Your operating system and computer type?
Your Lightroom version number?
Why are you restoring from a backup of the catalog?
Where is your working Catalog located?
Where are your catalog backups stored?
Where do you place the Catalog that you 'restore'?
Where are you image files stored?
Note: Re-installing the Lightroom program would not normally affect or change Catalog functions.
LR Version 7.2 (1156743) Just updated few days ago
I am still fairly new to LR and I really don't know how it happened but all my collections disappeared. I wasn't aware of this live community help so I have been trying to fix it on my own and now I'm 100% sure I've deleted them all by accident.
Working catalog is in C:\users\xxx\myphotoscatalog2018
Catalog backups are stored on a separate internal backup drive It is 3TB and only 1 TB is in use.
Image files are stored on a separate internal data drive.
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When you "open" the catalog that is- C:\users\xxx\myphotoscatalog2018 (Double-click on the file myphotoscatalog2018.LRCAT ), what do you see?
You say-"all my collections disappeared". Are you referring to FOLDERS that are visible in the Folders panel, or are these the lists of photos in the Collections Panel?
Do you see any ? on folders, or ! on photo thumbnails in Library?
A screen-clip (Windows-10 Snipping Tool) of your Lightroom interface showing both Folder and Collection panels expanded open might help. Click the 'photo' icon above your post to add the clip.
First one is with my folders open
Second one is what I see in my C: MyPhotos Caralogue 2018
1.My Photos Catalog 2018 previews.Irdata
2. My Photos......................2018 (LR icon)
4. My Photos.............................2018.Ircat-wal
it all looks good to me in your screen-clips.
So what is the specific problem with this catalog?
Can you explain what you mean by -"I open LR it is not there anymore."
I have restored LR to a previous back and it worked okay. Problem is that I can use it but next time I open LR it is not there anymore.
How did you do this restore. Please tell us the exact sequence of steps. Leave nothing out.
When you open Lightroom, are you double-clicking on the restored catalog file? Are you looking under File->Open Recent? Exactly how are you opening Lightroom? Give us the details.
I have restored LR to a previous back and it worked okay.
There are typically 3 things involved with Lr that may be backed-up:
- The program files - no need to backup those (typically found under c:\Program files\Adobe), it's by far easier to reinstall in case of problems to be sure to get the latest program version.
- The photos accessed by Lr: Those are very important to back-up, as those are your original data files and there will absolutely no way to get them back if your back-up is not complete. You would hate to loose years of private or professional pictures as would also your clients and family.
- The Lightroom database called "Catalog" in Lr jargon. For more information on this database, look here: Photoshop Lightroom catalog FAQ (and especially here for the location: Photoshop Lightroom catalog FAQ ). The catalog is nearly as important as your picture files as it contains all your edits as instructions on how to edit your pictures when you export them as TIFF or JPEG or a different format. The catalog also asks to be backed-up in regular intervals. It is vary important to know what is backed-up and where it is backed-up.
The Lightroom Queen has collected a bunch of information on how to secure your Lr data. See here (https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-catalogs-top-10-misunderstandings/ ) for en entry point to her site.
Now the real big question is: what did you back-up/restore?
After doing the restore from my one and only backup I am happy that it all seems to be working just fine. So I exit out of LR.
When I open Lightroom the next time my restored backup is not showing anymore LR has reverted back to how it was has reverted back to how it was before I did the restore.
Open LR > File > Open Catalog > I then Navigate to my Backup folder which is on a separate internal hard drive>I right click the backup by date and open it > it opens a folder "My Photos Catalog 2108.Ircat" > I right click this and open it. It shows an LR Logo - My Photos Catalog 2018 > I right click this last folder and have a choice to select or open in LR > - so i choose select > a box comes up to Relaunch so I click relaunch
LR closes and relaunches and my restored backup is now in LR.
If I leave LR open I can work in it as per normal.
I exit out of LR (but not out of the computer) and thwn when I open LR the next time LR has reverted back to how it was before I did my restore and my collections are there but they have no images in them
You need to tell LR to use the backup that you selected as the default catalog.
In Preferences, on the General tab, make sure you have selected this exact backup of your catalog as your default catalog to open each time.
I have been at this for 2 days now and it's now 12.44am so it's starting to wear a bit thin. I am very paranoid about backing up so I do have all my originals on my separate backup drive. I have the finished edits as well on my hard drive.
All the folders are ther and allthe collections are there but no images. I think it may be best to just cut my losses and import all my images into the folders and catalog.
Then I just have to import a folder with all my finished edits and transfer them into my collections.
I am going to sleep on it now and will check the forum in the morning to see if anyone has come up with an answer. If not I will go ahead with importing. Of course there's always a chance that the program is corrupt but I'm just hoping it's not.
So thank you to everyone for the time and effort you have kindly put in for my problem.
Thanks Di. I never thought of that. I will try it in the morning.
No, You need to copy the backup files and open that one and tell Lr to use that catalog as the default.
I thought that Lr backups would be compressed? So this is a regular backup/copy.
Thanks Di. Tried it fist thing this morning and it solved the problem. LR was still opening the old catalog. What a relief. Everythings back to normal now. @di_paige
di _paige suggested the same idea of going into preferences and setting it on the new catalog. This solved the problem. When I restored it was always successful and only failed once I exited LR. So I was able to restore and then just change the settings to the new catalog in preferences @Abamba