5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 26, 2018 11:13 PM by vernonimous

    Too Many .lrcat Files?


      Hi all,


      I'm trying to clear out some hard drive space on my MacBook Pro, and I found 57 zipped files titled "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat.zip" and I'm wondering if I need to keep all of these or just the most recent file?  Excuse me if this is an ignorant question, but I'm new to Lightroom (and MacBooks), and I'm not fully familiar with how the catalogs work.


      Thank you for any help or direction you can give me!!

        • 1. Re: Too Many .lrcat Files?
          WobertC Adobe Community Professional

          "Most recent?" - Most definitely.

          "All of them?"   -  No.


          If you have never had catalog or file corruption then keep less.

          If you have experienced corruption then the problem could also be in the backup zips, keep more.


          It is a matter of balance and the ability to restore a catalog from the backups if problems arise.

          These backup zips must be on a physical hard-drive that is separate from your current working catalog, and not in the folder beside the catalog where LR puts them by default for new catalogs.


          Think of catalogs like that 20 chapter book you are writing in word software- would you only keep one copy of the document, or would you have backups?

          • 2. Re: Too Many .lrcat Files?
            ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

            I have LR setup to make backups on every exit. Sometimes I skip a backup, but usually do them. This means I get lots of backups.

            When cleaning them out, I tend to keep the five most recent ones, for the lack of a better number.


            Make sure your backups and your main catalog are being stored on different drives so that a single drive failure does not take everything with it.

            • 3. Re: Too Many .lrcat Files?

              Hi. I am transferring my files LR from my laptop to my PC that already had LR installed and it has been used.

              There are obviously now 2 .lrcat files. How do I keep all of the information on both please?

              • 4. Re: Too Many .lrcat Files?
                WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                The two .LRCAT files can be merged into one catalog (in the one computer) by  a menu command:  {Import from another catalog}.

                The process can seem somewhat confusing, but do some research on the procedure, and be sure you have backups of the catalogs before merging.

                Read all the article links for great advice here: Start with "The Overview"



                Transferring from a laptop to desktop is also a topic in this video-

                Lightroom 5: How to Use Lightroom 5 On Location - YouTube


                BUT- If you question is really about-

                How do I keep all of the information on both (computers?) please?

                If you are thinking to have a synced catalog (and photos) that is the same on both computers, then that is a whole other problem and not generally advised.  Lightroom has always been designed as 'single computer' software.

                Some people try a work-around by syncing the catalog using dropbox, but still very prone to disasters.

                • 5. Re: Too Many .lrcat Files?
                  vernonimous Level 1

                  Hi WobertC


                  Thank you so much for the information.


                  Kind regards,


                  Vernon Gradidge


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