Before travel I had loaded some files to my icloud. I processed them there. Now I'd like to get them on to my usual file on my external drive. When I go to "move" them (so that I can stay within the catalog) it doesn't give me iCloud drive as an option. How can I move my files and altered files from iCloud to my external harddrive and retain the edits I have done when they were on iCloud?
If you mean you are storing the photos in iCloud Drive, and you imported them from that location into the Lightroom Classic catalog and then edited them, then you will find the images in Lightroom Classic in the Library module, in the Folders panel, in a folder named
That is the real name of the folder that the Mac labels “iCloud Drive” in the macOS Finder.
Note: If your images are in a folder within iCloud Drive, you might not see “com-apple-CloudDocs” in the Folders panel, but you will see the name of the folder containing the images. In that case, the Folders panel will show “com-apple-CloudDocs” only if you right-click the folder containing the images and choose Show Parent Folder until “com-apple-CloudDocs” shows up.
To move them to external storage and keep the edits:
In the Mac Finder, move the files to the destination folder on the external volume.
After the move, in the Folders panel in Lightroom Classic, those images will probably be marked missing. Right-click the folder where they were, choose Update Folder Location, and select the folder where they now live on the external volume. Lightroom Classic should relink to them, and re-associate each image’s edit history with its new location.
Tip: If the images are in a hierarchy of folders, relink the topmost folder first, because that will also relink all cataloged images in its subfolders, saving you steps.
If the destination folder on the external drive already appears in the Folders panel in Lightroom Classic, you can actually skip the above steps and just drag them within the Folders panel, and all the edits are preserved. But the destination folder only appears in the Folders panel if at least one image has already been imported from it previously.
If you need more details, this is basically similar to how you move Lightroom Classic photos from one computer to another: