Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fix iPhoto error "You made changes to your photo library using a newer version of iPhoto"

Firstly, if you actually have gone through the process of upgrading iLife or iPhoto and receive this error, this article likely won't help. You can try a permissions repair, but that's about the extent of what you'll find for that problem here. Now, if you haven't done anything to iPhoto but starting getting the "You made changes to your photo library using a newer version of iPhoto" error out of nowhere, then hopefully this will help you out.

I had a Mac OS X 10.4.11 user report that she was having issues getting iPhoto to open. When she opened it, she would get an error "You can not open your current photo library using this version of iPhoto. You made changes to your photo library using a newer version of iPhoto." The only thing she could think of is that she had hooked up a different camera than normal to get some pictures from it, and started getting the error after that.

I tried rebuilding her iPhoto library, but that didn't work. Repairing permissions didn't help either. Then I actually tried to verify the disk using Disk Utility, and it found some minor errors. You can't repair those errors while OS X is running though. I booted from the OS X 10.4 install disk that came with the computer, ran Disk Utility to repair the disk, then rebuilt the iPhoto library again. Viola! iPhoto launched and worked fine after that.

Here's how to do each of those things:

First, check your disk permissions. Hopefully that's all it is. To do this, go to Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility. Within Disk Utility, select your hard drive and and select Repair Permissions. Let that run. Once it's done, try iPhoto again. If it still doesn't work, continue to the next step.

Within Disk Utility, now try using the Verify Disk option. Let that run. If everything is green and no errors are found, then you have a different problem. If you get anything that shows up in red though, errors were found and you should keep reading.

To repair the disk you have to boot from your OS X install disk. To do this, put the disk in the drive and shut down the computer. Now turn the computer back on and hold down the C key on the keyboard. This will tell the computer to boot from the CD-ROM drive, rather than your hard drive. This should bring you to the installation setup screen which asks you to pick a language. Pick your language of choice and then click the -> arrow to continue.

Do not go any further with the install. At this point you just want to launch Disk Utility from the CD and use it to repair the disk. You can get to Disk Utility by going to Utilities on the top menu bar.

Once Disk Utility is open, select your hard drive again and click on Repair Disk. That should run and possibly run again after the repairs are made. If Disk Utility cannot repair your disk write down what the problem was. If it says something about an invalid node structure, check out my other post on how to fix it. If it's some other error, you'll have to look to Google and see what you can find. If you can't find a fix to the problem you may want to look into replacing your hard drive before it completely fails. Once you're done with Disk Utility, go to Disk Utility->Quit Disk Utility. Then go to Installer->Quit Installer. Your computer should reboot.

Things should load like normal, and you can try rebuilding your iPhoto database now. To do this, hold down Apple+Option when launching iPhoto, and continue holding both of them down until it prompts you to select the rebuild options. I checked all 4 boxes that were shown and clicked Ok. At this point you just have to wait for it to finish. It took ~30 minutes when I did it, and that will vary depending on the amount of photos you have in your iPhoto.

Once the iPhoto database rebuild is complete you'll find out whether this worked or not. If you're lucky and iPhoto opens correctly, you have successfully solved your problem and can go back to using iPhoto for organizing your pictures. However, if you again get the error about a newer version of iPhoto, sorry, but you're on your own now. I'd suggest making sure to backup your iPhoto library before doing anything else to make sure you don't lose any of your pictures. You can find it by going to Users->Your username->Pictures->iPhoto Library, but replacing "Your username" with whatever your particular username is on the computer.

If this works, great. If not, but you happen to find something else to solve your problem, please leave it in the comments so it can help anyone else that runs into this issue. Good luck!


kunlio16 said...

Hi Russell, I've tried to track down your email on the web, however nothing came up. I'm contacting you in regards to a blog you did about the dell 2005fpw monitor that went bad on you. Specifically the one that had the strobe effect. I seem to be having the same problem, and also seem to have discovered the problem. If you could, please contact me back at

rslygh said...

Hello kunlio16,

The blog post you're referring to can be found at

I'll be glad to discuss this with you. However, I'd ask you to post your questions/comments in that blog post and I will respond accordingly.