All edits are saved immediately in the catalog, or at least they should be. You can also save metadata as "xmp" in source photo file or "sidecar", but that's extra.
So, my first guess would be: you opened a different catalog.
If that is not the case, then I dunno...
Rob is probably right, you opened a different catalog. Check File->Open Recent to see if other catalogs are listed, and if so, then try opening them.
Yes I did. Found the correct catalog this morning. Whew!
I have the working copy of my photos on an external drive in order to move between Mac and Windows computers. My archival copy is on my iMac. As a consequence, I inadvertantly accessed the archival copy instead of the external drive. Will insure that this does not happen again by making the archival copy RO.
Here's how I start Lightroom - no room for error...:
in a .bat file:
REM A bunch of statements that support SQLiteroom here...
Start "" /belownormal "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Beta\lightroom.exe" "D:\LrCatalogs\Lr5\Lr5.lrcat"
* Lightroom runs at below normal priority, which does not slow it down at all, but does allow me to do other normal priority tasks on my computer (like watching hd video) without interference whilst doing lengthy exports or whatever in Lightroom.
* I can add startup switches like "-tracebacks" which enables output to debugger for trouble-shooting purposes.
* No question which version of Lightroom or which catalog is being loaded.
* You have to update the .bat file each time Lr is re-released.
* You have to have a different .bat for each catalog, if you use more than one.
* It's tricky to have the startup icon look like Lr instead of a generic .bat icon.
You mentioned a bat file. In so doing, you pointed out that LR5 is available. I presume the bat files are there. I used bat files for a long time. There is an easy way to introduce arguments for releases & catalogs. Will be happy to share it.
Downloaded and installed the files you recommended and LR5 Beta. Tried installing the latter and received the message
Can you help understand this?
Lr 5 is a beta version. Since beta versions can still have software bugs, Adobe prevents that you open your Lr4 catalog with Lr5 beta. Or else the Lr4 catalog could get corrupted.
It is therefore generally recommended that you only work on duplicates in Lr 5 beta, and that Lr 5 beta has its own catalog - separate from the Lr4 catalog.
To let Lr5 beta create its own catalog, do this:
Export images from Lr4 to a dedicated Lr5 beta folder. You can export <Originals> - so you get your Raw images into Lr 5 beta.
Then import the photos on this folder in Lr 5 beta.