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Solution to Aperture 3.4 Installation Problems

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 23, 2012 - 5:08pm

There have been many reports here of issues with Aperture crashing after the Aperture 3.4 upgrade. Some reported fixing it by reinstalling the app, while others reported it fixed by trashing the preferences.

For those of you that trashed the preferences — your fix is only temporary. You will need to reinstall the app. Just delete it and re-download from the App store.

If you bought it on DVD and have been upgrading all along, then you’ll need to reinstall from the disc again and upgrade. So be sure you know where that DVD is before proceeding!

For anyone upgrading now (i.e. haven’t upgraded to 3.4 yet) you shouldn’t run into the problem at all.

Apple has a complete article on how to reinstall here: Aperture 3.4: May quit unexpectedly on launch after updating.

Apple Aperture

I need to reinstall from the DVD and now I can’t find this damned DVD….
Looks like no solution for me at the moment….


Frederic B

Joseph: I am one who has been waiting for the dust to settle before installing version 3.4. I am not clear on why installing now will not cause any problems? What has changed? Thanks.


You don’t need the DVD. But you do need the serial number (including past version serial number if using an upgrade serial number). If you have the S/N, go to the Apple support page Joseph linked above and there you will find a link to download the Aperture trial version. The download is a DMG file which you mount and run the installer. Once you enter your S/N(s) you are good to go. Don’t be concerned that it is called a Trial Version. Once you enter your legitimate S/N it will be a fully functional version of Aperture.



It is my understanding that this was a temporary glitch in installation/upgrading, now resolved.

Thomas, that’s a great point. I hadn’t thought of that!

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

I finally found my DVD and reinstall AP 3 and updated to 3.4

BTW he didn’t ask me for the serial number so may be if i use the trial version I could do the same.
anyway I have a fresh install of AP 3.4 and even put back the plist file before deleting the application and after the 1st launch re repair of the DB and now everything looks ok.


Frederic B

When you say it is now resolved, are you saying that Apple has fixed the upgrade and there is no need to reinstall, but simply download the upgrade in normal fashion. I have waited to upgrade in hope that I would not need to do the gyrations that have been required initially.


Yes, that is my understanding.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert Have you signed up for the ApertureExpert mailing list?

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Ok, I started off originally with Aperture way back when it was released and the version number was 2.x. I then upgraded to version three but don’t actually remember how I did this, but I do have a serial number I saved from that and from what I have been able to comprehend is that if I drag Aperture to the trash and then reinstall the Trail Version of Aperture I will be able to enter my serial number into it and then upgrade from there.

Is this correct?


Mostly correct but some additional points are needed:

1. If your S/N is an Upgrade (Aperture v2 to v3) S/N, you will also need the v2 S/N.
2. If you have Aperture 3 authorized now and just delete the Aperture application file, you shouldn’t need to enter any serial numbers when you install the trial version. The Aperture authentication info is not stored in the Application. It is stored somewhere in the MacOS X libraries. (I didn’t enter any serial numbers when I just did this same thing).

3. If I were you, I’d also download the Aperture 3.4 updater DMG from the Apple Support Download page and run the updater right away before doing anything with Aperture 3.1.



Thanks for the additional information.

Still have Version 2 serial number as well.

Could’nt find the 3.4 updater on Apples download page, but then again it’s the cause of this mess so they probably pulled it, but not to worry I still have it from last week.


Don’t use the one from last week! If Apple pulled it, it’s for a reason. You should be able to update via the App Store though and that will work fine.

If you use last week’s updated, you’ll have the problem that started this whole discussion.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert Have you signed up for the ApertureExpert mailing list?

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

I’ve left 3.4 completely alone after the horror stories. Joseph, are you saying that if I now perform the update via the App Store that I won’t hit the bug?? (2 versions of 3.4 out there??).

Thanks, Stuart.

Poor Apple… one little mistake and it haunt’s ‘em for ages ;-)

Yeah, you’re safe to upgrade. I think the problem was fixed within 24 hours of release, or less, but of course not only did thousands of people upgrade, many upgraded but didn’t launch right away so didn’t notice the problem until later.

Yes, you can safely upgrade now. The issue has been resolved.

Keep in mind the issue of presets not always showing up is not necessarily a bug but more a different way of handling the app (“sandboxed” Aperture, from what I understand), so you may have to re-authorize/serialize your plugins, and while your presets won’t be lost, you may find it easier to export all presets before upgrading, so you can import them after the upgrade (if necessary) without having to dig around in the system folder looking for where they were stored.

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Thanks Joseph! All worked as you said it would.

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