12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 19, 2018 1:28 PM by campyphotos

    Syncing files across two computers


      Hello everyone,


      I am trying to set up my creative cloud account so I can edit images on my Mac at home and my Windows desktop at work.


      I have set it up so I can see the images on both computers (imported from my work computer) but when I am at home and try and edit the image it says it can't find the image.


      I am so confused.


      Can anyone hep me please?

        • 2. Re: Syncing files across two computers
          ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          LR stores a path to the photo inside the LR catalog.  The issue you’re having is that the designation of your external HD is different between Windows and the Mac so each time you switch from one to the other you’ll need to right-click on the top-level folder(s) and choose Locate Missing Folder (or whatever the verbiage is, nowadays) and click over to the location of the folder on the external drive.

          • 3. Re: Syncing files across two computers
            sis86067111 Level 1

            Thanks Tanuj,


            Is there any way that doesn't involve putting the images on an external harddrive?


            I thought the aim of the creative cloud would be to access files without having to ship hardware from computer to computer

            • 4. Re: Syncing files across two computers
              Tanuj Sandal Adobe Employee

              I am sorry, however storing the Catalog on Creative Cloud is not recommended as of now.

              This best way to do the same is with the External Drive.

              • 5. Re: Syncing files across two computers
                ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                CC is for licensing and installing software and storing smallish shared resources or syncing desktop files to mobile devices, not syncing two desktop devices.  There isn’t enough space in the cloud to hold terabytes of data in a cost-effective manner.

                • 6. Re: Syncing files across two computers
                  sis86067111 Level 1

                  Just to clarify.


                  I have original files on my work computer, I have imported them into lightroom.


                  I go home and open up the catalogue on my home computer and I can see the images but am not able to edit them because the file cannot be found.


                  I don't have an external hard drive yet (on it's way).


                  I want to be able to edit on my home computer as well as work.

                  • 7. Re: Syncing files across two computers
                    sis86067111 Level 1

                    It's ok.


                    So I should have my files and catalogue saved on my external hard drive and then take it with me to work and then home again?



                    • 9. Re: Syncing files across two computers
                      robgendreau Level 3

                      Try reading those articles Tanuj suggested.


                      The Lr catalog (and I'm guessing you have two: one at home, one at work) references or points to images. It remembers where they last were. But it appears that you are moving the images about or otherwise making it impossible for Lr to find them. You see a preview in Lr, cuz Lr stores one (and that's how smart previews work) but Lr still needs to eventually hookup with the original to apply its changes.


                      Creative Cloud has some storage (not much). You can open the folder on your computers, and then import the images within on each of your computers. Like you could with Dropbox. Then both Lr catalogs would be referencing the same image. Some folks use a system like that to work on images, but since they are stored up in the cloud it can present problems. In the same way though you could access files on say a thumbdrive or spare SD card.


                      Another option is to try Mylio. It can sync images over two computers (and mobile devices and NAS, etc) and pass Lr edits back and forth. It would essentially keep a folder of images on the desktop in the same state as the "same" images in the same folder on the laptop.

                      • 10. Re: Syncing files across two computers

                        All I can say is this is very frustrating. I just signed up for Adobe Creative Cloud and was under impression Adobe has solved synchronization issue. None of the options presented here are attractive - NONE! They all have ugly sides and require too much manual handling just to move files between one PC and one Laptop. Really, Adobe, is this such an unimaginable scenario that you don't bother to provide a solution?

                        You could easily use Adobe Cloud as a sort of a buffer to automatically sync two Lightroom catalogues when both of the computers are online. Once initial synchronization is performed, all you have to do is to sync new photos and edits. No need for expensive multi-terabyte storage. Users would have two perfectly synced copies of the same catalogue on both machines without the use of any additional hardware or software.

                        Pretty unbelievable.

                        • 11. Re: Syncing files across two computers

                          Hi there,

                          I am just wondering how you would share a collection to my mobile device.

                          I travel with my laptop as my secondary computer to my desktop at home and would like to share images whilst i am away. Is there a way i could share a collection to my phone and share the images from there?

                          • 12. Re: Syncing files across two computers
                            campyphotos Level 1

                            To sis8606...If you use Smart Previews and copy the catalog along with the Smart Previews onto both computers, even if you don't have room to also copy all the actual images, you can edit the Smart Previews when you don't have the actual photos, and then add those edits to the actual photos by using the "Export as Catalog" method (discussed in the YouTube video in one of the links someone shared previously) The images will be edited once you Import those changes back into the main catalog.  See this link for more on Smart Previews:  How to use Smart Previews to view and edit photos in Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC

                            I do this when I'm traveling and sometimes for making initial edits to new photos on my laptop, and I find it works well.

                            It is frustrating that you can't work off one catalog with two computers and it is time-consuming to copy back and forth, but it is do-able. I had hoped to set up a RAID 0 NAS for just this purpose. Instead, I have my main catalog on the HDD of my main iMac (the SDD is too small), with my photos on a 4TB thunderbolt external drive and it's very fast. Then I have an abbreviated catalog on my laptop (small catalog and some photos), and I use the Export as Catalog method to move photos I've processed or taken while traveling between the two. The Main catalog and all my photos are backed up to a RAID drive, and the laptop is backed up to another drive as well. A bit cumbersome, but it works. I have about 80,000 photos, so the catalog is too large to live on my laptop but with 4TB portable drives going for so little these days, if I want to work off the full catalog, I can back it all up to a portable drive too, though I prefer not to have other drives attached to my laptop so I can work with it on my lap. I still love how quickly I can organize and edit in Lightroom and have seen such amazing improvements since LR 1, so despite its downsides, I'll stick with LR CC Classic.