16 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2017 4:38 PM by wobertc

    Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)

    LauraMacky Level 1

      I just went to exit LR and got a message that my catalog is >4GB and it cannot be backed up.  It suggested i use 7-zip but honestly this is like a foreign language to me.  I'm not exactly sure what I should do next?  I went to the 7-zip site but it looked beyond my understanding and would love it if someone could tell me what I can do to backup my catalog.

       

      I've tried freeing up space on my HD but I just don't have much left evidently and I'll just run into this problem in the future.  I'm working on getting a new computer anyway in about three months because mine is slow anyway due to it not having a separate graphics card but that's a whole other story. 

       

      Does anyone have some help for me regarding this catalog backup?  Thank you!!!

        • 1. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
          vinsolo Level 3

          No, this is a bug in Lightroom. It is fixed simply. I refer you to a thread on this site within the last 2 weeks which explains and tells how to fix it.

           

          vince

          • 2. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
            LauraMacky Level 1

            What thread?

            • 3. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
              wobertc Adobe Community Professional

              This is a 'bug' introduced in the latest release.

              Read about it -

              Mac Users on Backing Up: “Your Catalog Size Is Larger than 4 GB” | Laura Shoe's Lightroom Training, Tutorials and Tips

               

              If your catalog is really greater than 4GB then the catalog backup does work. You will only ever need a zip expander if you need to restore from a backup catalog.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                vinsolo Level 3

                Lightroom: Erroneous warning message on Catalog Backup | Photoshop Family Customer Community

                IT IS UNLIKELY THAT YOUR CATALOG IS REALLY THAT BIG, HOWEVER, READ THE LINK AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER

                 

                .

                vince

                • 5. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                  LauraMacky Level 1

                  Ahh...thank you for this.  Now I understand.  Mine isn't even close to 4GB. 

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                    lynnreneephoto

                    Umm... my latest Lightroom Catalog is 64 GB and no, I do not import my photos into Lightroom or onto my internal hardrive.  What am I doing wrong here?

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                      dj_paige Level 9

                      This is confusing. You are stating that your Catalog File is 64GB, and you don't import photos into Lightroom?

                       

                      Explain further. Show us screen captures. What do you import into LR?

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                        lynnreneephoto Level 1

                        I had a friend set up Lightroom for me about 2 years ago. He explained he was setting it up so that my photos were being imported into my external hardrive, and only smart previews into Lightroom.  Granted I have 100's of GB of images here but all of my Lightroom Catalogs are really big and I have to keep moving them around.  If I did Lightroom Mobile would they store my catalogs in the cloud?  What am I doing wrong here?

                        I'm also attaching the screen shot of my finder telling me how big my Lightroom Catalog is, and it's only from the beginning of June. Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 5.15.55 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-08-02 at 5.04.54 PM.png

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          Your smart photos are not "in" Lightroom. they are separate files on your hard disk somewhere. The Lightroom folder you show that is 64GB is NOT your catalog file. The size 64GB doesn't bother me, I don't see a problem, but I also don't know what is in that folder.

                           

                          Granted I have 100's of GB of images here but all of my Lightroom Catalogs are really big and I have to keep moving them around.

                           

                          I don't know what this means. Explain. Why do you have to keep moving them around? (and these are not your catalog file)

                           

                          Lightroom Mobile has no impact on this. All of your photos would still be stored locally.

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                            lynnreneephoto Level 1

                            I only have so much room on my internal hard drive on my computer so that 64GB size of my Lightroom catalog keeps gumming up my computer.  I have to take old catalogs and move them onto separate hard drives so that I have enough room to run my computer.

                             

                            I've attached a screenshot of what's inside this Lightroom catalog, June 2017.

                             

                            Please keep in mind others in this thread had huge reactions to a 4GB Lightroom catalog and mine is a lot bigger than that.  I'm trying to figure out why the catalogs are so big if I'm not importing the actual images in those catalogs and how I can keep using a program that is creating such a huge storage problem for me. Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 8.40.55 PM.png

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                              wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                              Some comments on your screen clip-

                              1. You obviously have more than one catalog. Which is your "Master" working catalog?

                              2. Why do you have multiple catalogs?

                              3. What are the sizes of these .LRCAT catalog files?  (NOT  the Previews or Backups)

                              4. Folders with Smart Previews  {June2017 Smart Previews.LRDATA}  may not be necessary unless you have a particular reason to use Smart Previews! (They could be deleted if not used)

                              5. Your Backup folders should be on an entirely separate physical hard-drive.  If this drive with the catalogs fails you will lose ALL your backups as well.

                              ScreenShot114.jpg

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                                lynnreneephoto Level 1

                                Thank you so much, this clears a lot up.

                                 

                                I haven't used that first "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat" since 2015 so it's not my master.  I don't even know why it's there. 

                                My actual catalog is only 480 mb so why is the entire folder of my backups 69 GB?

                                 

                                I have been making multiple catalogs when one gets too big I was starting a new one.

                                 

                                Do I need to keep all of these backups?  Is there a way to set it up so my backup catalogs automatically go to an external harddrive?

                                 

                                Is there a reason why I should or shouldn't keep the smart previews?  Is that why everything is so large?

                                 

                                Thanks for all of your help!!!

                                • 13. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                  lynnreneephoto  wrote

                                   

                                  I only have so much room on my internal hard drive on my computer so that 64GB size of my Lightroom catalog keeps gumming up my computer.  I have to take old catalogs and move them onto separate hard drives so that I have enough room to run my computer.

                                   

                                  I've attached a screenshot of what's inside this Lightroom catalog, June 2017.

                                   

                                  Please keep in mind others in this thread had huge reactions to a 4GB Lightroom catalog and mine is a lot bigger than that.  I'm trying to figure out why the catalogs are so big if I'm not importing the actual images in those catalogs and how I can keep using a program that is creating such a huge storage problem for me. Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 8.40.55 PM.png

                                  Please keep in mind (as stated above in this thread) that the "problem" with 4GB catalog was an error, a message popped up that shouldn't have, and there is actually no problem with 4GB catalogs.

                                   

                                  Your catalog is NOT 64 GB. The previews might be 64GB, but the catalog itself is not.

                                   

                                  If space is a problem, put the catalog and the photos on an external drive, you do this one time only, you shouldn't have to keep doing time after time. And better yet, use one catalog for all your photos, keeping things simple.

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                                    lynnreneephoto Level 1

                                    I figured out that it's not even the smart previews but the regular previews that are getting so large.

                                    I have more than one catalog because it's not sustainable for me to be using 100's of GB on my hard drive simply for storing Lightroom data.  I store my catalogs with the images that go with them on the hard drives where they are stored.  I only keep my current catalog on my laptop.

                                     

                                    Is there anything I can do about the size of the previews?  It doesn't make sense to me that this program creates so much data and adds to storage issues for photographers who already have storage issues.

                                     

                                    Any other advice is greatly appreciated.  Thanks a million for taking the time to walk me through some of this.

                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                                      dj_paige Level 9

                                      You put your catalog file on any disk (like the external HD) which has lots of room. You don't put it on the internal HD which has little room. One catalog works fine.

                                       

                                      You can control the size of the previews in Lightroom. Go to Catalog Settings->File Handling-> and next to Preview Quality, you can select High, Medium or Low (low taking up the least space). You can also change how often LR discards the 1:1 previews. Please be aware that choosing smaller previews, and discarding them more often, causes some operations to slow down. All of these problems can be avoided if you have enough space on a single disk (like your external HD) for all of your previews.

                                      • 16. Re: Lightroom Catalog too Big (Mac)
                                        wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                                        Following up with some more suggestions-

                                        regular previews that are getting so large.

                                        Answered well by Paige in the post above!

                                        I haven't used that first "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat" since 2015 so it's not my master

                                        In that case it can be deleted using the operating system, and also delete the accompanying 'Previews' folder with the same name {Lightroom Catalog Previews.LRDATA}

                                        I have been making multiple catalogs when one gets too big I was starting a new one.

                                        As Paige says "One catalog works fine." There is seldom a need for more than one catalog.

                                        I store my catalogs with the images that go with them on the hard drives where they are stored.  I only keep my current catalog on my laptop.

                                        One 'Current' catalog can reference ALL photos on ALL drives (as many as you have). The only consequence is that the Lr Library will show Drives and Photos as Not connected or 'missing' when a drive is not attached. But you will have the knowledge of being able to locate (search) EVERY photo you have, by searching in the ONE catalog.
                                        And there will only ever be ONE Previews folder that can be size controlled as told by Paige above.

                                        Do I need to keep all of these backups?

                                        No.  You only need what you consider to be sufficient to restore all your Lightroom work should a computer/hard-drive 'crash' occur.

                                        Is there a way to set it up so my backup catalogs automatically go to an external harddrive?

                                        You simply click the [Choose] button in the Catalog Backup dialog when you exit (shut-down) Lightroom, and choose another location- ie. the External drive. (Note: If you decide to keep the working catalog and photos on an external drive, you need a second external drive to make the Backups of Catalog and photos.

                                        Is there a reason why I should or shouldn't keep the smart previews?

                                        I do not have any Smart Previews at all. My Catalog, standard Previews, and Photos are ALL stored on one dedicated internal hard drive. I have no need for Smart Previews.

                                        A laptop situation is slightly different- Without large internal storage the external drive if often the best option to store Catalog, Previews and photos. If the external drive is not connected to the laptop then it would be necessary to have the Catalog, standard previews AND Smart Previews on the internal drive, to allow you to 'edit' photos.

                                        If you always 'edit' with the external drive connected (containing the Photos) then Smart Previews are not needed.