4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 12, 2018 2:31 PM by Bob32014

    Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared

    calumlewis Level 1

      So the other night before bed I went to shut down my computer, closed Lightroom and it prompted me to backup, so I did (I always backup when prompted weekly). Next day I fire up the PC, open Lightroom and it's completely empty and starts the tutorial (where the arrows point important sections) as if I had first opened it. The library was completely empty and the catalogue disappeared. I looked in my Lightroom folder (Pictures>Lightroom) opened the catalogue inside and it's empty. I contacted support, they took remote control of my PC and tried to open a backup catalogue, but the most recent backup is from January, and after searching my whole system for a .lrcat file the support advisor just told me that it has gone for good and they couldn't help any further. All the collections photos are still synced to lightroom mobile and web, so I can access them on there, but the desktop catalogue is gone and when opening my old one it will resync with mobile and ill loose all the edits.


      I have tried everything I can think of, but how can a catalogue just disappear with 8 months worth of backups?


      I'm currently running a disk recovery programme to see if I can recover anything that's been deleted (not by me)


      Has anyone else had this issue, and know of anything I can do to recover my catalogue?


      I'm using the latest version of Windows 10 and my Lightroom CC is updated to the most current 2015 version.



        • 1. Re: Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared
          dj_paige Level 9

          You are not the first person to report catalogs and backups have disappeared, but usually the answer is that you have mistakenly opened a new (empty) LR catalog, and the real one is out there, and you have to search for it using your operating system's search feature. Have you done this? Search all hard disks for .LRCAT files.


          There's no way that LR will cause catalog files to disappear and backups to disappear, although I could imagine that a hard disk malfunction where some sectors of a HD have gone bad could cause files to appear to have disappeared, but even there that would assume that the same bad sectors cause both the active catalog and backups to disappear, which is quite a stretch in my mind.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared
            calumlewis Level 1

            Thanks for the reply. Yeah, me and the Adobe support assistant did a windows search across my whole system for .lrcat files and tried the ones that came up with no luck. Also, when I opened Lightroom it just started empty and didnt ask to load a catalouge. Every other time I open Lightroom it simply opens the correct catalogue (I only have one) but this time it opened as if I had just downloaded it for the first time, with tutorial and all.


            I haven't changed any file settings or moved any files at all and the PC was turned off overnight between me backing up and shutting down, then turning on and reopening LR. The only other thing I can think of is that my hard drive is fault and has misplaced the catalogues and backups, however, I also use the hard drive to store all my movies and TV shows which are all still intact and work correctly.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared

              Hi there, I'm having a somewhat similar problem and am currently trying to figure out which recovery program would be best for recovering my catalog files (on a mac).  Do you have any suggestions?  What did you use, and did it end up working for you?


              Thanks in adance

              • 4. Re: Lightroom catalog suddenly disappeared

                Once you get straightened out, always backup your catalog to an off-site server or at least an external HD so you can find it again. Typically you put hundreds of hours into your LR pictures and you don't want them to disappear if your HD crashes, or whatever.