My Lightroom catalogue was taking up 180GB on my computer, leaving me without any memory on my laptop. I moved everything under the Lightroom folder onto an external hard drive, thinking this would be an easy solution. I instantly freed up space and my laptop was working again. However, when I open Lightroom CC and attempt to open any catalogue from the various saved backups, harldy any photos load, and all show as "cannot locate." Even when I attempt to "find missing photos," I cannot link any catalogue to the backups, despite having multiple saved. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or if I've somehow made a huge mistake by simply "moving" the folders on to the hard drive? Help!
It's important to understand the difference between the Lightroom catalog and your actual photos. The photos are not in the catalog but are kept separately in a place you told Lightroom to store them.
If the photos are actually in the Lightroom folder that you moved, you'll need to connect the folders within the Lightroom app itself (Folders panel) to the new location. When you "Find Missing Photos," you need to point Lightroom to the new location. This is an easy process if you have one top level folder on the hard drive containing all the sub folders with your photos. Just reconnect the top level folder and all should be well. If you have many top level folders, you'll have to reconnect every one of them.