I just discovered this forum, probably like most, because I need help. I'm a bit of a LR newbie so any help is appreciated. While updating to LR5.6 I accidentally deleted my catalog. Or what I believe was my catalog. When I opened up 5.6 it asked me what catalog to choose and I just clicked default. All of my raw files are still there. The problem is I didn't back up my LR in a while and my newer photos do not have any edits or tweaks I applied to them. Now its not the worst thing in the world because I do still have my raw files. But I don't really want to go back through and edit the last batches of photos I took. I tried to restore the catalog (which was saved on my desktop) but clicking the folder and trying to restore to a previous version. The problem is what used to sit on my desktop with a LR icon now is a folder. And it is not a catalog its listed as "Lightroom5CatalogPrevies.lrdata". I tried to open this in LR but it does nothing. In this folder is several subfolders which in turn have subfolders in them. I tried changing the name to .lrcat but that didn't help either. If anyone can help that would be most appreciative. If there is no fix I'll just go through and re-edit the newer photos.
Thanks in advance
..Previews.lrdata folder is not a catalog and not to be opened - it's a part of what's kept in a catalog folder along with a catalog file (.lrcat).
That said, your edits are (for sure) in:
* the catalog you had open when you made the edits.
Your edits may also be in:
* A backup catalog (if you made one after making the edits).
* xmp sidecar files (if proprietary raw file format, or xmp embedded in dng or jpg or tif..), if you had "auto-save xmp" enabled in Lr preferences, or you saved (xmp) metadata manually (e.g. via Ctrl/Cmd-S).
* exported copies of your photos *if* you exported them with "All Metadata".
So, to recover it's best to:
* Find the right catalog, if possible (e.g. backup, if current/active catalog was inadvertently deleted) - make sure you look in trash/recycle first! (.lrcat file).
* Recover from xmp, edits that are not in catalog, if available (restore by reading (xmp) metadata, but backup everything first, since this will take your photos backwards if xmp metadata not recently saved).
* Recover from exported copies, if you are so fortunate as to have (requires a plugin, or exiftool).