Can I move my Lightroom catalog?

New Here ,
Nov 20, 2017 Nov 20, 2017

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I just started using Lightroom Classic. All my picture files (old and new) are on a C:\Pictures folder. I see the Lightroom catalog files under Users\ ... \Pictures\Lightroom. Can I just move the Lightroom folder to my original C:\Pictures folder? The reason is to get the files backed up with all my pictures.

Thanks!

Joe

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Adobe Community Professional , Nov 21, 2017 Nov 21, 2017
Yes you can move the Catalog using File Explorer (and Lr shut-down), but you must move the Preview folders (and Smart Previews folder) along with it. You are not moving any photo files.I suggest you create a 'Parent' folder in C:\Pictures for the Catalog and previews. (call it My Catalog or similar)After moving with the OS, simply double-click the .LRCAT file and Lr will open the catalog and find your photos where they remain.*Note: Do not be confused by Windows use of "Library" links. You might...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2017 Nov 20, 2017

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Don't move pictures that you already have imported to LR behind LR's back.

Here's some reading for you: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/articles-page/move-photos-another-hard-drive-leaving-catalog/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 21, 2017 Nov 21, 2017

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Yes you can move the Catalog using File Explorer (and Lr shut-down), but you must move the Preview folders (and Smart Previews folder) along with it. You are not moving any photo files.

I suggest you create a 'Parent' folder in C:\Pictures for the Catalog and previews. (call it My Catalog or similar)

After moving with the OS, simply double-click the .LRCAT file and Lr will open the catalog and find your photos where they remain.

*Note: Do not be confused by Windows use of "Library" links. You might see a Library (faux folder) called "Pictures" under "This PC" but this is only a 'shortcut' link.  All your photos are stored in the 'real' folder C:\Users\your name\Pictures. Unless you have specifically created your own "Pictures" folder in the C: Drive. (ie  C:\Pictures)

How to Move Your Lightroom Catalog | Laura Shoe's Lightroom Training Tutorials and Tips

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.3.1 Photoshop 23.3.2, ACR 14.3, Lightroom 5.3, Lr-iOS 7.0.2, Bridge 12.0.2, Windows-10.

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2017 Nov 23, 2017

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Thank you Laura!

I can't believe it was that simple!

Joe

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LEGEND ,
Nov 21, 2017 Nov 21, 2017

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The only conceivable reason to move the catalog file itself is if you don't have space for it and your previews on your hard disk. Otherwise, you should leave it where it is.

There is also no reason to move your photos unless you are running out of space and want them on a different disk.

Moving these without a good reason is just asking for trouble. While it certainly can be done, for some reason beginners struggle with this and often screw it up. Leave them where they are, unless you have space limitations.

I don't understand your comment about making backups as being the reason for this. You can easily make backups of your photos and catalog file without moving them.

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New Here ,
Jan 15, 2022 Jan 15, 2022

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I'm moving my library files into my OneDrive folder so copies are stored independantly of my hardware, as my photos are.  It's a valid reason.  I'm a qualified network security "professional", and understand the need for healthy storage and backup policies.

 

I'm just raising this so others won't be put off moving thier library.  Perfectly valid to want to do so, and may be safer in the long run.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 15, 2022 Jan 15, 2022

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Yes of course, you can move the catalog file if you want, but I urge you to read carefully many posts in this forum about storing your catalog in a OneDrive folder. There are risks associated with this, if your catalog is being synced with OneDrive while you make changes to the catalog, you risk having a corrupted catalog. Please read about the risks of putting your catalog file in a OneDrive folder.

 

As far as healthy storage and backup, this can be done without the risks associated with OneDrive.

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