7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2018 8:25 PM by larrym63998023

    Using NAS to store original photos?


      I use a laptop for all my editing but it only has a small SSD drive and so at the moment I have the original files stored on a portable external 1TB hard drive which I plug in when I want to use lightroom. I have just purchased a NAS for backups but I also thought if it was set up as a personal cloud at home, I could store my original (ever expanding) photo files on that drive and access them with lightroom classic on my laptop. (leaving the catalogue on the local laptop drive)


      1. Is that setup possible and my best option?


      2. How do I set this up in LR once I move the files from the portable external hard drive?


      Thanking you in anticipation.



        • 1. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
          F. McLion Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Yes, you can use the NAS, as long as it is accessible by Explorer. So, make it a file share and include the share to your laptop, mapped to a drive letter.

          Please note that you can not work on your photos when the connection to the NAS is not available. However, you can create SmartPreviews if you need to be able to work offline.


          It's important to move the photos with the very same structure they currently have. This way you just need to relocate the topmost folder from within LR after the copy/move and you're all set.

          • 2. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
            gavinl52295941 Level 1

            Thanks for that F McLion. I am using a MAC so not sure how to share or map as you suggest. Do you know? If not I will try and google it for an answer. Thanks heaps.

            • 3. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
              F. McLion Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              OK, the concept stays the same and working the same.

              Since I'm not familiar with Mac's I can not exactly tell you how to do it because they don't use drive letters  (UNC path instead AFAIK).

              • 4. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
                gavinl52295941 Level 1

                No worries - I will check it out. Thanks

                • 5. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
                  stewartr43936066 Level 1

                  Just one thing to watch out for - if you are using a cloud based backup, some of them will not backup a NAS. It's easy enough to get round but could be a nasty shock if you weren't aware.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
                    gavinl52295941 Level 1

                    Thanks all - appreciate the advice

                    • 7. Re: Using NAS to store original photos?
                      larrym63998023 Level 1

                      I use a Neatgear ReadyNas with my iMac and store all of my photo raw and jpeg files in shared NAS directories. The Lightroom catalog and preview files (ircat, irate, and other Lightroom files) stay on my local drive. To get the NAS to access Mac directories for backups, those directories need to be set up as shared directories. To access the NAS directories I mount those at startup. (use Go --> Connect to Server (server's IP address) --> then mount the directories I want to access with Lightroom).  NAS is basically acting like a server.


                      I use a direct ethernet (wire) connection between the iMac and NAS which is about ten times faster than using wifi. It's still slower accessing NAS files than if I store them in an attached (usb connected) hard drive. The NAS connection is not as stable either; it hiccups every day or so; but it has still been fun to mess around with the NAS.


                      Set up a small, separate photo directory first and play with that for a few weeks before you start moving your main photo library to NAS. I gather many people have problems doing it this way, and a more efficient system might be just to keep your photos on an external hard disk(s), and just connect the NAS to back those up periodically.


                      Lately I've had one hiccup in my system that has gotten worse: when I do Lightroom photo merges (HDR and Panoramas), Lightroom generates the merged dmg file on the NAS but then it totally hangs. It used to recover after 10-20 minutes, now the program just goes into not responding mode for hours.  Lightroom is trying to do something with the NAS that it just can't accomplish. (That's why I'm dinking around in the Adobe forum.)