3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 26, 2016 5:27 AM by Just Shoot Me

    Backup catalog and original photos


      Hello guys,


      I am a beginner and trying to understand in depth the workflow of LR with PS.
      I understand that the catalog is only information and appoitment about my original photos located in especific folder or external drive. The question is if I backup a catalog how the whole database is going to be restored? I mean the catalog restored will point to the previous folders where the photos were stored so I must have the same photos in the same folders in order to make the restored catalog work properly again right?


      I hope it's not confusing




      Osvaldo Bruno Barbosa

        • 1. Re: Backup catalog and original photos
          Mohit Goyal Adobe Employee (Admin)

          Hi osvaldob,


          Lightroom catalog doesn't store images with in it. like a Photos app in mac, it only capture the image previews of the image editing and later on you can export that image out for the further use. Now in between this process the image previews connected with the original images which are stored on a separate folder outside the Lightroom.


          If you are looking to backup then, you need to backup both Lightroom catalog and original images to restore the workflow.

          refer: How Lightroom catalogs work




          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Backup catalog and original photos
            ManiacJoe Adobe Community Professional

            There are four sets of files that need to be backed up:

            - the LR catalog(s): *.LrCat -- LR will make a ZIPped copy on the schedule you choose. By default LR will put these back-ups in a subdirectory of the main catalog. This a bad. You should to pick a folder on a drive different from the main catalog.

            - The preview folders: *.LrData -- these files are created on the fly and do not need to be backed up.

            - The LR presets: *.LrTemplate -- these are normally stored in a hard-to-find folder. The Preferences dialog will tell you where they are. You need to back up these files manually outside of Lightroom.

            - Your photos -- You need to back up these files manually outside of Lightroom. If you stick to a single root folder, you can just use the OS tools to recursively copy that one folder to wherever.


            If you need to restore the catalog, you first unzip it then copy it to a new folder (or the original main folder).


            If you need to restore your images, you want to copy them using the exact same folder structure. If you don't put them in the original location, you just use the "find missing folder" command in LR to tell LR where the new location is.

            • 3. Re: Backup catalog and original photos
              Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional


              If you have to restore your computer from some type of Backup utility, like Acronis True Image or some other backup, drive imaging program, on Windows or Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner or the like on a Mac, all your image files must be in the exact same location, Drive and Folders, as they were when the backup of the system and LR catalog was done.

              Even if you just restored one of the LR created backups of the LR catalog file your images would need to be in the exact same location.


              There is a work around if they aren't and that is Find Missing Files or Update Folder Location. But it is best to have all your images on the same drive Name or Letter, Mac or Windows respectively, and in the same folder names as they were when imported into the Lr catalog file.

              1 person found this helpful