2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 5, 2018 6:06 AM by dj_paige

    Re-catalog / new library?


      I want to make a clean re-catalog of images I have backed up onto an external HD. I currently have my images on my laptop and have been backing them up on an external hard drive. My current LR catalog points to my HD on the laptop and not to the external drive. I want to re-catalog from the external drive and want to be certain I do not blow it. I wonder if doing a 'new library' in LR from the external drive is best or -I am thinking a deletion of the catalog folder of LR will allow a fresh start from my external HD. My files are stored within folders and subfolders on the external drive as they are on the laptop from which they were backed up. My backups to the external HD are full and several - dated by when they were backed up. (Will LR make dupes?) I have essentially no ratings for the photos and no meta data to lose or worry about. I am running LR Classic CC 7.1. camera raw 10.1 Any advise?

        • 1. Re: Re-catalog / new library?
          WobertC Adobe Community Professional

          If you have copied all the folders of images to the external drive in exactly the same folder hierarchy of parent and sub-folders, then it is a very simple job.

          1) Open Lightroom

          2) Open the Folders panel

          3) Highlight the topmost parent folder you can see. (eg. Pictures)

          4) Right-Click and choose [Update folder location]

          5) In the explorer/Finder window that opens, select the same (or similar) parent folder on the external drive.


          Now Lightroom is linked to the photos and folders on the external drive.

          Catalog is 'Internal', photos are 'External'

          When you are sure all is well, the internal photo folders can be deleted, but you will still need another physical drive to backup the photos.


          This is all better described in "Option One" at this link- https://www.lightroomqueen.com/move-photos-another-hard-drive-leaving-catalog/

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Re-catalog / new library?
            dj_paige Level 10

            Agreeing with WobertC


            You don't need a new catalog or a re-catalog. This would be totally the wrong thing to do, it is a mistake, it will cause more problems than it solves, it has a number of disadvantages; and it is also a waste of time and energy.


            All you have to do is point the existing LR catalog to the location of the folders that contain the photos on the new hard disk. Follow his instructions, or the ones here: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders particularly Figure 4 and associated text. This is an action that ought to take 30 seconds, at most, which is a lot simpler (and has a lot fewer drawbacks) than creating a new catalog and re-importing everything.

            2 people found this helpful