13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 14, 2016 11:45 AM by Dave Noelle

    Restoring Lightroom CC Catolog

    Dave Noelle Level 1

      My beloved daughter, not yet 2yo, managed to delete a few of my major folders out of my LR catalog! argh. I am all backed up, but I am having problems restoring the backup. I am trying not to freek out, any help would be huge!

        • 1. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
          ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

          Mac or Windows? What version?

          Which exact version of Lightroom?


          The basic idea:

          LR 5 and before: copy the *.LrCat file from the backup folder to the main LR folder.

          LR 6: unzip the *.LrCat file in the backup folder, copy the *.LrCat file to the main LR folder.

          • 2. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
            Dave Noelle Level 1

            It's the Creative Cloud version. Windows... I think you figured it out for me though. I didn't know you had to unzip the file first! lol. I will try that in the morning. Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
              Dave Noelle Level 1

              This isn't seeming to work either. It says "no photos found"... I tried a few backups and it is the same thing. I might just have to wait until Monday and phone in.

              • 4. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                dj_paige Level 10

                Exactly where in the process does it say "no photos found"? What step produces this result?


                Show us a screen capture.

                • 5. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                  Dave Noelle Level 1

                  Step 1.jpgstep 2.jpgstep 3.jpg


                  This is where I get to. A completely empty catalog. If I try to reopen the old catalogs it just says "no photos found".... It is probably something simple, but this is causing me all sorts of grief! I've spent probably 4h or more screwing with it. lol

                  • 6. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                    Dave Noelle Level 1

                    When I am done the re-load of the catalog there is nothing. If I try to open catalog again it says same thing.

                    • 7. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                      dj_paige Level 10

                      Well, you are obviously opening empty catalog files.


                      You need to restore a recent backup of your catalog file. If you don't have recent backups (why not?), then you want to use your operating system to search all hard disks for files whose name ends with .LRCAT and then open each one by double-clicking on it until  you find the catalog file that has the photos you want.

                      • 8. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                        Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                        From reading some of your posts it seems you are under the impression your images are stored IN the LR Catalog file. They are not. LR is a Database program the references, creates a record of, your images from where they are stored on your hard drive.


                        Restoring a backed up catalog file will not return your images to the hard drive. If your daughter just deleted a folder or two you can reimport them but any edits you did on them will be gone. If she also delete the images files from the disk then you will need to restore them from the recycling bin before you reimport them.

                        • 9. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                          Dave Noelle Level 1

                          Okay, I think I am getting what is happening...


                          So I have to first restore the folders, which I do have. That will restore the RAW files into LR. Then I apply the catalog and that will apply the changes to the RAW files? Is this correct?

                          • 10. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                            dj_paige Level 10

                            Partially correct.


                            The photos must be in the exact same locations as before. If you can make that happen, that helps.


                            The screen shots you gave indicate you are opening empty catalog files, and restoring the photos will not change the fact that these are empty catalog files. You must find the proper catalog file, as I explained above. You also need to Restore the proper catalog file from your backups; or do a search using your operating system's search feature, and then double-click on each one found to find the proper catalog file. (note: as you can see from this description there is NO IMPORTING of photos here; importing photos is completely the wrong thing to do)

                            • 11. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                              Dave Noelle Level 1

                              Yes thanks dj, I think between you guys I know what the issue is. At this point I will just phone in tomorrow I think and get them to walk me through it hopefully. I'm just very paranoid! lol. I should have exported jpegs of almost everything ,but I cringe at the thought of losing everything else! It should be fairly simple I would guess as the original files all seem to be untouched, it was just the catalog that was deleted via her frantic keyboard attack. lol. So from the sounds of it I should be able to get back in business sooner than later. Thanks for your help!

                              • 12. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                                Dave Noelle Level 1

                                This has become so frustrating! I still can't get it figured out, even after a call to support! They said they would call back 3 days ago already and haven't.... GRRRR

                                • 13. Re: Restoring Catolog - help
                                  Dave Noelle Level 1

                                  Okay, for anyone following this, we have resolve thanks to the online support! The problem was a corrupted file. That is why nothing was working. So I'm not even sure exactly how he got around it, I think he had to delete part of the backup or something. But either way, we are as good as we are going to get. Thanks for any help, and if anyone else runs into the same problems with trying to restore a catalog (saying LR is open when it isn't or that the file is not found etc...), that very well may be the same problem. So thanks to LR online support.