How to Combine Different iPhoto Libraries Into One

When Apple created the Unified Library structure for iPhoto and Aperture, they provided us with new options for managing our content. A common question that I'm asked is, "how can I combine multiple iPhoto libraries into one?" The short answer is, you'll need Aperture to do this. If that's OK with you, read on.

Since Aperture can open iPhoto libraries, you can use its Merge command to combine them. In a fresh Aperture library, choose File > Import > Library and direct the app to the location of your first iPhoto library (all apps and libraries need to be current). Repeat this process for as many iPhoto libraries you want to combine. Once you've finished, you can open the combined libraries back in iPhoto, or continue to work in Aperture.

You can also clean up your iPhoto libraries before merging. I highly recommend this. In this video I demonstrate how to export a cleaned up library.

More Aperture/iPhoto Tips and Techniques

To learn more about using Aperture and iPhoto together, visit my Using iPhoto and Aperture Together on

To learn more about Aperture itself, check out my Aperture 3.3 Essential Training (2012), also on In addition to that, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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