3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 25, 2014 12:47 AM by elie-d

    Can I delete "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata"?

    dhnyny

      My Lightroom folder has a 2.28 GB file called "Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.lrdata" and a 10.01 GB file called "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata."

       

      "Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.lrdata" file was created on 9/2/13 and last modified on 11/20/14.

       

      "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata" file was created on 9/3/13 and has never been modified since that date.

       

      The last time I imported photos was 11/14/14. I haven't made any changes to anything since 11/20/14.

       

      Since the "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata" file hasn't been modified since it was created, I'm wondering what purpose, if any, it is serving. Deleting it would free up a big chunk of space, so I'd like to do so if I wouldn't be losing anything important.

       

      I'm using PL 5.7 for Mac, in case that matters.

       

      Thanks in advance for your answers.

        • 1. Re: Can I delete "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata"?
          dj_paige Level 9

          You must have asked Lightroom to create the smart previews at one time (perhaps accidentally). If you don't intend to use them, you can get rid of them with the Lightroom command Library->Previews->Discard Smart Previews ...

           

          However, if freeing up 10GB of space is that important to you, then I think you have bigger problems, and you would be wise to consider getting more hard disk space and even putting your original photos onto this new disk.

          • 2. Re: Can I delete "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata"?
            areohbee Level 5

            ...Previews.lrdata folders (not files), are required by Lightroom and should not be deleted. I mean, they can be deleted if they are causing problems (or they're associated with an obsolete catalog..), and they can or will be recreated, but the supported way to minimize storage is:

             

            * delete 1:1 previews, and/or

            * delete smart previews

            (using Lr menu functions)

             

            Also, if you reduce size and/or quality of standard previews (using Lr preferences), then it won't get so big..

             

            That said, some of us just delete those folders as a quick n' dirty way to "start over" preview-wise..

             

            Rob

            • 3. Re: Can I delete "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata"?
              dhnyny Level 1

              On a Mac, they show up as files but I see now that they're really packages.

              Thanks for the help.

              • 4. Re: Can I delete "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata"?
                dhnyny Level 1

                Thanks for your input about how the smart previous came about in the first place. That's helpful and appreciated.

                However, please don't take this the wrong way but, as a general rule, speculating about why a question is asked and providing advice that's really not germane isn't constructive.

                I do thank you for the relevant part of your response, though.

                • 5. Re: Can I delete "Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata"?
                  elie-d Level 4

                  Smart previews are for times when your photo files are not available to LR. A typical scenario would be that LR is on a laptop and the photos are stored on an external drive, but you are away from home and therefore can't plug in the external. In a case like this the Develop module will use the Smart Previews in lieu of the full sized originals if you want to do some editing (the Library module uses the regular previews). If, however, the photos are on the same drive as LR, a second internal drive or on an external that is always connected, the Smart Previews are not used and can safely be deleted.