17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2017 6:50 AM by cmgap

    How do I access photos in old catalog?

    Drostow

      I have been using Lightroom for a few years (now CC) and had all my images in one catalog. I recently got notices about the catalog being too large and the need to "optimize" it, so I started a new catalog as of Jan. 1. I can access images in the folder I imported into the new catalog easily. However when I try to see images in a folder from the original catalog, I go to File / Open Catalog. I then see all my old folders, but the image names are grayed out and I can't see or open them. I can retrieve them normally in Bridge or Finder. I am using a MacBookPro with OS 10.12.2. I appreciate any help I can get.

        • 1. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
          cmgap Adobe Community Professional

          Can you post a screen shot?

          • 2. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
            wobertc Adobe Community Professional

            Some comments based on your post-

            Call your catalog to "Optimize" the 'working catalog'

             

            "Photos in old catalog"-  Photos are not "IN" a catalog, they are somewhere in your computer drive system.

             

            "started a new catalog"-  Is the wrong thing to do!  Nothing in the new catalog will be the same as the 'working catalog' you have been using.

             

            "I can access images in the folder I imported into the new catalog"- Yes you can, but that is a totally new 'version' of a catalog that has no relationship whatsoever to the 'working catalog'.  You may "Import from another catalog" to combine the new and 'working catalog' but that is not achieved by Importing photos to the new catalog.

             

            "Open Catalog. I then see all my old folders, but the image names are grayed out"- What catalog are you opening here? Is it a very old Backup copy?  If it is an old backup version, then probably you have moved images or renamed folders, etc, and the catalog has old references to photos that are no longer valid.

             

            "I recently got notices about the catalog being too large and the need to "optimize" it,"-  Where did you get this notice? Did you read it as a suggestion somewhere?  If you regularly backup the catalog ("Every time you close Lightroom" is a good option!) then there is an option to "Optimize" when you make the backup, OR on the File Menu > Optimize Catalog. How many photos are in your 'working catalog' that makes you think it is too large?

             

            And I am also curious to see your screen-shots.

            • 3. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
              Drostow Level 1

              First of all, thank you cmgap and wobertc for trying to help me.

                - I understand the photos themselves are not in the catalog, just the metadata and previews.

                - Perhaps I need to explain what happened better. When I went to close Lightroom a window appeared saying that my catalog was too large, greater than 4 GB I believe, and that the catalog would need to be "optimized". I clicked to optimize the catalog. When this happened a second time, I got worried that maybe I should start a second catalog.  If there is really no problem with a large catalog and needing to optimize it every time is no big deal, then should I just delete the second catalog and import the images back into the original catalog?

                 - When you say "working" catalog, is that somehow different than other catalogs? I haven't seen that term before.

               

              Here's a screen shot which shows the new catalog with just one folder (on an external HD) so far:

              Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 9.59.11 PM.png

               

              Here's a screen shot of what I get when I go to File / Open catalog and I navigate to all the old folders in my original catalog, and the folders are grayed out and clicking on a file does nothing.

               

              Screen Shot 2017-01-13 at 10.03.21 PM.png

                  Again, thanks for any help you can give me.

              • 4. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                The error message you got is a glitch in LR and or OS X and should be ignored. Just click the check box "Don't show this again" (or something like that).

                 

                See this thread.

                Catalog size is more than 4GB error?

                 

                Open and continue using your original catalog. Reimport current images into the original catalog.

                • 5. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                  cmgap Adobe Community Professional

                  A couple of things...

                   

                  As Just Shoot Me has mentioned the Catalog Size error message can be ignored because it is a bug. And there is no need to create a second catalog. When you go to File > Open Catalog and navigate to a folder of images you can't select an image because Lr is looking for a .lrcat file not an image. Does that make sense?

                   

                  Quit Lr and reopen your original catalog and the next time you quit Lr check the "Don't Show Again' box so that you can ignore that error message.

                  • 6. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                    wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                    Well I was off-track! JSM and CMGAP have the answer above.

                    "Working Catalog" -nothing special, just my way of talking about the catalog that you regularly use.

                    Now we know the reason for the message (Lr bug) you can continue to use your catalog and delete the 'New' one that you created to avoid confusion.

                    • 7. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                      Drostow Level 1

                      Thank you all for your help! I set up my original catalog under preferences as the default, imported the one new folder into the old catalog, checked the ignore in the future box on the warning window, and all is well. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me. I went to Finder to delete the new catalog, but I couldn't tell which LR files were from the original catalog and which ones were from the new, but since I'm now set up to use the old catalog and everything works, I'll just leave things alone. Thanks again.

                      • 8. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                        wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                        [CTRL+ALT+,  ]  (or Open Catalog Settings)  will tell you the exact folder tree where the catalog you currently have open is located in your computer. This is the one NOT to delete!

                        Then you can use finder to delete the other 'unwanted' along with its previews (that are occupying valuable space on your hard drive).

                         

                        ScreenShot056.jpg

                        • 9. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                          Drostow Level 1

                          Funny, I don't see the new catalog I just created, maybe I had it put somewhere else, but it's only for one small folder of images so I'm not too concerned. But I do see catalogs for Lightroom 5. I can safely delete those? When I got Lightroom CC all the old catalog info got put into the new catalog?

                          • 10. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                            wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                            Yep, if you use Finder to search your system drives for *.LRCAT files you should get a list of all catalogs in your system.

                            You can selectively drag the un-wanted to the Trash.

                            Make sure you know positively the current main catalog that has all your work and information! Do NOT delete this one.

                            Note:  The catalog NAME does not necessarily indicate the Lr version it uses. (eg.  a catalog { My Lr5 Catalog-2.LRCAT } may have been upgraded to work with Lr6.)

                            And the catalogs do not contain your images- they are databases only- so deleting catalogs does not delete photo files.

                            You may also find .LRCAT files in Backup folders (from Lr5 and earlier)- these may also be selectively deleted. (Keep any recent backups that Lr6 will have put in the .zip format)

                            1 person found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                              Drostow Level 1

                              Great!  Thanks again.

                              • 12. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                                cmgap Adobe Community Professional

                                To be sure that you know where your catalog is and that you are always opening the right one moving forward I suggest that you go to your preferences from within Lr and select this option:

                                 

                                Lrprefs.jpg

                                 

                                Quit and reopen Lr... all the other catalogs on your system will show up in a list and you can remove the irrelevant ones by following the path as shown in the list.

                                • 13. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                                  Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                  cmgap I slightly disagree with your opinion to select that option in the LR preferences. In my opinion it would be better to select Other from the drop down list and then browse to the actual catalog you want to use and place the actual path to that catalog file in that field.

                                   

                                  That way it will always open that catalog instead of having to constantly selecting it from the list that comes up.

                                   

                                  When I install a new version of LR I always rename the catalog file to correspond with the version  number and place the it in a folder of similar naming so I can always locate it easily.

                                   

                                  Default Catalog location.png

                                  • 14. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                                    cmgap Adobe Community Professional

                                    JSM - Selecting 'Prompt me when opening' is a good way for a new user to see where their catalogs are, how many catalogs are on their drive(s) in the same dialog box they are in and hopefully give a visual cue to clean up any catalogs they didn't know they had.

                                     

                                    More advanced users will have no trouble with your suggestion of using 'other...' it absolutely is a more direct path.

                                    • 15. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                                      Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                                      I just tested this and what you get in that Prompt me when opening LR is from the list of most recently opened catalogs.

                                      It does not list all catalog, .LRCAT, files that may be on your drives. My LR 5 catalog (and even my LR 4 catalog) isn't listed (Yes I still have LR 5 installed and I still have my original LR 4 catalog file on my drive).

                                       

                                      In my opinion the only reason to have that option selected is if you normally open different catalogs when working in LR. Personally I use One catalog and the others listed below are for testing purposes for downloaded images from this and other LR forums.

                                       

                                      Prompt to open catalog..PNG

                                      • 16. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                                        Drostow Level 1

                                        You guys are great - I'm learning a lot, but I want to get something off my chest. It seems like software developers at Adobe and elsewhere feel like they have to justify their existence by overcomplicating things and putting out way too many unnecessary bells and whistles with each software upgrade. Every article I have read suggests using only one catalog, so why allow for the creation of more and just create all this confusion? Is it really necessary? ADOBE, ARE YOU LISTENING? If you have this burning need to over-create, why don't you hide the possibility of more than one catalog under a tab called "Only for really smart geeks with too much time on their hands" so room temperature  IQ guys like me aren't tempted to do something stupid. There ought to be a law that software updates are only allowed to fix known glitches and introduce only one or two new features at a time. OK, I feel better now.

                                        • 17. Re: How do I access photos in old catalog?
                                          cmgap Adobe Community Professional

                                          There are of course other POVs...

                                           

                                          One of the most common occurrences with Lightroom is that folks jump right in and start importing images without first learning how to set up and use a catalog. One doesn't generally expect to download and install Quicken to do their bookkeeping and have it all make sense without some type of training or self-learning.

                                           

                                          Adobe has invested a good deal of time and effort to make the learning curve easier and provides an impressive array of free learning resources via helpx.adobe.com, tv.adobe.com and the Adobe Lightroom blog. There really is no excuse... check this out today, watch a couple of the videos in the beginner track. Watch out it's addicting!

                                           

                                          En