You are here

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
I'm so confused up how to get my Aperture library to Lightroom #1
Mark Alderson's picture
by Mark Alderson
November 6, 2015 - 4:42pm

Hi gang,


I’ve read through a lot of the posts here, but I’m still confused as to get my Aperture library to Lightroom. My library is managed. Are there any “good” tutorials out there to help make the change? What a pain this is.

Thanks! Mark

Florian Cortese's picture
by Florian Cortese
November 8, 2015 - 8:44am

Mark, My suggestion is that you first make all of your managed photos referenced ones in one single folder. Once there it is best that you go through your pictures, ratings, albums and smart albums, etc. Flagged rated photos will not carry over but starred ones will.  Any books that you created, will not carry over as a completed book, but the photos in it will.  You can use the transfer program in Lr to move them, or use an app program (I think it still may be around $12-14) called Aperture exporter.  You can purchase it from the Apple App store or from the site itself.  It has several walk through tutorials on the process.  I found these youtube tutorials by Todd Olthoff & Thomas Fitzgerald to be extremely useful.  Here are the links:

Moving from Aperture to Lr-Part 1

Moving-Part 2

The difference between Aperture & Lr

Using Lr’s Mover

Hope this helps.  Having done this at the beginning of this year I was a little hesitant but I found it is not as daunting as you think.  The key is  getting all of your images into one folder and having them referenced.  Of course, having a large enough storage location is also key.  I use an external HD.



Florian Cortese

Mary D's picture
by Mary D
January 7, 2016 - 9:37am

Rather late reply, but I’ve decided to keep Aperture pictures in Aperture, and start all new photos from here on out in LR (once I buy it - ha!).

I have, however, moved my libraries from managed to referenced so the images are easier to get to if I decide I wish to edit them in another program.

Katie S.'s picture
by Katie S.
January 11, 2016 - 8:14am

I finally did mine this weekend.  I used the Lightroom Importer for it and it worked like a charm but took an entire day.  I had over 30,000 photos.  I followed the info here and it worked just like it said.…

Before moving my photos I have spent the last couple of months playing around in LR so I understood how it worked and kept using Aperture as my main program.  



Katie S.

Tom's picture
by Tom
May 23, 2016 - 9:43am

I bought LR a year ago.  My new pictures have been going in LR and I’ve kept my old ones separate in Aperture. After a year I am becoming very comfortable with Lightroom and think I am ready to make the move.  I bought Aperture Exporter but decided not to use it.  I determined that Keywords and metadata are the most critical part of the move, NOT the edits. I have chosen to move my Aperture photos 1 Project at a time.  I am just moving my originals + meta data over in most cases and losing my edits.  I’m a much better photo editor now than I was 3 - 7 years ago and so I’m not really losing much good work, however some photos have hours of edits (a few family restorations) in those cases I’m moving the Original & creating a “burned in” Copy.  I have about 40,000 pics, but no hurry I suspect it will take 5 or 6 weekends and I’ll finally be moved.  Still cussing  I loved Aperture, I find LR, ugly, and unintuitive - however I have come to appreciate some of its tools and its integration with Photoshop.

I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand upon. I don't do these things to others, and I require the same from them. - John Wayne, from "The Shootist"

Mary D's picture
by Mary D
May 23, 2016 - 12:01pm

I first moved all my photos from Managed to Referenced. It was also my chance to clean up file names, organize in a way that made sense to me, etc. I had several libraries so started off with the smallest one and then moved on to the largest. Took me about 6 weeks, moving around 500 to 1000 photos a day. I’ve been on Aperture since 2.0, so you get the idea. 

I have then taken the tack that Tom took - All new images go to LR, all the old ones are in Aperture. I don’t know if I’ll ever migrate the Aperture files over to LR. If I want to re-edit an image, I can find it easy enough in my files (now that they’re referenced).

And, I want to say ditto to “Still cussing  I loved Aperture, I find LR, ugly, and unintuitive - however I have come to appreciate some of its tools and its integration with Photoshop.” My sentiments exactly. Having that extra click between modules in LR is so unsophisticated.


Tom's picture
by Tom
May 23, 2016 - 3:10pm

Mary I too am gaining a lot of “organization” by moving from my “managed” Aperture library to my “referenced” LR Catalog.  Been changing a lot of file names and folder names and moving files into the folders they “should” have been in all along.  I have always been lazy as my key  wording is very strong so I always felt I could find any file I wanted.  Its slow boring work but I do like how much more organized I am in my referenced system.  Wish I had done that in Aperture all along.  Its also fun seeing a bunch of my old photos…some good stuff there. Still very surprised how bad some of the LR tools are vs Apples (talking to you Adjustment brush) and how bad some of Apples were compared to LR (talking to you shadows and highlights slider).  

One question - is Aperture as slow as LR is when you have it referenced vs managed?  I only had Aperture Managed and it has always been wicked fast.  LR is a slow poke. I’m going to buy a new iMac and faster HDs to try and speed LR up but its really “laggy” for me right now especially as I move files over and the catalog is growing by thousands of pics a week.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand upon. I don't do these things to others, and I require the same from them. - John Wayne, from "The Shootist"

Teresa's picture
by Teresa
July 23, 2016 - 10:50am

Can someone explain how to “move photos from managed to referenced”? I imagine it involves exporting into a new library with setting?  I guess it’s time to go clean up my Aperture Library :) Should I do one project at a time? Thanks in advance.


Mary D's picture
by Mary D
July 23, 2016 - 3:22pm

Teresa, I’ll try to remember what I did… First, I paid $2 or whatever it was for the Aperture Expert Live Training Session 020. Somewhere in there Joseph explains how to move files from managed to referenced. But it’s actually pretty easy. Select the photos you wish to move. On the Aperture tool bar, choose “File>Relocate Original…”  A pop up screen then appears that allows you to choose the Folder on your drive where you want the photo to go and the name format.

I had over 30,000 photos to migrate. I renamed them along the way. If you read my earlier post I describe the process. I had my photos in the Aperture library organized by folder, and then projects within the folders. I moved a project at a time. If I’d already named my photos so they were easy to locate by file name, this would’ve been a fairly quick process. However, I was lazy when uploading files to Aperture and never renamed them. 

I suggest just starting with a few photos until you get the hang of it and understand the process. Then go for it!


You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
Passwords are case-sensitive - Forgot your password?