fixed : get very old iPhoto Library to open in macOS Mojave Photos.app

Question :

On my old PowerPC G4 (or G5) Mac I found some old photos in iPhoto.

Is it possible to copy the database and open it in the Photos.app on my new Mac that runs macOS 10.14 Mojave ?

Or do I have to import the photos as just photos and lose all additional info and edit that was done in iPhoto long ago ?

 

Answer :

Of course, the easiest and quickest way to get the original photos into your new Photos.app would be to just import all the old photos into Photo.app. But… as you already mentioned, you will loose all additional info and edits that you added in iPhoto back in the days.

The best way to get as much info and edits into Photos.app as possible is to do the following :

  • connect an external HD, external SSD or USB-stick with plenty of GBs to your old PowerPC G4 or G5 Mac
  • go to Users –> [your account name] –> Pictures –> iPhoto Library
  • copy the iPhoto Library (or even the entire Pictures folder) onto your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • when done, eject the external HD/SSD or USB-stick (by dragging it’s icon to the trash or clicking the eject-icon besides it’s name in the Finder) and disconnect it from your old Mac
  • then connect the external HD/SSD or USB-stick to your new Mac
  • download the iPhoto Library Upgrader software from Apple :

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202358

  • install the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • go to Applications –> Utilities –> iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • run the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • in the window that opens, click on the Choose Library button
  • then select the iPhoto Library that is now on your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • then click Continue
  • when done, exit the iPhoto Library Upgrader Tool
  • then go to Apple-menu (Apple-icon top-left in the Finder) –> System Preferences –> iCloud
  • make sure you are Signed In into iCloud
  • then, in the list on the right at “Photos” click on the Options button
  • then make sure that there is a check mark at “iCloud Photos”
  • then exit System Preferences
  • now, double-click the Photos.app while holding down the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • now, while starting up Photos.app will ask you which Photos/ iPhoto Library to open
  • then choose the iPhoto Library that’s on your external HD/SSD or USB-stick
  • now, Photos.app will start converting the iPhoto Library to an up-to-date Photos Library
  • when done, Photos.app will display your old iPhoto photos
  • then, in Photos.app, goto Preferences, then General-tab and at Library Location click the ‘Use as System Photo Library’-button, to (temporarily) make the old iPhoto/Photos Library the one that syncs with iCloud
  • then Photo.app will start uploading the old photos to iCloud
  • now, in iCloud, these photos will be merged with the ones that were already in iCloud and they will be sent out to your iCloud (or rather iCloud Photos) connected devices
  • when the uploading is complete, you can quit Photos.app
  • now, double-click the Photos.app while holding down the [ALT]-key on your keyboard
  • now, while starting up Photos.app will ask you which Photos/ iPhoto Library to open
  • then choose the iPhoto Library that used to be your main Photos Library previously (usually the one that is in your current user’s Pictures folder)
  • then, in Photos.app, goto Preferences, then General-tab and at Library Location click the ‘Use as System Photo Library’-button, to make make your main Photos Library the one that syncs with iCloud again and be the one that opens when you startup Photos.app
  • then wait for the ‘new’ (additional old) photos to sync from iCloud and you will have an integrated Photos Library of old and new Photos and iPhoto’s databases

that’s it !

enjoy 😉

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