If you wish to change Lightroom Catalog location, you will need to make sure you’re not lacking out on any important steps.
Let’s begin from the start. Lightroom has three most important elements:
- Lightroom set up (program recordsdata)
- Lightroom catalog
- Lightroom picture library
If you wish to transfer Lightroom to a brand new laptop, it’s essential transfer all three elements.
Nonetheless, for those who’re going to maneuver solely photographs to an even bigger exhausting drive, it’s important to transfer one element – the picture library.
I’ve devoted tutorials for each situations (see beneath)
On this article, we’re going to concentrate on the right way to transfer Lightroom Catalog to a brand new location!
What’s Lightroom Catalog?
A Lightroom catalog is a database that shops all of the details about pictures you import and their respective settings on your Lightroom workflow. The catalog accommodates a preview of every picture, metadata akin to key phrases, rankings, develop settings, and galleries group construction.
The catalog helps Lightroom to maintain monitor of all of your photographs and their respective settings. You possibly can have a number of catalogs for various tasks, or you should utilize only one catalog for all the things.
A Lightroom Catalog additionally shops:
- picture previews: they vary from low-resolution JPGs to full-size pictures
- growing data
- metadata (captions, key phrases, and so on.)
- galleries construction
Essentially the most vital benefit of a Lightroom Catalog is that every one the edits you do in your photographs are nondestructive. Any change you make to your picture will probably be saved as extra metadata XMP format, and the unique picture will keep untouched.
Causes for Altering Lightroom Catalog Location
You Run out of House on Your Onerous Drive
In case your import course of will get caught, the most typical purpose is that the pc has run out of house.
Even for those who retailer all of your pictures on a big exterior exhausting drive, Lightroom wants loads of house subsequent to the catalog to retailer JPEG previews for every picture you import.
In case your exhausting drive the place you retain the Lightroom catalog is getting full, it’s a good purpose to maneuver the catalog to a brand new location with a ton of house.
Another choice is to scale back the dimensions of preview recordsdata Lightroom generates on import. However it is just a short lived resolution.
- Go to Edit within the higher toolbar
- Choose “Catalog Settings”
- Choose “File Dealing with”
- Scale back preview measurement
You Need to Pace Up Lightroom
Lightroom can get extremely sluggish, particularly when coping with a big picture library. However there are methods of creating the app extra responsive: you possibly can transfer your catalog to an SSD drive to hurry up Lightroom.
Lightroom catalog runs a lot quicker on SSDs than on HDDs.
On the similar time, SSDs are typically much less cost-effective than spinning HD, and storing giant picture libraries on them is price prohibitive. However operating Lightroom catalog off SSD is a really efficient resolution.
You Need to Again up Lightroom Catalog
When you might have just one copy of your catalog, dropping that catalog means dropping your pictures! So it’s at all times a good suggestion to again up your photos.
Lightroom commonly backs-up catalogs, nevertheless it does that utilizing the identical location. Transferring your catalog to an exterior drive ensures that your photographs are protected in case your exhausting drive dies utterly.
Alternatively, you possibly can routinely tie your Lightroom catalog to a cloud storage location (like Dropbox). Nonetheless, this is able to entail paying a further month-to-month subscription price.
Easy methods to Change Lightroom Catalog Location
There are a few steps it’s essential observe to vary the Lightroom Catalog location:
1. Find Lightroom Catalog from Catalog Settings
In the beginning, it’s important to discover the situation of your catalog.
Easy methods to find Lightroom Catalog:
- From the highest most important menu, find the “EDIT” tab (“Lightroom Basic” on Mac) and click on on it
- Choose “Catalog Settings”
- Within the “Common” panel, click on “SHOW.”
- Explorer/Finder will open the catalog file location – you possibly can acknowledge it by the .lrcat file extension
2. Copy Lightroom Catalog and All Supporting Information
Issues to contemplate:
You may wish to make sure you’re additionally copying all of the supporting recordsdata when copying a complete catalog.
Supporting recordsdata embody Previews File, Good Previews file, or the Helper. lrdata catalog. They include all of the related data out of your Lightroom Catalog – like settings, previews, and presets.
You must change the situation of your catalog by copying, not by transferring.
When copying a catalog, you might have the unique one and create a reproduction within the new location. I feel it’s higher to be protected than sorry: eradicating recordsdata from the unique location solely when the method of transferring is profitable ensures you received’t lose any of your work.
You already know the situation of your Lightroom Catalog (.LRCAT), so that you solely have to repeat it from there to the brand new location.
Easy methods to copy and paste Lightroom Catalog:
- Spotlight all of the recordsdata contained in the Lightroom catalog folder (search for the lrcat file extension: catalog.lrcat, catalog.lrcat-data, Previews.lrdata, Helper.lrdata, and so on.)
- Proper-click on them and choose “Copy.”
3. Paste Lightroom Catalog and Supporting Information to New Location
Easy methods to Paste Lightroom Catalog and Supporting recordsdata to New Location:
- After clicking on “Copy,” go to the situation you wish to transfer your catalog and recordsdata in
- Proper-click and choose “Paste.”
- Wait till the switch is over. It’d take a while when you’ve got giant picture library.
4. Open Lightroom Catalog from New Location
It’s time to verify in case your catalog was copied efficiently by opening it from the brand new location.
Easy methods to open Lightroom Catalog from a brand new location:
- Double-click on the .lrcat file within the new location
5. Discover Lightroom Lacking Folders (Non-obligatory)
If you happen to see a query mark subsequent to recordsdata within the Folder panel, Lightroom can’t discover sure folders or photographs. On this case, you’ll must search for them manually.
Easy methods to discover lacking folders:
- Within the Folders panel, right-click on the lacking folder (search for the query mark)
- From the dropdown menu, go to “Discover Lacking Folder.”
- Re-link the lacking folder by going to the brand new location – Lightroom will routinely map folders to the brand new location
6. Double-Examine the New Catalog Location (Non-obligatory)
It may’t damage to verify once more, so observe the steps you probably did originally when discovering your catalog:
MAC: Lightroom Basic > Catalog Settings > SHOW > Examine the catalog location
PC: Edit > Catalog Settings > SHOW > Examine the catalog location
Ought to I Transfer Lightroom Catalog to Exterior Onerous Drive?
The reply to this query is: it relies upon!
However I might not do it.
Let me clarify.
It’s common for touring photographers to maneuver the Lightroom catalog to an exterior exhausting drive to allow them to run Lightroom from desktop computer systems at residence and from laptops when touring.
Sadly, this course of slows down Lightroom considerably.
Lightroom isn’t well-known for being a quick utility. And the simplest approach to enhance its efficiency is to run the Lightroom catalog from the quickest drive, ideally from an inner SSD.
Transferring the Lightroom catalog to an exterior exhausting drive, which is at all times a lot slower than inner, will jeopardize the efficiency of Lightroom. It’ll run painfully sluggish. I do know; I attempted it.
However I’ve an alternate resolution, which I exploit throughout my journeys.
I create a Short-term Catalog on my laptop computer for each journey and merge it with the grasp catalog once I return residence.
For a devoted tutorial, consult with this text on the right way to merge Lightroom Catalogs.
Change Lightroom Catalog Location | Ultimate Ideas
A Lightroom Catalog is a database file that shops your photographs, metadata, and all of the processing you might have utilized to your photographs.
No matter your causes for transferring your Lightroom catalog, now you might have a step-by-step tutorial that will help you alongside! As luck would have it, a mislaid Lightroom catalog is a straightforward sufficient factor to vary.