FIX: Can’t Open Photo Library Using This Version of iPhoto

Up until this year when it was replaced by the Photos app, iPhoto was Apple’s resident digital photo manipulation program. Mac users could utilize the photo management and manipulation prowess that iPhoto had to offer to organize, sort through, share and even edit the photographs stored on their Mac device. In addition to all that, iPhoto could also be used to turn ordinary photographs into mesmerizing and memorable slideshows. However, the iPhoto app has its own unique flaws, one of which was the “You can’t open your current photo library using this version of iPhoto” error.

To be more specific, this error stated “You can’t open your current photo library using this version of iPhoto.  You have made changes to your photo library using a newer version of iPhoto. Please quit and use the latest version of iPhoto.” This error would show up regardless of what version of iPhoto was on the affected Mac – even if it was the latest version – and would render the iPhoto app completely unusable, which is what made this a big problem to begin with. The cause of this problem has something to do with your photo library being damaged or completely destroyed, so the solution is to simply rebuild your photo library. The following are the two methods that you can use to rebuild your photo library and fix this problem:

Method 1: Rebuild your photo library from automatic backup

Hold down both the Command and Option/Alt keys, and while doing so, launch iPhoto. In the dialog that opens up, choose to rebuild your iPhoto library. Select Repair the iPhoto Library Database and then open the repair options again and choose Rebuild iPhoto library database from automatic backup. Then TEST, if it still won’t work then proceed to Method 2.

Method 2: Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild feature

iPhoto Library Manager is a nifty app for the Apple Mac that, among many other things, can be used to rebuild your iPhoto library. To do so, you need to:

Go here and download iPhoto Library Manager.

Navigate to and use its Rebuild

The Rebuild feature of the app will create an entirely new iPhoto library using the data in the xml file. Once the app is done rebuilding your iPhoto library, you might not get elements such as your slideshows, books or calendars, but you will certainly get your albums and keywords back.

This method, as opposed to the method listed above, is completely non-destructive and non-intrusive as it creates an entirely new library based off the automatic backup data, leaving your old iPhoto library completely untouched. If something goes wrong or if you don’t like your new library, you can simply revert to your old one.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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FIX: Can’t Open Photo Library Using This Version of iPhoto

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