HomeTravel PhotographyMethods to Change Lightroom Catalog Location • PhotoTraces

Methods to Change Lightroom Catalog Location • PhotoTraces

Methods to Change Lightroom Catalog Location • PhotoTraces


If you wish to change Lightroom Catalog location, you could make sure you’re not lacking out on any important steps.

Methods to Change Lightroom Catalog Location • PhotoTraces

Let’s begin from the start. Lightroom has three predominant elements:

  • Lightroom set up (program information)
  • Lightroom catalog
  • Lightroom picture library

If you wish to transfer Lightroom to a brand new laptop, that you must transfer all three elements.

Nevertheless, in the event you’re going to maneuver solely pictures to a much bigger exhausting drive, it’s important to transfer one element – the picture library

I’ve devoted tutorials for each situations (see under)

On this article, we’re going to deal with the 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 photographs you import and their respective settings to your Lightroom workflow. The catalog comprises a preview of every photograph, metadata similar to key phrases, rankings, develop settings, and galleries group construction.

The catalog helps Lightroom to maintain monitor of all of your pictures and their respective settings. You possibly can have a number of catalogs for various initiatives, 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 photographs
  • creating info
  • metadata (captions, key phrases, and so forth.)
  • galleries construction

Essentially the most important benefit of a Lightroom Catalog is that each one the edits you do in your pictures are nondestructive. Any change you make to your picture shall be saved as further metadata XMP format, and the unique picture will keep untouched.

How to Change Lightroom Catalog Location 3How to Change Lightroom Catalog Location 3

Causes for Altering Lightroom Catalog Location

You Run out of House on Your Arduous Drive

In case your import course of will get caught, the commonest cause is that the pc has run out of area.

Even in the event you retailer all of your photographs on a big exterior exhausting drive, Lightroom wants loads of area 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 cause to maneuver the catalog to a brand new location with a ton of area. 

Another choice is to scale back the scale of preview information 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 dimension

You Wish to Velocity Up Lightroom

Lightroom can get extremely gradual, particularly when coping with a big picture library. However there are methods of constructing the app extra responsive: you possibly can transfer your catalog to an SSD drive to hurry up Lightroom. 

Lightroom catalog runs a lot sooner on SSDs than on HDDs.

Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)
Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB

On the similar time, SSDs are usually much less cost-effective than spinning HD, and storing massive picture libraries on them is price prohibitive. However operating Lightroom catalog off SSD is a really efficient resolution.

You Wish to Again up Lightroom Catalog

When you’ve gotten just one copy of your catalog, dropping that catalog means dropping your photographs! So it’s at all times a good suggestion to again up your photos. 

Lightroom commonly backs-up catalogs, but it surely does that utilizing the identical location. Transferring your catalog to an exterior drive ensures that your pictures are protected in case your exhausting drive dies utterly. 

Alternatively, you possibly can mechanically tie your Lightroom catalog to a cloud storage location (like Dropbox). Nevertheless, this is able to entail paying an extra month-to-month subscription charge.

Methods to Change Lightroom Catalog Location

There are a few steps that you must comply with to vary the Lightroom Catalog location: 

1. Find Lightroom Catalog from Catalog Settings

At the start, it’s important to discover the placement of your catalog.

Methods to find Lightroom Catalog:

  • From the highest predominant 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
How to Change Lightroom Catalog Location 4How to Change Lightroom Catalog Location 4

2. Copy Lightroom Catalog and All Supporting Recordsdata

Issues to contemplate:

You would possibly need to make sure you’re additionally copying all of the supporting information when copying a whole catalog. 

Supporting information embody Previews File, Sensible Previews file, or the Helper. lrdata catalog. They comprise all of the related info out of your Lightroom Catalog – like settings, previews, and presets. 

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You must change the placement of your catalog by copying, not by shifting. 

When copying a catalog, you’ve gotten the unique one and create a replica within the new location. I feel it’s higher to be protected than sorry: eradicating information from the unique location solely when the method of shifting is profitable ensures you gained’t lose any of your work. 

You realize the placement of your Lightroom Catalog (.LRCAT), so that you solely have to repeat it from there to the brand new location.

Methods to copy and paste Lightroom Catalog:

  • Spotlight all of the information contained in the Lightroom catalog folder (search for the lrcat file extension: catalog.lrcat, catalog.lrcat-data, Previews.lrdata, Helper.lrdata, and so forth.)
  • Proper-click on them and choose “Copy.”
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Spotlight all of the information contained in the Lightroom catalog folder

3. Paste Lightroom Catalog and Supporting Recordsdata to New Location

Methods to Paste Lightroom Catalog and Supporting information to New Location:

  • After clicking on “Copy,” go to the placement you need to transfer your catalog and information in
  • Proper-click and choose “Paste.”
  • Wait till the switch is over. It would take a while when you’ve got massive photograph 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.

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-compulsory)

If you happen to see a query mark subsequent to information within the Folder panel, Lightroom can’t discover sure folders or pictures. On this case, you’ll must search for them manually. 

Methods to discover lacking folders:

  1. Within the Folders panel, right-click on the lacking folder (search for the query mark)
  2. From the dropdown menu, go to “Discover Lacking Folder.”
  3. Re-link the lacking folder by going to the brand new location – Lightroom will mechanically map folders to the brand new location
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6. Double-Test the New Catalog Location (Non-compulsory)

It could’t harm to verify once more, so comply with the steps you probably did originally when discovering your catalog:

MAC: Lightroom Basic > Catalog Settings > SHOW > Test the catalog location

PC: Edit > Catalog Settings > SHOW > Test the catalog location

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Ought to I Transfer Lightroom Catalog to Exterior Arduous Drive?

The reply to this query is: it relies upon!

However I’d not do it.

Let me clarify.

It is not uncommon for touring photographers to maneuver the Lightroom catalog to an exterior exhausting drive to allow them to run Lightroom from desktop computer systems at dwelling and from laptops when touring.

Sadly, this course of slows down Lightroom considerably.

Lightroom will not be well-known for being a quick utility. And the simplest means to enhance its efficiency is to run the Lightroom catalog from the quickest drive, ideally from an inside SSD.

Transferring the Lightroom catalog to an exterior exhausting drive, which is at all times a lot slower than inside, will jeopardize the efficiency of Lightroom. It would run painfully gradual. I do know; I attempted it.

However I’ve another resolution, which I exploit throughout my journeys.

I create a Non permanent Catalog on my laptop computer for each journey and merge it with the grasp catalog after I return dwelling.

For a devoted tutorial, discuss with this text on the way to merge Lightroom Catalogs.

Change Lightroom Catalog Location | Remaining Ideas

A Lightroom Catalog is a database file that shops your pictures, metadata, and all of the processing you’ve gotten utilized to your pictures. 

No matter your causes for shifting your Lightroom catalog, now you’ve gotten a step-by-step tutorial that will help you alongside! As luck would have it, a mislaid Lightroom catalog is a simple sufficient factor to vary.

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