Migrate iPhoto to Photos app

Now that OS X Yosemite has been officially released, it’s time to think about migrating your old iPhoto library to the new Photos app. Migrating over is extremely easy, as there are multiple ways to do so. In this post, we highlight one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to migrate an iPhoto Library over to a new Photos app install.

Moving iPhoto library to Photos app

Step 1: Curate your iPhoto library and delete any duplicate files and update any meta data you wish to update

Step 2: Close both the Photos app and iPhoto

Step 3: Open ~/Pictures and you should see at least two photo libraries: one for the new—Photos Library— and one for the old—iPhoto Library

Step 4: Double click on Photos Library and it should launch the new Photos app. Verify that the Photos app is empty, which it should be on a new installation of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3

Step 5: If the Photos Library is empty as confirmed in Step 3, delete the Photos Library database from ~/Pictures. We do this to avoid having multiple libraries for the Photos app, and to prevent weird names like “Photo Library 2”

Step 6: Launch the Photos app, and it should state that Photos cannot find the System Photos Library. That’s okay, because we just deleted it

Step 7: Click Open Other…

Step 8: Select the iPhoto Library and click Choose Library

Step 9: Wait while all of your data and photos from iPhoto are imported into the new Photos app

Note: You can still open iPhoto, but keep in mind that any changes you make in iPhoto from this point forward will not appear in the Photos app, as they are two separate libraries. You can actually delete the old iPhoto Library once you’ve verified that everything was successfully migrated.

Also note that iPhoto has been removed from the Mac App Store, so before you uninstall it, be sure that you are 100% finished with it. I’m probably going to keep it around for a little while longer and delete it some time down the line.

What do you think about the new Photos app? Have you moved your iPhoto library over yet?