You can go to file Menu > Choose Export Catalog as...In the options check the option to include available previews.
This will export the complete catalog to the defined location and than you double the .lrcat file to open in the new Lightroom(new laptop).
Ok! I have watched some videos where people literally just drag the lrcat and lrdata files onto an external drive and then open the new catalog on the new laptop. Is this something that would work also? That just seems way too easy and non effective. I am only working off one catalog but I want to make sure my back ups and LR settings folder comes along as well. Can I drag and drop those onto the external too? Please help!
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Time Machine does make backups of Adobe products. Many people here use Time Machine for Lightroom.
The method you saw is a way to make a copy that can be transferred to a new computer. IT IS NOT A BACKUP!!!! In order for something to be a backup, it needs to be an exact duplicate that is placed on a different physical disk to be stored and unused except in the case of emergency where your original can't be used.
You should be making regular and automated backups of your catalog file and photos to a different physical disk. You can make a catalog backup via the Lightroom feature in Catalog Settings; you can make backups of your photos using a third party application (there are free ones available, or Time Machine)
I want to make sure my images are backed up in lightroom
Your images are never in Lightroom, and any backups of your images you make will not be in Lightroom. They are simply files on a disk somewhere, not in Lightroom.
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The Method, I have explained to export the Catalog...will transfer everything inside the catalog including the Images, Previews, lrcat and its data.
Whereas, If you want to backup only the .Ircat file from lightroom than follow the screenshots - (note this Method does not copy the images in the External hard drive it will only backup the Catalog file )
1. Open the Catalog you want to backup
2. Go to Catalog Settings in Lightroom Menu -
3. Change the setting of Backup to Every time Lightroom exits -
4. Than exit the Lightroom, it will show the option to back the Lightroom Catalog.
OK! I have been doing that! Plus, I have all my RAW files backed up on an external drive as well. Am I ready to drag the lrcat and lrdata files over to the external hard drive? I am doing this because of a new laptop I am getting. I want to be able to redownload Lightroom and recover all my images that I am working with in lightroom at the moment. Ok, so I have backed up my lightroom catalog by exporting as a catalog onto my external. I am also going to drag over the lrcat, lrdata, backup, and settings folder onto the external as well. Should I be covered and safe when I plug the new computer in? Thank you all so much!