2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2016 12:50 PM by JimHess

    Making Backups of Photos with LR CC edits

    BWW49 Level 1

      Many sources tell me I need to backup not just the LR catalogue but also the folder that contains my edited photos which would include virtual copies and photos edited in PS, but none tell me exactly how to do this. I understand that it should be done through LR itself, but when I tried doing so via right clicking a folder, clicking on find in Explorer, and then dragging it to the external backup hard drive, it copied the folder ok, but then I had to import that folder into LR and when I did so, the photos showed that they had adjustments but the specific adjustments did not show up in the develop module. I want to backup my LR photos folder with 50k images with all of their LR adjustments. How exactly do i do this? Thanks for the help. Bob

        • 1. Re: Making Backups of Photos with LR CC edits
          ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

          Your images are not "in" the Lightroom catalog (database). The images exist on the hard drive(s) just like all your other documents and data files.


          The catalog contains all the instructions on how you edited your images. LR will backup its catalog, on whatever schedule you have selected, by copying the LRCAT file to a new location and ZIP compressing it.


          Backing up your images is something you need to do separately.
          You can use specialized backup software.
          You can use shell scripts to copy the files (all or new) to a different drive.
          You can use Explorer/Finder to drag-drop your folder tree to a different drive.


          Personally, I use a shell script with "xcopy" and "robocopy" commands on my Win7 box.


          Note: These are backup files. They are not to be used on a regular basis. They are for emergency purposes only. They exist only to restore from if your normal hard drive dies or you otherwise lose the original files.

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          • 2. Re: Making Backups of Photos with LR CC edits
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            There are two key elements to effective backup using Lightroom. The catalog, which is the file that Lightroom opens and uses to display your images, is the file that contains the history of all the adjustments you make using Lightroom. You can configure Lightroom to back up as often as you feel necessary. Personally I have Lightroom backup my catalog on a weekly basis. That ensures that all of my work that I have done using Lightroom is preserved.


            The other key element is your images. Lightroom does not change your images. An edited image in Lightroom is one that Lightroom displays and and applies the adjustments that are stored in the catalog. The image itself is left unmodified, in its original state when it was downloaded. Lightroom DOES NOT back up your images. You need to devise a strategy that creates a backup of your images.


            Some users feel they need to export copies of their images that include all of the adjustments made using Lightroom. I personally do not do that. Rather, I work with my master images in Lightroom, and export copies that include the adjustments when I need that copy to send to a photo lab or to share via e-mail. And once I have used that copy for its intended purpose it is discarded. That way I only have to rely on catalog backups and the backup of my master images.

            1 person found this helpful