I currently have my main catalog 'gwcat-2-2.lrcat' in what I think is the default directory of ":..D:\Users\George\Pictures\Lightroom". I would like to move it to a faster drive. Should I move JUST the lrcat file, or is moving the gwcat-2-2 Previews.lrdata required?
There is a LOT of stuff in lrdata! and would take a long time to move. I've always been a bit confused by the difference between "Previews.lrdatafa" and the cache directory (I already have the cache directory on SSD). --If you go by just the definition of terms, it seems like a distinction without a difference.
Thanks in advance for any info.
Lr expects the previews in the .lrdata file to sit right next to the catalog file.
If you don't move the previews file (the lrdata_) together with the catalog, Lr will build new previews - so nothing lost except the time it takes to rebuild the previews.
And, naturally, some disk space since you would end up with a previews file next to the new location of the catalog and a previews file in the old location.
So, best practices would be to move both files.
And you probably know that after the move you can just double-click the catalog file in the new location and Lr will open with it.
Hi.. i've been trying to find this out also.
Say i want to backup a catalog.. Do I just need to backup the .lrcat file?
Or do i also need to backup the Previews.lrDatafa folder which includes hundereds of subfolders and files ???
Moving the catalog 'lrcat' is the the only absolute. Moving the previews folder(i.e. 'lrdata') is optional. Unless your catalog contains many 10's of thousands of images it unlikley to take as long as rebuilding new previews. That being said, rebuilding new previews from scratch often helps eliminate some issues that can arise regarding their size and quality, particularly for those images that haven't been viewed since before the last Lightroom update. Also, and irrespective of whether you move the previews or not, I recommend running the Optimize Catalog command after moving the catalog. This will ensure that all the crud from any recent import and delete sessions is cleaned out.
I recommend that you backup the catalog from Lr not with your OS.
In Lr go >Edit >Catalog Settings >General tab. In the bottom window select <Every time Lr exits>.
Next time you close Lr the backup dialog will come up. Select a location for your backup - you need to know where the backup is located in case you need it.
As part of the backup process Lr will also optimize the catalog.
When Lr does a catalog backup it does not overwrite an existing backup file but writes a new backup file each time. So each backup file is complete in itself as per the time of the backup.
That means that backup files will accumulate in your backup location. So from time to time you have to manually delete older backups. I go in there once a month and delete all backups that are older than a month.
You can backup the previews but you would have to do that with your OS or manually since there is no feature in Lr to backup the previews.
By default Lr will discard the 1:1 previews after 30 days, so from that perspective there is no need for a backup of the previews.
You can select a shorter time for discarding the previews or you can select <Never> in >catalog Settings >File Handling tab.
Anyway, as Ian Lyons has pointed out, it might be preferable to let Lr discard the previews from time to time so that it will build new previews when needed.
From that perspective a backup of the previews is also not needed.
"Next time you close Lr the backup dialog will come up. Select a location for your backup - you need to know where the backup is located in case you need it."
Can you detail how to select the location as I wish to change its present location on drive C to an external drive ?
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