The Lightroom Previews lrdata and Smart Previews need to be in the same folder and as the Lightroom Catalog file. lrcat (LRCAT).
This will have an effect on the performance of Lightroom.
Provide addition details as to how you have things setup at present including particulars of your hard drives.
Thank you for your response! ... Currently, I have all the following files in one folder under "Lightroom" on my MacBook Pro Computer's flash storage:
- Lightroom 5 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata
- Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.lrdata
- Lightroom 5 Catalog.lrcat
Please let me know if you need any additional information.
I do not understand what you mean by "flash storage"? SSD drive?
I asked for particulars of your hard drives i.e. Size, free space on the drive or drives.
Other relevant info where are your original photo files stored.
The more info you provide will enable the advice other users can provide to be more focused and meaningful.
One folder you can definitely move to the external drive is the "Backup" folder this folder contains the backups of the Lightroom Catalog file .lrcat. It needs to stored on a separate drive from your original Lightroom Folder that contains the .lrcat file and the previews.
You can move the smart previews and/or regular previews to somewhere else, look up "symbolic link" in your favorite search engine. As DdeGannes says, this will cause a decrease in performance. Definitely (not perhaps, not maybe) move the backups to a different drive.
I just looked it up, and yes, it is SSD drive. On my computer its worded "Flash Storage" under Macintosh HD.
- I have 121 GB on the SSD/Flash Storage. There is zero free space, and 63 GB of used space are from the "Lightroom" folder components.
- My original files go to an 1TB external hard drive I plug into my computer.
First off you can do a backup of the Lightroom catalog choosing a location on the external drive. Then copy a few of the latest backups in the existing Backup folder.
Then as dj_paige suggest you can explore the creation of a "symbolic link" to move the previews to.
Let us know how you proceed.
Hint "Smart Previews" will only be used when you are in the Develop Module and the Original files are not available. So it makes no sense having the Smart Previews on the same drive as the original files. (they smart previews can be deleted, then rebuilt if necessary at a later date).
Consider another internal drive on the MacBook Pro if possible! Which model year is the Mac?
To avoid problems I would keep the catalog together on the external drive. The catalog can be stored on the same drive as the photos.
I would however look into the catalog backups. They take a lot of space after some time and are better off to a second physical drive.