AAE File Documentation


Feature Value
File Extension .aae
Full Form Apple Aperture Adjustments Extension
Associated Application Apple Photos App (macOS and iOS)
Primary Use Case Recording non-destructive edits made to primary image files
File Type Sidecar File
File Format Text-based, XML (eXtensible Markup Language)
Supported Image Formats for Sidecar JPEG, HEIC
Operating Systems with Native Support macOS and iOS
Operating Systems with Limited Support Windows, Android
Editing Type Non-destructive
Portability High within the Apple ecosystem, Low outside of it
Compatibility with Other Photo Editing Software Generally Low, specific to Apple Photos App
Merging Options Can be exported as a new JPEG or HEIC on Apple devices; requires third-party software on non-Apple devices
Text-Based Yes
Human-Readable Yes, when opened with a text editor, due to XML structure
Machine-Readable Yes, XML structured for machine readability
File Management Complexity Medium to High, as it needs to stay associated with original image files for edits to be applicable
File Size Generally small, varies based on the number and complexity of edits
Backup Stored in the same location as the original image file for ease of backup
Security Features None, as it's not meant to be a standalone secure file