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iPhoto Update Issues After Installing Mac OS X El Capitan

Broken iPhotoApple really seems to be serious in killing your trusty old iPhoto software with the recent Mac OS X updates including Mavericks and El Capitan. The end result is that Apple clearly wants you to use their new Photos app, which is a direct copy of the Photos app on the iPad and iPhone. The problem is, however, a majority of users still would like to use iPhoto and not have to be forced to this new Photos app (myself included). So, what do you do when you install El Capitan and iPhoto no longer works? It’s not an easy answer(s), but, here’s some tips below to see if you can get iPhoto running again.

Have you switched to Apple's Photos app, or, do you still use iPhoto?

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The best advice we have seen is to simply do an app store downgrade of the iPhoto, which actually worked for us. Here’s what you want to try first:

  1. Go to the Apple Menu –> App Store
  2. Head to the Purchases tab and sign in with your AppleID if you haven’t done so
  3. See if iPhoto is in this list of previous purchases
  4. If iPhoto is in the list, you may download it from here, by clicking on the install button
  5. It may give you a warning about iPhoto being an earlier version–proceed to download anyway
  6. Make sure all other users on your computer are logged out and not running iPhoto
  7. This is a large download (a little over a gigabyte) so it’s going to take some time
  8. It may ask that you update your iPhoto library to work with this version, which you would want to do
  9. If iPhoto detects problems with your library, it will ask to repair it, which is also OK to perform

If all went well, you should have a previous version of iPhoto on your computer at this time, which hopefully will work with the newer Mac OS X versions. If you did not see iPhoto in purchases, here’s another tip that users have tried first:

Before doing any of the steps above, you have to create another User account with full administrator privileges in the Users and Groups area of your System Preferences.  Restart your computer after creating this account and then log in to the App Store (just like above steps), head to Purchases and click the iPhoto button which now hopefully says “Install” and not “Upload”. If this works, you can then restart and go back to your original user account and now delete this temporary account you created in Users and Groups.

If iPhoto seems to keep showing you the “Welcome to iPhoto” splash screen after every restart, a simple solution seems to be to delete this preferences file:

  • com.apple.iPhoto.plist file from your HD/Users/ *your username here* / library/preferences folder

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