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Will Aperture Work in macOS Sierra?

PhotoJoseph's picture
June 14, 2016 - 10:48am

The biggest question on every Aperture user's mind today is… “will Aperture work in macOS Sierra?”.

According to one anonymous developer, the answer, at least for now — is YES. With the current build of macOS Sierra (v10.12 beta, build 16A201w), Aperture appears to be fully operational.

Needless to say this is a cursory look, so if you're a dev and are working with macOS Sierra and Aperture, please let us know in the comments what you find that does — or does not — work!

Hey Siri… will Aperture work in macOS Sierra?



Apple Aperture

The changelog for macOS 10.12 does list Aperture in the “Notes and Known Issues” section. While developers are not allowed to discuss details, this does confirm that Aperture is supposed to work with some limitations (at this point). And in my very limited testing it does indeed work as expected. As far as I can tell the known issues aren’t really new, but mostly tied to features introduced on iOS devices after development for Aperture ended.

I have just installed Sierra Release version 10.12. With Aperture I am receiving this notification repeatedly and consistently: 

Internal Error:

An uncaught exception was raised. Choose “Continue” to continue running in an inconsistent state. Choose “Crash” to halt the application and file a bug with the Crash Reporter…..

The error is raised when I seek to IMPORT images. However, if I ‘CONTINUE’ the images import.

The error is raised if I try to alter an EXPORT preset. I am unable to adjust the export preset. Fortunately I have many presets setup.

I haven’t tried to rebuild the Aperture database yet. Getting ANXIOUS!!!! about finding a suitable, robust, useful replacement for Aperture.

This is the advice on the Apple Support site for addressing this kind of issue. I am waiting for my TimeMachine backup to complete before attempting these remedies.

Get help with Aperture 3


I have now (a) Repaired, then (b) Rebuilt the database. Same fault results. as below. Aperture seems to possess most functionality, however, I remain ANXIOUS that my version of Aperture is on its last legs! 

The Crash Report details are:

Exception Name: NSInvalidArgumentException
Description: *** -[__NSArrayM insertObject:atIndex:]: object cannot be nil
User Info: (null)

0   CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff8332f7bb __exceptionPreprocess + 171
1   libobjc.A.dylib                     0x00007fff97a9ca2a objc_exception_throw + 48
2   CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff8324b6ad -[__NSArrayM insertObject:atIndex:] + 1389
3   RedRock                             0x00000001036d339c +[RKPropertyMgr customInfoKeys] + 308
4   RedRock                             0x00000001036d3741 -[RKPropertyMgr dependentKeyPathsForKey:] + 795
5   RedRock                             0x00000001036d3948 -[RKPropertyMgr dependentKeyPathsForKeys:] + 201
6   Aperture                            0x0000000102d14817 Aperture + 1640471
7   Aperture                            0x0000000102d157bb Aperture + 1644475
8   Aperture                            0x0000000102edf040 Aperture + 3518528
9   Foundation                          0x00007fff84d2dc88 __NSFireDelayedPerform + 417
10  CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff832aff44 __CFRUNLOOP_IS_CALLING_OUT_TO_A_TIMER_CALLBACK_FUNCTION__ + 20
11  CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff832afbd3 __CFRunLoopDoTimer + 1075
12  CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff832af72a __CFRunLoopDoTimers + 298
13  CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff832a72f1 __CFRunLoopRun + 2081
14  CoreFoundation                      0x00007fff832a6874 CFRunLoopRunSpecific + 420
15  HIToolbox                           0x00007fff82846f6c RunCurrentEventLoopInMode + 240
16  HIToolbox                           0x00007fff82846da1 ReceiveNextEventCommon + 432
17  HIToolbox                           0x00007fff82846bd6 _BlockUntilNextEventMatchingListInModeWithFilter + 71
18  AppKit                              0x00007fff80f3d5f5 _DPSNextEvent + 1093
19  AppKit                              0x00007fff8164d8eb -[NSApplication(NSEvent) _nextEventMatchingEventMask:untilDate:inMode:dequeue:] + 1637
20  Aperture                            0x0000000102ff0a81 Aperture + 4639361
21  AppKit                              0x00007fff80f31fbd -[NSApplication run] + 926
22  ProKit                              0x00000001043e339a NSProApplicationMain + 333
23  Aperture                            0x0000000102b940b4 Aperture + 65716
24  Aperture                            0x0000000102b93a44 Aperture + 64068

I’m also having “Internal Error” issues with Sierra on one of my computers, a Late 2009 iMac, running macOS 10.12 (16A323). The OS itself installed without issues and seems to be working fine. But I’m running into frequent errors with some apps including Aperture. I have no such issues running the same OS and apps on an Early 2013 Retina MacBook Pro.

In Aperture, an internal error (and crash/freeze) appears whenever I try to switch to full screen. 

ExceptionName: NSInvalidArgumentException

Description: *** -[__NSArrayM insertObject:atIndex:]: object cannot be nil

Aperture Error.png


With Little Snitch 3.7, I get an error and crash/freeze when I try to resize or maximize the Configuration window.

Exception Name: NSRangeException

Description: Cannot remove an observer <NSScrollView 0x6000001cb9a0> for the key path “contentLayoutRect” from <NSWindow 0x6000003f4800> because it is not registered as an observer.


Little Snitch Error.png


In related news, I finally bit the bullet and started playing with Lightroom. Agree with those who have stated it has superior editing capabilities to Aperture, but I’m as unimpressed as ever with its DAM capabilities, crude user interface, and its heavy-handed reliance on Adobe Cloud subscription services.

I had the same problem that Aperture crashes on Sierra when using F to toggle full screen on/off. Interestingly it seems to work fine when I instead click the (+) on the window frame to switch to full screen and use ESC to get back to regular display.

I really hope so. I still use Aperture as, in my view, it still has one of the best file management system / design. 

Agreed … the file management is great and EASY in typical Apple style.

Me too.  I only use Aperture, still sweating from Yosemite to El Capitan.  I just wish Apple would realize what it does to people who embrace to deeply their products for the innate beauty, simplicity, and workflow before it destroys it and us.  Photos will, IMHO, never graduate beyond “selfie storage,” even with some great software pioneers writing extensions.  Adobe…subscriptions…forget about it.  I’m praying with you.

M.A.Stough Photography

Totally agree … it was a mistake to stop support and adopt the new “Photos,” a useless product.  I have been using On1 lately because I cannot get Aperture to export a jpeg at 100% under Sierra beta.  Any and all thoughts would be appreciated!

I’d like to know this too. This will be the first Mac OS version I’ll be holding off on. I still don’t know what to do with my Aperture Library.

I’m running El Capitan, and Aperture has been great. The only bugs I’ve encountered are a blank “Updating Library” box when you close, and not being able to live proof with colour profiles. Not a big deal. And in fact, a bug I had with Aperture under previous Mac OS X seems to have gone under El Capitan (I had issues with Faces every now and again splitting some names into multiple entries, and had to remerge them every once in a while - under El Capitan, it has never happened again).

I know I have to move on at some point, but it’s a daunting task that I don’t really have that much time or patience for. IF it mostly works, that would be great, but I fear that things like the iCloud sharing hooks may change, or like above not being able to export 100% Jpegs…these would be deal breakers.

i wait with bated breath. 

mrkgoo … moving on is a daunting task because you must learn a new system.  Adobe’s Lightroom is good, but I like DXO better.  I cannot use the third party plugins within the application, but I can export and then use those third party applications.  Seems like a long pathway when I could do everything, previously, within Aperture.

UberFritz - can you describe the export issue you’re seeing? I’m exporting all my images as 100% JPEG. I know there have been (longstanding?) issues exporting when rotation and levels or similar features have been applied. But IIRC these were there before Aperture had been announced dead.

(FWIW: as I said earlier, running Aperture is one of the first tests I did after every developers preview installation)

I can give you a description based upon experience. I am selecting JPEG in the original size.  The folder where it’s being exported is not important.  I am using, in this case, the default settings of about 8 on the slider and 72 DPI.  Hold on … just discovered that some were going into a subfolder (project name) within Documents.  Okay … I just had one image export properly on to the desktop to the project name folder.  Let me experiment some more and give you results.  Of course, DXO crashed out while I was playing with Aperture ; )  Okay, that worked with multiple images in the project at the settings mentioned above.  I had just done a clean with Cocktail, so PERHAPS that had an impact.  Bottom line … I need to be able to export to large files in Aperture.  Appreciate your interested because it motivated me to do more testing.  Thank you …  and I’m not new at this either; I just overlooked the location of the export which was always to the desktop for me.

Loaded Sierra and Aperture opened first time and then crashed to black screen.  Now will not open at all. Then got an error with library warning when tried to reopen it and so started to rebuild library permissions in hopes it solves, but so far the progress bar has not even budged and its been over an hour so not looking good.  Crash city…not sure what I will do.  Heartbroken and hating Apple for dropping Aperture.  I read online some parts of Aperture will not be supported from the release notes to Sierra but can’t find what exactly…… Hours later…now and aperture seems to be working.  No issues other than cannot use “F” key for this is the cause of the crash.  Full screen mode for some reason causing crash and damage to library.

I have Sierra and it’s the developer’s version.  Opened without a hitch and also exported without a hitch.  However, if I use a custom export size,  it disappears after restarting Aperture.

I have the officially version (Sierra) and have the same problem.  I start Aperture, click on “import” then the dialog box showing “Internal Error, An uncaught exception was raised” immediately appears. I am not able to import any photos. 

Not looking good. This may be the first upgrade I won’t be getting…

I have issues when rebuilding libraries - last time I did it (Aperture was still supported at that time), it would clear out photos that weren’t “properly” registered in its library. This mean a lot of iCloud photos were moved. And if I deleted them, they deleted from the iCloud Shared albums I had made. had to recreate several from scratch. SO I’ve avoided having to rebuild libraries (not to mention it hangs on Faces database too). 

Ah, shame. We knew it was coming. I might hold on to EL Capitan as long as I can. caribousteaks sums up my thoughts too - “heartbroken” is the word I’d use to describe what I’m feeling.


edit: Just a side note - does iPhone work on Sierra? I imagine it will be very similar to the situation for Aperture. My wife uses iPhoto. Might be time to move her to Photos. Does the latest version of Photos still import the iPhoto Library ok?

Is any of you using the iCloud integration of Sierra’s document management (eg. automatically moving “unused” stuff to the cloud to free space on disk)? I’ve read about issues with various applications. But I don’t use it.

Aperture is still working fine here. Just copied my 40k images library on my test machine. And I can’t see any issue so far, other than the issues known before the Sierra upgrade.

More info - another application (movist) also shows the same dialog while trying to create a dialog box.  It happened when I tried to add a folder to the “ok to access” list.  This MAY not be an Aperture problem but a general problem if an application uses a particular API call to get a list of folders from macOS.  I can’t be 100% sure though.

I have seen that error message elsewhere too so think it is wider issue. I’ve been running all through the public beta and am now on the official release and it is running as well as before, previous known issues (colour proofing) aside.

I removed the Aperture preferences file and the error persists…

Try a complete re-install of Aperture, presuming you have done an OS restart.

How, exactly, does one re-install Aperture. It was removed from the App Store some time ago, and no longer appears under the Purchased tab.

Still shows up in my purchased tab

Ah you’re right. I see it now. You have to scroll down and examine the list of purchased apps one by one, since there’s no way to search or sort.

However since it’s already installed the only action available is “open.” Does this mean one would have to delete the app first in order to reinstall it? 

I’m on macOS Sierra (release version) and having the same Internal Error. Import doesn’t work at all, even after clicking Continue. Then it gets stuck on “Loading assets”. All the thumbnails load in the import window, but I can’t select or deselect, for instance. Time to jump ship.

Oh, this is only my referral discount code from Tesla, taking a little off the price of a Model S or Model X:

I had several problems with Aperture after upgrading to Sierra.  And I actually bought Lightroom and started to work out a strategy to move at some point. So experimented with exporting small projects, and hile this basically works, I just couldn’t become friends with Lightroom, which is awkward aside of of its very good editing tools, but I felt it was a small bonus compared to all other things: Didn’t find anything I would have missed much in Aperture where I use plugins like Photomatix and PTLens and then I have Photoshop editing as well. So it’s really a downgrade and a lot of work.

And so I went back experimenting with Aperture which kept behaving strange on Imports, like not showing thumbnails for the import or not showing all photos. And it almost certainly crashed when toggling F on and off. 

As it finally turned out, the soft install of Sierra left my disk in a somewhat inconsistent state. Running DiskAid found some minor problems and fixed it. After that Aperture works just as fine as on El Capitan.

So, I’m quite happy and hope to defer moving for another year or two or… 


That's great to hear, thanks for the update. 

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

Harald, thanks for the well written experiment and your findings. It is very much appreciated. 

M.A.Stough Photography

the soft install of Sierra left my disk in a somewhat inconsistent state. Running DiskAid found some minor problems and fixed it. After that Aperture works just as fine as on El Capitan.

On what year and model Mac?

It’s on a mid 12 MacBook Pro 15” with a 1TB Transcend SSD

 Model Name:    MacBook Pro

 Model Identifier:    MacBookPro10,1

 Processor Name:    Intel Core i7

 Processor Speed:    2.6 GHz

 Number of Processors:    1

 Total Number of Cores:    4

  L2 Cache (per Core):    256 KB

  L3 Cache:    6 MB

  Memory:    16 GB

  Boot ROM Version:    MBP101.00EE.B0A

  SMC Version (system):    2.3f36


Now also tried a late 2009 white Unibody MacBook. Booted with Sierra from external disk. Aperture worked fine, just very slow on a larger Library.

I think the problems are not so much hardware related, but more likely bugs in Aperture that never surfaced like working with uninitialised data that now look different on Sierra, or different behaviour of the OS relative to faulty operations, or ignoring errors that in my case may have disappeared after fixing some structural problems with Disk First Aid.

I have now worked quite a bit with Aperture in the last two days and did not encounter any problems, so I’m hopeful.

I don’t think Aperture has problems, because of intentional changes in Sierra, more likely is that Apple simply removed Aperture from the QA process and now nobody cares to check whether it has accidentally got some problems. And off course nobody fixes them. So, unless Apple decides to discontinue or significantly change some interfaces, we have a similar chance of Aperture still working with the next OS after Sierra.


Thanks for posting, Harald.

I haven’t moved to Sierra yet. I was considering just leaving my computer at El Capitan, but I keep getting a computer hang on a notification process (documented by others as well). It’s unlikely to get fixed with no updates coming to El Capitan, and the recommendation to just move to Sierra. 

It’s a shame that they have moved to such a rapid development process on macOS now - it means updates to your preferred OS are unlikely to happen after about a year.

Your news that Aperture works mostly ok is happy to me, because it increases the chance that it will work with my setup (I typically don’t run any unusual setups), and thus increases the chance I’ll give it a shot when I can.

Any news on whether iPhoto works on Sierra? My wife still uses it and likewise, I’m reluctant to test it on her machine. At least if all else fails, she probably wouldn’t complain as much as I would in moving to Photos.

Harald, when you say Aperture crashes when toggling “F”, what do you mean?


Cheers all.

What I meant with toggling “F”, was switching to full screen and back via the F-key. As I have found out in the mean time, the problem occurs not regularly but once and so often and it doesn’t matter how you invoke full-screen (via menu or F-key) or how you exit it (via F-key again or by hitting esc). 

In the crash case Aperture might actually crash, but it might just behave strange and not enter full screen again, or enter it but show no picture and so on…

Usually a rebuild library seems to fix it for some time. Some garbage seems be be left in the library that seems to influence Apertures behaviour. I found that opening such a library with iphoto repairs it and makes it usable with Aperture again.

The other problem I noticed, is that when inserting an Sd-card with photos, Aperture does come up in import mode as configured, but may only show a subset of the photos on the card. Exiting import and entering it via the import button always brought it back correctly showing all photos and consequently importing them without hiccup.

I have now been working intensely with Aperture on Sierra for two months and can manage ok. I do get the eventual full screen exit problem, which then may or may not leave the library in a repair necessary state. I have not found out what leads to this and occurs randomly and not particularly frequent.

I have bought lightroom, just in case, but for now I think I can still do better with Aperture. While I have played quite bit with lightroom, it still feels bit alien to me. So I’ll struggle on for now with Aperture and if I find out some more about it on Sierra I’ll let you know via this board.

Usually a rebuild library seems to fix it for some time

Please stop suggesting people rebuild their Aperture library. The crashes related to toggling full screen mode are caused by a bug in Sierra, and only appear to affect some computer models, such as certain older iMacs. The latest beta for macOS 10.12.2 has been reported by some to fix the issue. 

Someone is trying to help with the issue, so there is no need to assume a snarky attitude.  Also, you are making the assumption that they know as much as you seem to know.

Consequently, can we stay on topic without the venomous criticism or is that too much to ask?

Sorry, the snark was unintentional. Consider this a public service message. :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about version 10.12.2 fixing the full screen issue. I certainly went and upgraded to 10.12.2 full of hope.

The upgrade went smooth and fast and I have not had any other issues with the new release. Worked with Aperture for some time and started to think it might indeed have fixed the full screen problem, but eventually it came up again, with the screen remaining black in full screen mode and apparently no way to get out of it. I could select other apps, but the screen would stay dark except for the top menu showing when moving the mouse up, and the dock showing when moving down. Had to force quit it from the dock. 

As soon as I would start Aperture again it would enter the same black screen mode and I would be unable to get out of it, other than force quitting it. Starting iphoto and quitting it again, fixed it so that Aperture again works as normal.

Yet, my gut feeling is that it seems more stable under 10.12.2.

Nov 21: Would now say no change under 10.12.2, still get occasional problems with full screen. About as frequent (or infrequent) as before.




Which exact version of macOS are you running? The latest beta is 16C48b.

Yep, that’s exactly what I’m on.

And what year/model Mac are you running this on?

A late 2012 macbook pro retina 15”

Model Name:    MacBook Pro

  Model Identifier:    MacBookPro10,1

  Processor Name:    Intel Core i7

  Processor Speed:    2.6 GHz

  Number of Processors:    1

  Total Number of Cores:    4

  L2 Cache (per Core):    256 KB

  L3 Cache:    6 MB

  Memory:    16 GB

  Boot ROM Version:    MBP101.00EE.B0A

  SMC Version (system):    2.3f36

Unfortunately, I am still seeing similar problems after the update to Mac OS Sierra 10.12.1 on a Mac Pro (mid 2010).

I often use full screen mode with HUD for applying adjustments. I currently get a crash of Aperture when using exiting fullscreen mode using the F key or Esc. Also the HUD display Adjustments tab doesn’t show at all.

I have had a few other problems too, but they pale into insignificance next to this. Being able to work full screen on an image is essential for me.

It seems that more people are having issues on Mac desktops than on MacBook hardware.

As a test, I looked at some images in full screen in Aperture on my MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011). The behaviour is normal. The HUD shows correctly too.

A while back I bought a copy of Lightroom in the last days before their switch to a subscription model. It looks like I might have to make the transition sooner, rather than later.

For the record, my setup is:

Mac Pro (Mid 2010)

Model Name:    Mac Pro

  Model Identifier:    MacPro5,1

  Processor Name:    Quad-Core Intel Xeon

  Processor Speed:    2.8 GHz

  Number of Processors:    1

  Total Number of Cores:    4

  L2 Cache (per Core):    256 KB

  L3 Cache:    8 MB

  Memory:    12 GB

Graphic card: ATI Radeon HD 5870



Yes, I have an older copy of Lightroom as well.  I do not like the “library” configuration.  Such is true with On1 and DXO.  I really like the Aperture, single file, library.  Also, each event can be exported as an Aperture library.  So, I want an application that can import an Aperture library and work similarly.  I have adopted much of MacPhun’s CK and I like the features.  Source there PROMISE the ability to import Aperture libraries in the future.  However, such abilities will not be present with the release of Luminar. Again, personnel has promised integration through, perhaps, Luminar.  What happens in reality may be different.  At present, ALL CK Aperture plugins with the exception of Aurora HDR 2017 work as designed.

So, we will all need to make some transition at some point in time.  I’ve said this previously, but it deserves to be repeated.  The adoption of Apple’s “Photos” was a mistake; the application is AWEFUL!

life is never simple

A colleague has found that straightening doesn’t work on his 2015 MBP running Sierra.

Finally I have Aperture work fine on 3 Macs. My main issue was with Aperture crashing on some Full Screen ON/OFF operations.

I’m using the latest Sierra Beta, but that had no effect. It seems that some functions require a deeper stack on Sierra in general and in at least one case Aperture runs into trouble trashing an object handle. The behaviour changes and it seems Aperture takes a different path when you have a specific entry in your plist (preferences file) for Aperture.

It was one of many entries that I found differing, after installing Aperture on a new MacBook Pro 13” sans touch bar. I installed it by using migration assistant from a backup disk that I had upgraded to Sierra a while ago. To my surprise Aperture showed no problems on this new Mac. But erasing the preferences file and having Aperture create a clean new one, brought the same problem back to the new Mac! 

I found a large number of differences between the old and newly created preferences file, but just one that made it work.


I added the following entry to:


necessary entry: NSNavPanelExpandedSizeForOpenMode | String | {712, 426}

You need Xcode to edit the .plist file.

Hope this helps some of you. I’m pretty happy now with Aperture working as before on El Capitan.






Good detective work Harald. Can I get a clarification from you? I have downloaded the latest Xcode and when opening the file notice I already have an entry similar to your suggested one except the string value is different: NSNavPanelExpandedSizeForOpenMode | String | {982, 521}

Should I replace the above values to match your suggested ones rather than duplicate the entry?






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