11 Replies Latest reply on Nov 26, 2018 5:40 AM by Longball Willie

    Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer

    lukea13 Level 1

      I recently purchased an iMac and copied images that were on my pc onto an external hard drive then put them into a pictures folder on my new iMac. I installed the Lightroom app onto my iMac. My Lightroom work from my pc did not cross over to my new computer. I am wondering what I need to do at this point to get my previous work over to my new computer? Did I go about moving my images wrong as to make it difficult to get my previous Lightroom work over? I still want to keep my pictures and Lightroom installed on my pc.

        • 2. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
          JohanEl54 Adobe Community Professional

          If you want to keep the pictures and Lightroom on the PC as well, then the best option is to move the catalog and the pictures to an external hard drive, and use that drive with both computers. To do this successfully, you have to take care of two things. First of all, the hard disk needs to be formatted in a way that both computers can use. That means you cannot format it in NTFS, because MacOS X cannot write to such disks. Format it in exFAT.

           

          The second thing is that Lightroom uses a path to the images, and a disk on MacOS X is referred to by its name, while the PC uses a drive letter. That means you would constantly get 'missing folders' when you switch between the computers. The way to solve this is to keep the images inside (a folder in) the catalog folder. In that case Lightroom will use a 'relative path' to the images, which does not contain the disk name or drive letter.

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          • 3. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
            lukea13 Level 1

            Thank you that was helpful. I am not sure about the catalog folder is this something I would find located stored within a file folder on my pc from previous Lightroom install. Or are you talking the catalog folder that you see when you are in the Lightroom Library?

            • 4. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
              JohanEl54 Adobe Community Professional

              Your catalog folder is normally stored in your Pictures folder. It contains the catalog (extension .lrcat), the previews (extension .lrdata) and possibly the smart previews (same extension). You need to move the entire folder.

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              • 5. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
                lukea13 Level 1

                Ok thanks. I feel there are so many things that I am going to need to do take make this transition from my pc to Mac and to properly swap over Lightroom. Unfortunately processing all the ins and outs and all the instructions online can be mind boggling for me. I do not want to miss anything and have this become a disaster in trying to find my photos and edits. I constantly have other questions about scenarios and how to store images onto multiple drives etc.. Are you aware of people/ businesses that can walk me through this on the phone or in person, in which I can pay for their services?

                • 6. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
                  lukea13 Level 1

                  Move it to where on the new computer? Does it just need to be in my pictures folder (the same folder that I store my images) for Lightroom to have my previous data (edits)?

                  • 7. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
                    JohanEl54 Adobe Community Professional

                    You can store the Lightroom catalog folder anywhere you want. The default location is your Pictures folder, but it does not have to be there. That is why I suggested not to move it there, but to move it to an external drive, so you can use this drive with both computers. If you would have a copy of the catalog on each computer, then how is Lightroom on the second computer going to know what you did on the first one?

                     

                    Use the instructions you got via the link to the page of Victoria to learn how to move rhe catalog and rhe images and how to 'reconnect' images if needed. I'm sure they are clear and thorough. Just use the external drive as your new location.

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                    • 8. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
                      lukea13 Level 1

                      I purchased an external hard drive and formatted it to FAT32 as you recommended. I transferred my catalog and all the files for Lightroom from my old computer and just 1 picture folder to see if Lightroom would show my previous edits now. They do not come up.

                      Victoria says place the transfer files into the same locations as they were on the old computer. I think this is where I got lost. How can they be in the same location if they are on a different drive now. I am pretty sure my folders are all wrong for Lightroom to find what it needs. Here are some screenshots of what I did. I am not sure what to do next to get them where they need to be.Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 9.57.40 PM.png

                      Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 9.57.13 PM.png

                      • 9. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
                        JohanEl54 Adobe Community Professional

                        I'm not entirely sure what you moved from where, but it looks like the 'Master Lightroom Catalog.lrcat' is your current catalog. If you double click that, Lightroom will start and should show you all the images and all the edits. I see another 'Lightroom Catalog.lrcat' outside the Master Lightroom Catalog folder, but that one does not have any previews associated with it. That may be a brand new catalog that Lightroom created because it couldn't find the old one, and that may explain why you didn't see images or edits. There is also another 'Lightroom' folder in there, and I can't see what that contains, so I have to assume that there isn't yet another catalog...

                         

                        Because you want to keep using Lightroom on two different computers, the next part is a little different from Victoria's instructions. As I explained, you have to move the image folders inside the catalog folder, so they need to be inside that Master Lightroom Catalog folder. They can be in a single parent folder to keep things organised, but they must be inside the Master Catalog Folder. You haven't done that for any image folder yet, so quit Lightroom again and do that first. Do maintain the folder hierarchy, that makes the next step much easier.

                         

                        After you've moved the images there, start Lightroom again. You'll now have to tell Lightroom (once) where the images are. Lightroom will show 'missing folders' because it is still looking for them in the original place. Right-click on a missing folder at the top of the hierarchy and choose 'Find Missing Folder'. In the dialog that follows, navigate to the new location of the folder and select it. That will 'reconnect' this folder and all it's subfolders. If you don't have a single top folder in your image hierarchy, you'll have to do this for each folder at the top of the hierarchy until all are reconnected.

                         

                        When you connect the external disk to the other computer, you must start Lightroom once by double clicking on the Master Lightroom Catalog.lrcat file, so Lightroom knows that this is the catalog it should use. From that moment onwards, you can start Lightroom the normal way again.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 10. Re: Moving pictures and Lightroom to new computer
                          dj_paige Level 10

                          lukea13  wrote

                           

                          I purchased an external hard drive and formatted it to FAT32 as you recommended. I transferred my catalog and all the files for Lightroom from my old computer and just 1 picture folder to see if Lightroom would show my previous edits now. They do not come up.

                          This is a meaningless statement. HOW did you do the transfer? Tell use the exact steps, in detail, start to finish, leaving nothing out.

                           

                          Is there an exclamation point icon on your photos at the top right of the surrounding grey box?

                           

                          Did you follow the instructions given above??