iPhoto Not Working? How to Bring iPhoto Back on Latest macOS High Sierra

By Rico Rodriguez to iPhone Manager, Photo Management | Last Updated on Dec 17, 2023

iPhoto used to be an important Apple app designed to manage and create your photo library. However, the app was discontinued since Yosemite and replaced by the Photos app. But Photos doesn't have so many management functionalities as iPhoto does, and therefore many users are still using iPhoto. As Apple stops support iPhoto, it's hard to avoid "iPhoto not working" problems like iPhoto not opening, photos not showing up, iPhoto keeps crashing etc. This troubleshooting guide will help you bring iPhoto back on macOS High Sierra/Sierra/El Capitan/Yosemite, and solve most common iPhoto problems.

# Fix iPhoto Not Working Once-for-all: A Powerful iPhoto Alternative

When iPhoto doesn't work anymore, you're firstly suggested to move from iPhoto to Photos app. However, not all the features are included in Photos app, for example, it lacks the ability to sort tracks by artist, display playlists, to name a few. If you're looking for an app as strong as iPhoto to get rid of iPhoto errors, try MacX MediaTrans. It can:

Sort photos, albums by day/month/year, import iPhone system Camera Roll, Selfies, screenshots etc, and create customized albums, playlists freely;
Bulk transfer photos between iDevices and computer, with 8s only for transferring 100 photos in 4K resolutions;
Massive or separately delete, manage, edit and process images in flexible batch mode;
Supports numerous photo, videos, music, books, voice memo, playlists, ringtone and almost all the iPhone media.
It's constantly updated with macOS High Sierra and iOS 17 to support the latest Apple release users.

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# Bring iPhoto Back to macOS High Sierra/Latest OS

iPhoto is not working on Sierra/High Sierra

iPhoto is not working and won't open since Yosemite, so how to get it work on the latest macOS again? In most cases when Mac users trying to open the app, they will find iPhoto not opening with an error message asking them to download the latest version. However, when they go the App Store another message indicates that iPhoto is not available. How to get iPhoto back to work in Yosemite and later (macOS High Sierra incl.)? Try the iPhoto problems fixes below:

1. First, try to bring back iPhoto via Time Machine. If that doesn't work, open Mac App Store;
2. In Mac App Store and find iPhoto under the Purchase tab;
3. Click the "Install" button next to iPhoto App and it will reinstall the latest version of iPhoto that will work on macOS Yosemite and later;
4. If you get a 503 error asking you to retry, click "Retry" and it will start downloading.

# Move iPhoto to Photos App

iPhoto not updating on sierra/el capitan

You will inevitably encounter iPhoto not working problems when it's not updating on High Sierra, Sierra and earlier as Apple has replaced it with Photos and discontinued to provide support and improvements. You may want to quit iPhoto (or try the iPhoto alternative) and move the iPhoto Library to the new Photos app. To do this, follow the steps below.

1. Open Photos app while hold down the Option key until you see the Library selection screen;
2. Click the iPhoto library and then click Choose Library, if you don't see the iPhoto library, click Other Library and continue;
3. Wait until the Photos app import the iPhoto library. A large photo library will take longer time to import.

[More Tips] Fixes to Common iPhoto Not Working Problems

We understand that there are still a lot of users prefer iPhoto and don't want to switch to the above iPhoto alternative or Photos app. When those run into problems with iPhoto, the troubleshooting tips below will help.

Important Note: Before you try any fix below, you're suggested to make a copy of your photos (and the iPhoto application if necessary).
To backup your photos quickly, you may need an iPhoto alternative (free download: Mac version and Windows version) for a while.

iPhoto not opening problem 2017

#1 iPhoto Not Recognizing iPhone
When users plug iPhone to computer and open iPhoto to transfer some iPhone photos or the like, the iPhoto won't recognize iPhone (7/Plus/6S/SE or earlier) on the sidebar. This iPhoto problem is mostly caused by bad cable or software fault. If iPhone doesn't show up on iPhoto, there are some quick troubleshooting tips to fix it:

1. Restart your computer and try again;
2. Go to Settings and find Passcode Lock, then turn the passcode lock off;
3. Delete all the photos on your phone that are sent by email or downloaded from web;
4. Make sure that there are no other users logged into the Mac at the same time and retry;
5. Try to connect iPhone to Mac using a different USB port;
6. Quite Final Cut or iMovie that may interfere with Photos' ability to recognize the iPhone.

photos not showing up in iPhoto library

#2 iPhone Photos Not Showing up in iPhoto
Another common iPhoto not working problem is that, the iPhone device is detected on the app's list, but iPhoto won't show up the photos in iPhone. Don't worry if you run into this problem as there are many proved fixes to the problem of photos not showing up in iPhoto:

1. Check if you're using any other photo storage services on your computer like DropBox, if you do, disable or delete them as they may be conflict with iPhoto;
2. Check if you have check trust for the computer to access your phone and photos;
3. If you have trusted the computer but photos still not showing up, then go to Settings on iPhone and switch Auto-Lock function to never;
4. Rebuild your iPhoto Library database if individual photos are not showing up in iPhoto, it you don't know how, check Apple's explanation on how to rebuild iPhoto Library.

#3 Slow iPhoto Problem
It is said that iPhoto will chock on just 10,000 images, and any larger photo library will slow down iPhoto's performance. However, today's camera make it extremely easy to go beyond the 10,000 limit. Note that even if Photos app is released to replace iPhoto and bring better performance, it's still quite slow for large photo library. If you find iPhoto taking forever to import from iPhone, try below:

1. Break your libraries into several libraries every 10,000 photos;
2. Launch iPhoto and hold down the shift, options and command keys, then the Photo Library First Aid window will appear with repair options;
3. Open Terminal and cd by default, cd "~/Pictures/iPhoto Library" and execute the command: for dbase in *.db; do sqlite3 $dbase "vacuum;";
4. If still the iPhoto is not working or slow, try iPhoto alternative:

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iPhoto not updating/importing problem fix

#4 iPhoto Keeps Crashing
"My iPhoto keeps crashing every time I click on Info. I tried rebuilding the iPhoto Library, but that just made things worse. iPhoto continues to crash, any suggestions to remedy the situation?" Many users have experienced the crashing problem with the photo management tool. This problem with iPhoto may be caused by various reasons, to fix the iPhoto not working issue, here are some useful fixes:

1. Repair you hard drive with Disk Utility;
2. Use the First Aid Tools to fix any corrupted images, wrong permissions in iPhoto Library;
3. Go to /Applications/iPhoto.app/Contents/Resources and delete the files googlemap.html and googlesearch.html;
4. Log out and try with another account;
5. Hold down the option key, launch iPhoto, select Create Library and import pictures with it.

iPhone photos not showing up in iPhoto

#5 iPhoto Won't Import Photos
"I can't import photos to iPhoto from my camera. When I connect camera (CannonEOS SLR) to computer (MacPro), iPhoto will show camera in the left hand menu options, but the images will not download. There is a message in top left of the camera download screen that says "Downloading," but the photos are not showing up for downloading..." This iPhoto problem is quite similar to iPhone photos not showing up in iPhoto, and you can try to:

1. Update iPhoto to a newer version as some old versions do not support sRAW format, which is used by some digital cameras;
2. Check if there are any corrupted or damaged files by opening them with other programs;
3. Check if the hard drive has enough space to save the files;
4. Check the SD card of the camera or other devices.

Top iPhoto Alternative to Sync, Edit and Manage Photos

MacX MediaTrans can transfer iPhone photos to Mac or sync photos from Mac to iPhone without using iTunes. Afterwards, bulk delete photos (HEIF/JPG) from iPhone via "Select All" or moments. Also sync videos, music, ringtones, eBooks, iTunes purchases, etc. between iPhone and PC.

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For any questions with MacX MediaTrans, please feel free to contact our support team.

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iPhoto Won't Work on Yosemite/Later! Try iPhoto Alternative to Manage Photos