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

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
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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.

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  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!

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

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