6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 20, 2017 8:05 AM by Todd Shaner

    Backing Up Lightroom 5


      Hello! So I will try to explain this in as few words as possible. I am a wedding photographer and I am midway through my wedding season. I went to Apple because my 2013 Macbook Pro needed a new battery. I thought it would be a pretty easy process. They ended up not having a battery for my particular laptop and offered to give me a brand new 2015 MCP. Now, my question is how do I back up my lightroom catalog? I have been using TimeMachine but I heard that it doesn't back up Adobe products. I am midway through editing a wedding and I want to make sure my images are backed up in lightroom. I also have an editor and a portion of my images won't be back in time before I get the new laptop. How do I back up so that those smart previews can find their way back? I am a little stressed. I have been backing everything up and transferring onto an 8tb external hard drive. Thank you in advance!

        • 1. Re: Backing Up Lightroom 5
          vishuagg19 Adobe Community Professional

          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). 

          • 2. Re: Backing Up Lightroom 5
            lyndseyp16242848 Level 1

            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!

            • 3. Re: Backing Up Lightroom 5
              dj_paige Level 10

              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.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Backing Up Lightroom 5
                vishuagg19 Adobe Community Professional

                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 -


                Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 6.27.02 PM.png


                3. Change the setting of Backup to Every time Lightroom exits -


                Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 6.27.27 PM.png


                4. Than exit the Lightroom, it will show the option to back the Lightroom Catalog.


                Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 6.27.27 PM.png

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Backing Up Lightroom 5
                  lyndseyp16242848 Level 1

                  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!