trying to update…

… seems to be futile.

Fear not. Following these instructions, you’ll have iPhoto working in Yosemite in no time.

NOTE: Apple is sending a clear message – iPhoto is gone. It’s unlikely that it’ll receive another update (perhaps bugfixes, feature updates far less likely) and it would seem the future is “Photos”. Once you have iPhoto working again, maybe you’ll want to take a closer to look at Photos. Maybe not.

Regardless – here are the steps to turn iPhoto back into a functional App.

  1. Click the “Apple Icon” in your Menu Bar and select App Store….
  2. The App Store will open.

  3. click to enlarge

  4. Click Purchases.
  5. If you aren’t signed in, you’ll be prompted to do so. If you’re already signed in, skip the next step.
  6. Sign in with your Apple ID
  7. Now scroll through your list of Purchases. Locate iPhoto.
  8. Click the Update button.
  9. If all goes as planned, your Mac is now downloading and installing a functional version of iPhoto. Congrats! You’re done. To everyone else: there’s a big chance it isn’t working. Give it a few minutes, but if the update doesn’t seem to be happening – fear not – and keep reading.
  10. Exit out of the App Store, and close down all open Apps (saving work if needed etc). Open your System Preferences and locate the Users & Groups option. Click it.
  11. In order to make changes (or add a user, which is what we’ll be doing) – you’ll probably need to “Unlock” this section first. Click the Lock icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  12. Enter your password.
  13. Now click the “plus sign” ( + ) directly below the Login Options text (as illustrated in the screenshot below).
  14. What you’ll be doing is creating a new account, installing iPhoto on it, and then your account will wind up with a functional version as well. So create the user and make sure the New Account: is set to Administrator. The Full Name and Account Name can be anything you’d like – this account will be deleted after iPhoto is working again. Make sure you select Use separate password, enter it twice in the spaces provided, and then click Create User.
  15. Now the new User account you just created will be listed with the other accounts on your Mac.
  16. You may want to read the rest through before you actually follow the steps – you’re about to sign out of your account and will need to close this browser window to do so.
  17. Exit out of the System Preferences, and log out of your account by selecting the Apple Icon and then Log Out.
  18. Sign in to the new account you just created. Once again open the App Store, sign in, go to your Purchases and locate iPhoto. Click the Install button next to it.
  19. Shouldn’t take too long – it will depend on the speed of your Internet connection. May want to grab yourself a beverage.
  20. After the installation has completed sign out of your “new” account, then back into your regular account. iPhoto no longer has the “this isn’t going to work” icon!

  21. click to enlarge

  22. Launch it as you always have, and enjoy!

  23. click to enlarge

  • Rachel Maney

    thank you thank you thank you! This was just the help I needed.

  • Seth Williams

    My mac has exactly the issue you describe after upgrading to Yosemite. However, when I go to the App Store it doesn’t give me the ‘Install’ option, but only the ‘Open’ option. When I click on ‘Open’ from the App Store nothing happens.

  • Seth Williams

    Ah, I was trying to uninstall from the ‘Applications’ shortcut on the dock, and then dragging iPhoto to the trash, but that wasn’t working. I had to open Finder and go to my ‘Applications’ and drag the iPhoto icon from there to the trash. Now it has the ‘Install Option’ which I’m installing now.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    All good?

  • Seth Williams

    Yep, thanks Ross.

  • Jordan

    Hi Ross! I tried doing everything all of the above but I can’t find Iphoto in the purchases section of the app store. btw, my iphoto was a preinstalled version. TIA

  • Joanna

    Thank you!! It worked!! Make a new account work very well for me.

  • nubi

    OHHHHH…..Thank you for this :)

  • cteavin

    You saved my sanity. I hated iPhoto before but I despise it now. I will never leave Lightroom, Bridge, or Photoshop.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Glad it helped :)

  • Djamé

    Hey, in case this wouldn’t work (it didn’t for me) simply do the following steps:

    1) Launch the terminal (don’t be afraid, type “terminal” on spotlight or in /Application/Utilities/Terminal(.app)

    2) type :

    /Applications/iPhoto.app/Contents/MacOS/iPhoto

    and you’re done.
    If you’re not used to the command line, just press the [tab] key after the first few letter of each directory and you’re good.

    Enjoy
    Djamé
    ps: found this on some blog I can’t seem to be able to find again

  • Gfix

    Thank you so much for enabling me to use iPhoto again. Spent all day on it, making lots of changes, sadly I went out of iPhoto and now I can’t find either the library or the changes I made. Can anyone help??

  • Ozziejack

    Don’t you just hate the way Apple decide which apps you can use and when? Your presentation is excellent and easy to follow. I followed it right through including creating another user however, when I look at iPhoto in the App Store it has “Open” against it rather than “Update” and when I click Open nothing happens. What can I do?

  • http://tddt.fi/ Taina Kiviniemi

    Thank You for you help! Finally got iphoto working and pictures, i thought i lost, back. Awesome =)

  • alain Guida

    Merci beaucoup .
    Vos explications m’ont permis de revoir mes photos

  • Tara Bulgary

    hello, i have seen these steps in many sites, but on my laptop there isn’t anything in the purchased column! i also read about hiding and the unhiding but there aren’t any hidden apps. also when i used a new account on my macbook it was all the same. it says ‘you have not yet purchased any apps’. i am on the newest update on the new macbook. please help, anyone!!!

  • Zehra Raza

    Did you lose your photos after you dragged it into the trash?

  • Rebecca Agronius

    THAAAAAAAAANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!! It worked by adding the extra admin account. I simply couldn’t get my head around Photos and I had everything sorted just the way I wanted in iPhoto.

  • Seth Williams

    No I didn’t drag the photos to the trash just the application

  • Kim Koenig

    So I had not problem following your tutorial but once I logged into the iPhoto fix account and went to purchases the only option was the open button, not the update button. It won’t open. Does it make a difference that I didn’t actually purchase iPhoto, it came with my Mac? Hope there’s something else I can do! Need my iPhoto!

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Kim: Did you try the steps that solved the same problems for Seth Williams? (it’s the “Featured” comment in this thread). Cheers!

  • Tony

    Thanks for the help! I uninstalled before reading this. Instructions are perfect.

  • Jude Price

    You are a bloody legend Ross MacKillop. Huge thanks, Photo installed as part of a Yosemite update and I was beside myself as it doesn’t interface with CS5 Illustrator at all, it is a piece of crapola really – too simple – all that showed to ‘place’ an image in illustrator was photo booth. I had to do the whole workaround here inc.. setting up a second account etc. It worked. A thousand times thank you Ross..

  • Natasha

    Hello I too was unable to find iPhoto in my purchase list or updates. I have tried to do what Seth dd by moving iPhoto to trash but once there I don’t have an option to “Install”…going out of my mind …please help. thanks

  • KH

    me too! any tips for that?

  • Pingback: Standardsoftware für OS X 10.10 Yosemite | Informatik COR()

  • Alby

    Thank you very much!

  • leekaygraphics

    Mr Ross you are a lifesaver!!! Million thanks for my successful reinstallation of iPhoto after the mess of Yosemite Photos.

  • Anastasia

    Thank you so much for this step by step article! For days I felt all was lost! Life saver :)

  • Fie

    Can somebody help me? When in App Store, my iphoto doesn’t say “update” instead is says “open” but i can’t? Nothing happens i press “open”
    Does anybody know what to do? Im lost, and all my photos from the past 3 years is gone :((

  • Fie

    + there is no lock

  • Jonny

    What do I do if I have iPhoto on my computer but it doesn’t show up on the AppStore? Updated from Mavericks to Yosemite (the Photos version) and I seem to not be able to get it back at all. Please help !!!

  • http://www.moryoga.com David Moreno

    I’m not given the UPDATE option in Purchased only OPEN, which won’t open! Eerrr… SOS

  • Fiona McCarthy

    HELP ME!!! I went to the ‘application’ button, but my ‘purchases’ tab was called ‘purchased’ tab. So, the tab says ‘open’, and will not open! (It has the ‘X’ thru it). I can open the other apps, though….. What does this mean? And what can I do?

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Try the comment by @disqus_qUa0Y3dNoM:disqus (http://www.simplehelp.net/2015/05/01/how-to-install-iphoto-in-yosemite-os-x-10-10/#comment-2033007472) – that is often the culprit for your situation.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop
  • http://nimlas.org/blog Nuchtchas

    I’m not seeing iPhoto in my purchased list. I updated from snow leopard to yosemite so is iphoto may be too old?

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    @nuchtchas:disqus – if you’ve had iPhoto on your Mac, that shouldn’t be an issue. UNLESS you did a “fresh install” of Yosemite instead of upgrading – that may explain your issue. I’ve never purchased iPhoto, it’s always come w/ the Mac’s I bought from Apple, but it is listed as a ‘purchased’ item for me in the App Store. I guess the very very first step in troubleshooting is to make sure you’re checking in the “OS X App Store” and not the “iTunes Store” (which I know is pretty unlikely but it’s the beginning…)

  • http://nimlas.org/blog Nuchtchas

    I was in the OSX store, checked both itunes accounts, but my iphoto is iphoto 8, I think I have it from an iLife disc maybe, or it was with Leopard. I can’t remember. My iWork apps updated no problem though.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Yeah, the iWork stuff is still moving forward and being updated and worked on (hence it working), iPhoto has been replaced by “Photos”… If it came on an iLife disc that *might* explain the issue, unfortunately I can’t replicate it since I don’t have iLife on disc anywhere, it came pre-installed on my Mac. If you could try to hunt down that iLife disc, that’d be the next step.

  • Michael G

    My frustration level with Apple over the past two years is growing. Does anybody know why the ‘photos’ application will only import my photos from my iPhone, and not movies?

    It took 10 minutes to import 300 photos, which iPhoto would do in 30 seconds.

  • Ruben Carrillo Fabila

    I’m using the OS X store, and I don’t see iPhoto in my purchased apps. I dragged it to the trash after a received the message “no longer available”. Do I have any chance to recover it. It was originally installed in my MAC Book. Please help me, I really liked I Photo and I’ve not been able to use Photo efficiently. I have two 70 GB libraries one for Photo and on a called iPhoto migrated.

  • http://abundancehighway.com SuzieCheel

    Ross you are a dream, what a nightmare, your iphoto fix worked- who was the smart apple developer who thought photos could replace iphoto? Do you have a solution to get my Dropbox to work in yosemite? Thank you

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Hmm – I’ve been using Dropbox since one of the later Yosemite betas right through to current version. Dropbox should work on Yosemite no problem. Which version of Dropbox do you have installed? (glad you have iPhoto working) :)

  • er43er

    iphoto does is no longer on the computer, doesn’t show up under purchases, and I can’t find it in the app store. Now what?

  • Marion Scales

    OMG! Absolute genius! I am so happy to get iPhoto back. I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to drag and drop pics from Photos into Photoshop and Illustrator. Now I can work properly with my images again. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  • Barb

    Thank you!! the ‘featured comment’ method worked perfectly for me today. I can’t believe Apple think Photos is better than iPhotos. I rely on events, and I have a lot of them, so having them down the side panel on Photos is ridiculous. I am now worried that one day iPhotos will stop working for good. Please noooo!

  • Adam

    Late 2008 MacBook Pro (word mac) IPhoto should have been installed. It now has Mavericks 10.10.5 on but I don’t know what it was upgraded from. I can see iPhoto in finder – applications and it’s got that greyed out icon with the circle icon through it. I sign into App Store but I don’t see anything at all in there. Any ideas?

  • Adam

    Even if I move it from applications to the trash (don’t empty) and go into the app store I don’t see anything there.

  • http://www.Denjin108.com Cobaltplasma

    Oh. My. God. THANK YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH! I’m like… man, you saved me, literally saved me. The lack of drag and drop just killed my regular workflow and I’ve been tinkering with workarounds all week long in preparation for a huge job I’m taking on… but now… NOW. Things are back to normal and I cannot thank you enough. :)

  • Kathleen Robinson

    i tried everything and nothing worked, but i did right click on iPhoto and opened package contents, and ran the exec file, and it worked. But i don’t want to have to do this everyone. Is there anything else I can do to make it work? I created the new user and followed all of that, it’s still not in the purchase or update list. I installed from a disk (iWork and ilife)

  • Jasmine Michelides

    Thank you so much! Your iPhoto fix worked for me and was more than the Apple Genius Bar could manage. How does the fix work? It really is genius!

  • leslietenney

    I got iPhoto installed on my iMac running Yosemite. All my photos showed up. But today for the first time I tried to upload some new stuff from my camera, and it opened Photos for the upload. I canceled it. Is there a way to upload new photos into iPhoto? Another weird thing happened; a whole batch of events from one year in iPhoto now say “no photos.” They were there before the aborted upload. Any thoughts?

  • leslietenney

    Actually, I think the missing photos never got transferred, since they are not in Photos either. They are on my backup drive, but I’m not sure how to transfer them back into the appropriate locations in iPhoto.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    I’m really not sure at all why iPhoto would remove them, for any reason other than you selecting delete.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop
  • Christy

    I tried doing exactly as you instructed but when I go to the App Store and click on “purchased” (it doesn’t say “purchases”) I STILL get the prompt that says “This item is temporarily unavailable.” My son uses iPhoto to send me picture of my grandchildren and now I can’t open iPhoto to see them. Please help me if you can :(

  • Tom Hedges

    Just upgraded to El Capitan on my Macbook Pro, Late 2011 model. First thing to try was IPhoto app. It launched perfectly. Don’y know why but it works.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Huh. It would be nice to think Apple listened to their customers and did that on purpose, but I’m skeptical :)

  • Rupi Bhatia

    Tried to install iPhoto. I can see both the iPhoto fix icon and my icon but cannot click on either. The screen is frozen

  • Dawn2188

    Hello – I’m in the same boat after upgrading I can no longer use iPhoto. I followed the advice in setting up another account but it did not show up in the App Store. Then I was able to run iPhoto with the exec. App and it opened, but it’s empty. Is there any way to get all my photos back?
    Any hell would be greatly appreciated.

  • mpinto

    I’ve got nothing to add – just wanted to say thanks. I had to trash my old iPhoto install as per the top comment, but all looks good now…

  • http://www.cctnet.com/ David E. Roy, Ph.D.

    I followed all the steps to set up a new Admin level user, but when I went to the App store, I could either sign in with the username/password I normally use or create a new id/password. The first way still limited me to UPDATE (“temporarily unavailable”); when I created a new account, there was no app purchase history and iPhoto is not to be found. Also, when signed in with the new user, if I went to the purchase tab at the App store, iPhoto would be listed as an update and clicking to update required signing in with my regular id (“unavailable”) or the new id (not to be found). Is there something I should be or should not be doing because this is not working for me. Are there any other legitimate sites that might have the iPhoto update (9.6.1) available for download?

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    You’ll *have* to sign in with your original Apple ID (not the new one) – the new one won’t have iPhoto associated with it at all. Have you tried: http://www.simplehelp.net/2015/05/01/how-to-install-iphoto-in-yosemite-os-x-10-10/#comment-2033007472 (the pinned comment left by Seth Williams)

  • http://www.cctnet.com/ David E. Roy, Ph.D.

    I did as suggested and, after holding my breath long enough, it worked! I had had my photos organized into albums but in Photo, everything became an “event,” organized by time. I am amazed that someone could figure out a workaround, as you did; and it points to an incredible callousness on the management of Apple to initiate a change as radical as this that, for me, has confused things and dumded them down. Thanks again!

  • Adrian

    Thank you!… It works.

  • tomochii

    Is there a reason why iPhoto temporarily unavailable to install/update? Is that normal?

  • Jiayan Lin

    I didn’t see iPhoto showing up in my App Store, so couldn’t do install/update either…(Sad)

  • Curmudgeon2k

    Just a guess. They really want to force everybody to Photos. My guess is they think they will get a stream of income from everybody paying for more cloud storage. Be that as it may, when they quit furnishing the iLife set for “free”, many of us bought iPhoto with real $$$. That they are allowing us to again activate what we own may be the result of someone’s lawyer suggesting that intentionally disabling a product we own was not a good idea.

  • tomochii

    It’s fine. I got a notification yesterday that it was ready to update/install so it really was just a temporary thing

  • Curmudgeon2k

    Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me! LOL

  • JN

    Ross, thank you SOOOOO much. My wife had a meltdown earlier this week when I upgraded to El Capitan and she lost years of photo organization. Your fix was easy and we have IPhoto back (and now have a chance to migrate the organization to an app Apple will support). Again, thanks so much – you saved me hours and my wife much heartache.

  • http://thegreatrecession.info Knave_Dave

    From what I read elsewhere, Apple no longer has iPhoto available in the apps tore at all. It would appear they have removed it in order to force everyone who doesn’t have the latest version of iPhoto (which runs on Yosemite and El Capitan) to move over to Photo.

  • http://thegreatrecession.info Knave_Dave

    iPhoto doesn’t show up in my list under “Udated” (not “Updates” on my computer). I read elsewhere that this is because Apple has now removed it from the App Store. I presume that is to force all those who want to continue with iPhoto to move over to Photo. Unfortunately, I’m really stuck because neither application works. When I try to start Photo for the first time and choose my iPhoto library so that it will migrate over, Photo gets 24% of the way through and then says it cannot continue because it found “inconsistencies” in the iPhoto Library, and the only option it gives me is “Quit.”

    So, I’m stuck with a version of iPhoto that won’t run on El Capitan, and Photo won’t access my old photos, of which I have thousands.

  • Rodrigo

    Strange, because here it works with no ploblems after follow those steps as explained.

  • http://thegreatrecession.info Knave_Dave

    Perhaps it has to be an application that you have specifically updated in the past if it is going to show in the “updated” list. In my case, I have never specifically purchased or updated for free iPhoto. I have it only because it comes bundled with the OS updates I’ve made.

  • sabi

    Hello, I have an old iMac with iPhoto. I want to migrate the photo library to my newer iMac with Yosemite. Although I copied the iPhoto library, it cannot be imported to Photo. Also, I cannot get iPhoto in the App Store like others at least to get that installed. So, my problem is different from others. I am willing to use Photo but I cannot import all my photos to it from the iPhoto Library. Please help.
    I am very disappointed with Apple about this. How many hours should their customers have wasted and frustrated.

  • Chewy

    omg you literally saved my life. I updated and lost all the videos i took on an overseas trip with my boyfriend (which i was compiling to make a video with) and was so upset with the whole thing. Followed your instructions step-by-step and i got them back! Thank you so much!

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    That’s fantastic I’m so pleased! (now it’s time to run a backup) :) :)

  • Betül Tekin Öztürk

    It doesn’t work for me :( I upgraded my Snow Leopard to El Capitan. And miss iphoto. Then install ilife again and imovie and garageband works well now. However iPhoto could not been updated. Says This update is not available..bla bla.. I tried your constructions but it warns again. What I should do :S

  • Francine

    Ross, When I go to the ” create a user” stage, it doesn’t give me the option of choosing “use separate password”. Will it be OK to just type in a password. My iPhoto will open briefly then close with a message saying iPhoto quit unexpectedly. I tried updating my iPhoto, It will get installed then later, it will go back to “update” stage. I currently have El Capitan OS.

  • Mel

    HI! I followed the instructions and still do not see iPhoto in the purchased selection under my new sign in. What could I be doing wrong? I notice in my purchased the other update other than the El Capitan is Lion…could this be the reason? I appreciate any help…I cannot get to any of my photos

  • WackoBird McCraziePants

    Just upgraded to El Capitan from Mountain Lion. No problem transferring iPhoto Library but the edit functions on Photos really doesn’t suit my needs…it takes an awful lot longer to basic edit a batch of 50 to 100 pics.
    I followed your instructions to get iPhoto up & running.
    The only iPhoto option on App Store Purchases was “Open” so I tried that. Was prompted to allow Library Upgrade (with a warning that once updated the Library would not work with earlier versions of iPhoto). Hit the button, Library Updated and now I can open my pics Library with both iPhoto & Photos :)

  • Michael

    I just got a new mac, and I want to put iPhoto on it. Is there any way to do that?

  • Ohiowordguy

    Oh…my…gawd! It worked! THANK YOU!

    P.S. Note to Apple: WTF? Photos sucks. Feels like some cheezy free app from 15 years ago.

  • Jean Henri Cœur DeLion

    What happened with your situation, Dave? I’m having really weird similar problem too.

  • Jean Henri Cœur DeLion

    Incredible callousness is an understatement.

  • Jean Henri Cœur DeLion

    I get to step 17, but instead of an “install” button, there’s only a “open” button. And I click it and nothing happens ?? thanks

  • http://thegreatrecession.info Knave_Dave

    I’m still stuck. So, I’m going to take my computer in today and see if a professional can solve the problem.

  • Carole Rossiter Chandler

    Tried. No iPhoto app in purchases on App Store. HELP

  • Blu

    Thank you! worked for me and saved my day! :)

  • Motti Shneor

    Hi, and thanks. However it is only partially functional. I can import photos from the camera (although Apple “Photos” will always launch first when I connect the camera, and I need to manually quit/kill it and manually start the import form iPhotos). But iPhoto stopped uploading new photos to my photo-stream!!! the iCloud panel in System-Preferences only mentions “Photos”. And If I turn iCloud photo-stream off there- iPhoto too can’t work. What to do? How can I turn this “Photos” thing off, and have my old trusty iPhotos work again?

    I have over 400GB of family photos and movies, and I simply hate the “Photos” organization. No Events, no Places, even Faces are broken. iPhoto makes much more sense as a repository of our photos – I can annotate, I can create albums and sub-albums, and I can do everything I want. Photos is currently empty of most everything I need.

    How to get iPhoto to continue working against the PhotoStream?
    Any hint will be greatly appreciated.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Yeah, unfortunately I’m not really surprised that feature doesn’t work now, and I’m not aware of a workaround. I *know* that Apple Support will tell you “Sorry we can’t help you with that, if you need help with our new Photos App we’d be glad to assist…”

    I did a very quick search and didn’t see anything jump out as a fix. The only thing I can suggest is to keep searching and maybe include the word “script” in your search phrases, someone may have created some kind of Apple Script to address this (that’s an example, I’m not even sure if it’s technically possible). Other than the really horrible “solution” which is to import them to both iPhoto and Photos, which yes is ridiculous. I’ll look a bit more now and will certainly comment again if I find a fix.

  • Motti Shneor

    The problem is a little complicated, and I don’t think any AppleScript may resolve it. What I’ve done till now is: turn OFF all the “Photos” options in the iCloud system-preferences, turn OFF all the “photo stream” options in iPhoto (which copied whatever missing photos into my library, and removed the whole “photo stream ” source from my UI, then turn on “photo stream options” again in iPhoto. Now it slowly brings back my Photo streams, but — I don’t know yet if it will propagate new photos to my other devices. I’ll report back…

  • Barrie Gordon

    Going to the ‘Genius Bar’! at Apple in Cambridge, England later today. Wrong way round really – should wait till they have their say, but I’m really angry – upgraded to El Capitan a few days ago. Noticed several iPhotos problems … turns out it’s not iPhotos now – they never said. Can’t unflag, drag to Pages, can’t even upload. There’ll be more. Surely this is rubbish. I’ve got 22,000 photos that I can’t do anything with! I also ran my own small postcard and greetings card business – can’t make a comeback there.

  • Barrie Gordon

    See below … went to ‘Genius Bar’ – as I thought no Genius! Having Photos would seem to me adopting an ill-conceived/botched system – maybe alright if I was starting afresh, but I’m not. It would mean having the Events photos in one area, and new photos in Albums. I don’t want a two-tier/fragmented system – it’s really no system at all. I’ve been a fan of Apple for many years, but they’ve let me ( and presumably many others) down here. I probably will go back to iPhotos, using this guide (thanks) in the next few days.

  • Derek

    Move iPhotos in the Applications folder to the trash and empty it. Then reopen App Store and try again.

  • Derek

    You must first have a recent copy of iPhoto in your Applications folder for the App Store to recognize it as a purchased application (easy as drag-and-drop from another mac). Once you have that and App Store recognizes it on open you can move that copy of iPhotos to the trash and empty it. Then reopen App Store and it should give you the “install” link.

  • Derek

    You must first copy a recent version of iPhoto in your Applications folder from another mac or the internet for the App Store to recognize it as a purchased application. Once you have that and App Store recognizes it when you go to “Purchases” you can move that copy of iPhotos to the trash and empty it. Then reopen App Store and it should give you the “Install” link.

  • Barrie Gordon

    Just had a discussion with my daughter, who thinks it better to carry on with Photos, rather than get left behind. She’s probably right, so I’m going to give it a go.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    That is, unfortunately, rather fair to say. You don’t have to switch to Photos per se, Picassa by Google (https://picasa.google.com) is a very popular alternative photo manager. It’s far more feature-rich than Photos, although I’m not sure how well it integrates with iCloud, if at all…

  • twitchyfirefly

    You don’t “import” it. You use Photos to *open* your library. Hold down the option key while launching Photos and it should give you a dialog that will let you choose the library to open.

  • twitchyfirefly

    Photos can’t import your entire iPhoto library, it could be because the library has some corruption. Google how to rebuild the iPhoto library; this means you need to be able to run iPhoto, so you might have to get some expert help with doing all this stuff on a different computer. I would not assume a genius bar visit would be of much use. I’ve had a couple that were so bad I had to use the third-party program iPhoto Library Manager to rebuild them. (I am a mac consultant.)

  • Samantha

    How do you transfer it from another Mac?

  • KG

    I got iPhoto to open, but I cannot get it to recognize the iPhoto album i brought over from my previous hard drive. I know there is stuff in there, it just won’t launch in iPhoto and wants to keep telling me they migrated to photos, which they clearly did not ( just my iPhone photos are there). Is there something else i am doing wrong?

  • Martin

    For me all worked ok just by going to App Store and opening iPhoto from previous purchases. I’m so happy Apple didn’t whipe this out and still allowing users to have it. Thanks for help

  • Paul

    Hey,

    I have an old version of iPhoto 8.1.2 (installed from CD “Application Install DVD” (album contained iPhoto, iMovie, etc)). OS X El Capitan my old version iPhoto does not work. I can not upgrade iPhoto 8.1.2 because I do not have this application in the app store – only installation from the CD, how to run it to work on my iMac? For me, unfortunately, this method will not work. [Sorry , google translator.] Regards, Paul

  • kels

    When i go to “Purchased” the only thing listed is the El Capitan update. iPhoto isn’t there for me to click “Update”. Is there still a way to get iPhoto back? I HATE Photos :(

  • https://www.flickr.com/photos/newfoundlander61/ Paul O’Toole

    I just updated to El Capitan and had the same issue with iPhoto as you did, its not showing up in my purchase list, mind you mine came with my McBook Pro when purchased.

  • ☞ Lunik Audion ❥

    This worked for me – thank you very much :D

  • Chris Steketee

    Thanks for this post: it works for me on El Capitan. I’ve just downloaded a version of iPhoto that I’d bought earlier as an upgrade (in other words it is not the one that came with my computer), following steps 1-8, and this seems to be functioning normally.

  • http://www.simplehelp.net/ Ross McKillop

    Excellent! Glad it helped.

  • MarlinMOB

    Hello, I’m here for the same reason. I updated my MacBook Pro to elcapitan and do not like “photos” I want the simplicity of iPhoto back. Would installing iPhoto from the discs that came with my computer work? I have iLife 09 discs as well as the ones that came with my computer. I want some advice about this before proceeding. Any tips would help. PS I should note that I have no purchases history in the App Store, so I thought about uploading from the install discs I have.

    -Matt H.

  • Tania

    perfect tipp, been searching for some time to reinstall iPhoto, worked fine.

  • Leila

    Thank you so so so much! I felt like dying after I installed ILife 11 then my Iphoto with all my albums and Facebook albums was gone! Uhhhhhhh!

    I was not aware that I had ‘purchased’ Iphoto. I don’t recall having paid for Iphoto. Have you?

    And I think I will never ever ever ever download an app without checking very well first!

    Now speaking of ILife, does anyone know which ILife is on Yosemite? I am trying to know my way around Mac and it certainly is not easy. Actually I am trying to make a movie and for some reason I have Imovie 9.0.9 and obviously there are younger (better?) versions of IMovie, and since IMovie 9.0.9 presents some difficulties, I wanted to find another one, hence ending up downloading ILife after reading webpages I haven’t understood much of…

    Yeyeyey, Life is hard for a non-tech person on technical internet issues…

  • Lawson

    Great article, but I have a problem that is not addressed. My iPhoto was installed from disk years ago. In other words, it was never purchased from the app store, so I have no past purchase to update. Where do I go to install the app again if I can’t find the original disk set. I think it is 2 hours away. Can I re-activate my existing version. The problem is that all the reading I did prior to upgrading to El Capitan and Photo vs. iPhoto, there was never any mention of iPhoto being disabled. I was going to find all duplicates and clean the libraries before I converted to Photos. Now I’m trapped with an iPhoto duplicate finder and Photos as my app. I am open for any suggestions you may have. Thanks.

  • Marc Kneepkens

    It doesn’t work for me. I followed all the directions, but iPhoto in the App store does not give me an option to download, there is no ‘Install’ button. I don’t have an old version anymore either, it all disappeared after downloading El Capitan. Any other ideas?

  • Shelly

    I have never purchased iphoto through the app store. Any suggestions for that?

  • Snicky

    Were you able to fix your problem by taking it in?

  • http://thegreatrecession.info Knave_Dave

    No, they just gave me some kind of dumb labor-intensive work around that got the photos moved over, but at the expense of losing all my organization. Now, instead of separate folders, they’re just one big pile of photos arranged by dates. All my special folders on my phone, such as “family photos,” disappeared along with the photos in them. They still all exist on my computer, so I have only to find the time to create new folders of favorites, and then I can probably migrate those back to my iPhone. So, it was a half fix that did result in all the photos being migrated into the new Photos system in perfect shape as edited (minus organization), but I don’t remember now what it was they had me do. I also somehow wound up with two of everything, which (after years of using iPhoto) means deleting thousands of photos.

  • http://thegreatrecession.info Knave_Dave

    You realize, of course, that big issue here is that you are encouraging terrorists with your false judgments by advocating the view that America now pays ransoms to get its soldiers and sailors released. While there was no ransom here in that WE made the demands and tagged something on to money we were ALREADY going to pay, you’re doing your best to convince others that we do not pay ransoms.

    To the extent that your words are successful, you increase the risk to our own soldiers because that, of course, has always been the concern: if the bad guys start thinking the comparatively rich America will pay large ransoms to free prisoners, then prisoners and hostages will become a very desirable commodity to trade, rather than a hugely dangerous liability that is just an expense to feed.

    Fortunately, I think even the terrorists are smart enough to see around your ridiculous argument — a position you’d likely be arguing my side on if it were Reagan that made the decision.

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  • janice

    Ross, I noticed you said to make a new user as admin but the picture in the example shows the user as Standard under the iPhoto Fix User. Is that part important and also I don’t have an option for a separate password. Does that matter? One other thing. I have iPhoto showing under updates even though it’s got the circle and line through it showing it’s not usable but it won’t let me update (says unavailable) but it’s not showing up under the purchases tab. It came on my computer. I went from OS X to El Capitan. I hate photos and would like some advice on how to get IPhotos back. Thanks!!

  • janice

    Update: Once I added a new user, my trackpad wouldn’t let me log in. I had to use another mouse but while I was on the phone talking to Apple I mentioned trying to get iPhoto back on my computer. She transferred me to someone and they checked remotely that I had a few files on my computer and talked with iTunes and gave me a code to redeem at the app store. They said it now makes it appear that I purchased the app. My library was re-added to it, etc. My old version is in the trash and they gave me a new version that works on my system. If you show Apple that it’s a hardship to you, they might give you a code and get it back on your computer. I don’t understand why they would want to give their customers a product that isn’t any good. They can make iPhoto compatible as they already have or it wouldn’t be working on my computer now. fyi.

  • Noel Chaperon

    Thanks Ross, the first few steps took me no more than a minute. And… Voilà! Fantastic, I photo is the best, and running. I’ll still try to play with Photo and see if I can sort out the duplication or triplication and the chronological disorder that it creates (head ache).

  • Matthew Hardy

    Hi @disqus_qUa0Y3dNoM:disqus

    Sadly this doesn’t work for me with macOS 10.12.3. Whatever I do, I get a message saying:

    “Update Unavailable with This Apple ID
    This update is not available for this Apple ID either because it was bought by a different user or the item was refunded or cancelled.”

    The only option is to click “OK” and then I get the message:

    “We could not complete your request.
    There was an error in the App Store. Please try again later. (,)”

    I’ve deleted iPhoto, prefs, etc. Current version of iPhoto is 9.4.3

    I’ve still got the “one update pending” flag on AppStore though. Frustrating! I’ve been using Macs since 1993, and PCs since 1998, and this intractible problem is much more like Windows than Mac.

    Is there some way I can correct the hidden settings in iPhoto that are associating it with another Apple ID, and blocking the update?