You can migrate your Apple Aperture or iPhoto libraries into your Lightroom Classic catalog. Here's how.


If you have an existing Lightroom Classic catalog, it is recommended that you back up your catalog before proceeding.

  1. In Lightroom Classic, choose File > Plug-In Extras.

  2. Select either Import from iPhoto Library or Import from Aperture Library.

  3. Your libraries will be automatically detected. You have the option to select a different library, if applicable. 

    Your images will be copied to a new location. A default location is listed but you have the option to choose a different folder.

    Additional options are available for how Lightroom Classic will work with available previews, keywords, color labels, and stacks.

    Lightroom Classic CC Import from Aperture option
  4. Click Import.


If you only want to migrate specific photos from your Aperture library into Lightroom Classic, you can export them to a new Aperture library and migrate the newly created library.

What data is migrated to Lightroom Classic?


  • Flags
  • Star Ratings
  • Keywords
  • GPS Data
  • Faces: Face naming tags are mapped to keywords
  • Rejects: Files designated as Rejects in Aperture are imported into Collections > From Aperture > Photos Rejected in Aperture
  • Info Panel metadata that can be entered in the Info panel (i.e. IPTC)
  • Hidden Files: Files designated as Hidden in iPhoto are imported into Collections > From iPhoto > Photos Hidden in iPhoto
  • Aperture Color Labels: Color Labels are mapped to keywords: Red, Orange, and so on, including support for custom label names 



  • Aperture Stacking: Stacks information is mapped to keywords: Aperture Stack 1, Aperture Stack 2, and so on
  • Aperture project/folder/album hierarchies are mapped as closely as possible into Lightroom Classic collection sets and collections
  • iPhoto events/folders/albums are mapped as closely as possible into Lightroom Classic collection sets and collections
  • Aperture Versions translate into Virtual Copies in Lightroom Classic (without adjustments)



  • You can choose to import Full-Size JPEG Previews of your edited images from Aperture/iPhoto, if they are up-to-date - This option is off by default. Lightroom Classic can automatically stack the preview with the original photo.
    • Full-Size JPEG Previews generated from files that have settings don't include metadata that has been applied to the master (keywords, star ratings, flags, GPS data).
    • Full-Size JPEG Previews are duplicated if imported first by the same iPhoto library and then later from a Library upgraded from iPhoto to Aperture (due to a difference in filename).


What data is NOT migrated to Lightroom Classic?

Some Aperture/iPhoto features are not compatible with Lightroom Classic including: 

  • Image adjustments: Aperture and Lightroom use different image processing engines, so Lightroom cannot read adjustments made in Aperture. Options:
    • Reedit your file using Lightroom Classic.
    • Use Aperture to export full resolution edited photos and store them with the originals.
  • Smart Albums
  • Face Tag Region of Interest: Face naming tags are mapped to keywords
  • Color Labels: Optionally as keywords
  • Stacks: Optionally as keywords. Aperture shares stacks between albums, Lightroom does not
  • Any kind of creation (books, web galleries, and so on), other than the collections that correspond to them
  • PSD Files can only be imported into Lightroom if they’re saved with ‘maximize compatibility’ enabled.


File Management

The plug-in supports migrating both managed and referenced Aperture and iPhoto libraries. 
  • If your files are managed by Aperture (Aperture's default) Lightroom Classic leaves them where they are and duplicates them in your chosen location.
  • If your files are referenced by Aperture Lightroom Classic gives you the option of leaving them in their current location, or duplicating them in a new location.


Additional Information

In June 2014, Apple announced the discontinuation of development of Aperture. Since that time, Apple has released five major macOS updates. For technical reasons, Aperture will not run in future versions of macOS after macOS Mojave.

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