Dont want to lose my photos-what should I do?

Sep 20, 2014
Reaction score
Hi, I have a 20-inch 2008 iMac and a 13 inch MacBook 2008 and an iPhone 5. I just installed Mavericks on my iMac in order to be able to buy Pages (App wouldnt download with my previous os) I've just tried to open iphoto for the first time since installing Mavericks and get this message "The photo library needs to be upgraded to work with this version of iPhoto. Your photo library will not be readable by previous versions of iPhoto after the upgrade.'
What does that mean? (I stupidly didnt save the photos externally before upgrading to Mavericks)
Also, is it going to matter that my laptop is not running Mavericks (cant install it- not enough room on disc to install apparently) Laptop is OS X Lion 10.7.5.
I dont really understand how photo streaming or iCloud works between 2 devices. So my question is- Will it matter that my devices do not have the same OS?
I want to be sure that I wont lose access to the photos on either device because of some kind of conflict. Should I upgrade the iPhoto programme on the iMac in my particular situation.


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
Reaction score
Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 Mini, Numerous iPods, Monterey
If you wish to view your photos on your iMac with Mavericks installed, you must update iPhoto. There is no danger in losing your photos when updating, however, it's always wise to make a backup first. Just make a backup of your iPhoto library prior to updating.

It doesn't matter that your 2008 MacBook is running Lion. The version of iPhoto on it will continue to work. That particular MacBook probably can not run Mavericks anyway unless it's the late 2008 Aluminum MacBook. If you don't understand photo streaming or iCloud, don't use them until you learn how they work. You can get that information very easily by going to the Apple site or from many different internet sites such as Macworld.

Shop Amazon

Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.