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How to stop lightroom catalogue syncing with your onedrive?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 30, 2020 Dec 30, 2020

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Whenever I start editing my photos usig lightroom classic 10.1, it starts syncing some catalogue files with my onedrive. This slows down the whole process.

 

How do I stop this sync permanently? I tried selecting the cloud icon on the tool, but it does not give any option to stop the sync (see images).

 

Basically I do not want any of LC files on my one drive.

 

Please advise

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Community Expert ,
Dec 31, 2020 Dec 31, 2020

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You have control over two aspects of LrC working: where your Catalog and its support files live (previews, chiefly) - and, where your imported image files live (camera Raws / JPGs, derived files such as PS edited versions saved in PSD / TIF) live.

 

You also have, separately, control over where output files are to be saved.

 

If any of these locations are withiin a part of your file system that is being synced to OneDrive, then any change will then incur some OneDrive activity - which may or may not be useful or appropriate. IMO the most likely, is that you have accepted for OneDrive to keep your personal drives backed up to cloud. And that will include your Pictures folder. I did this recently, incautiously, and the file system locations of my Documents, Pictures and Desktop were changed to sit within a "OneDrive" folder representing the local instance of the OneDrive synced data.

 

LrC's install default is to create a Catalog within Pictures, and then to offer to import all image files within Pictures and subfolders thereof. IMO this is an inappropriate place for certainly the Catalog to live, even more so once that is syncing to OneDrive. It is at best impossible, and at worst inadvisable, to back up the Catalog itself while in use - the database and its indexes may not be in a clean and consistent state at that instant. All kinds of previews live in subfolders of the Catalog location, constantly changing, and it is IMO a pure needless waste of effort to keep backing those up continually. It's really the Catalog itself which matters, besides the source image files. Previews could always be generated again if that was ever needed. One idea may be to locate your Catalog elsewhere, outside the OneDrive synced area, but then to set a folder within this area as the destination for your LrC catalog backups (made cleanly, as you determine, on exiting LrC hence known to be suitable for restoring). Dated backups will then accumulate and will need periodic pruning. But you will have some history available, to roll back through multiple versions. Sometimes a problem arose last week, and everything backed up / synced since that moment, includes this problem - so we are not then seeking the most up-to-date version to restore.

 

Imported image files are not continually changing as you work on those nondestructively, unless you are automatically writing edit changes out to XMP. If using proprietary Raw this will manifest as small sidecar files that OneDrive would then be constantly syncing. If using camera JPG or if converting to DNG, then the entire big file would be constantly syncing with each edit change. And externally edited (such as Photoshop) files would be re-syncing with each save to those. IMO it may prove unwieldy to have all this stuff continually synced; better to have some other backup method carried out on demand. One important aspect there IMO, is that deletions should NOT be synced out. One purpose of a backup is to still have a copy of that file, which you have locally deleted or overwritten in error. In that case you won't want that backup to have, faithfully and promptly, mirrored that same deletion or overwrite.

 

However IMO, the Pictures folder is a completely appropriate place for exports to be saved into, and it makes perfect sense for these to then go out to OneDrive automatically. 

 

Changing the location of the Catalog itself is straightforward and does not require any re-addressing of the image file paths that it references. Changing the location of the image files will require updating those file paths within the Catalog (regardless of whether the Catalog has moved or not). That's re-addressing, not re-importing BTW!

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LEGEND ,
Dec 31, 2020 Dec 31, 2020

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Simple. TAKE THE CATLOG FILE OUT OF THE ONE DRIVE FOLDER.

 

It should not be in there in the first place.

Never place your catalog in any folder on your computer that syncs up with a Cloud Storage system.

All you will end up with is a Corrupted catalog file.

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2022 Oct 25, 2022

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Boy, reading some long explanations on why you should use onedrive and how it functions was exusting.  It is a simple question and I have the same problem.  I reinstalled windows and onedrive took over my lightroom file which screwed up my catalog and I haven't been able to recover my catalog because onedrive is holding it hostage.  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2022 Oct 25, 2022

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OK, more simply: 

  1. Make a brand new top-level folder in the computer's C: drive (or a different drive if you prefer). OneDrive will not know anything about this, so will leave it alone.
  2. Copy your Catalog and its associated support subfolders, into there. Do this when LrC is not running.
  3. Try opening this copied Catalog. If that works, continue with this.
  4. If that does not work, it may have been corrupted. In that case try a previous Catalog backup in the same place (this will need to be extracted from its Zip file).

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New Here ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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Hi Richard I have same issue. I don't want any synching OR OneDrive so I have moved complete Lightroom folder from Pictures to Program Files, Adobe. This seems to have created a Program File (x86). I have other Lightroom folders within windows explorer. 1. Is it ok to use x86 Program file and delete the others? Previous LrC cats and backups are showing within that Program file folder. Am not a Pro so clear simple answers would be very much appreciated. Thanks in anticipation!

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LEGEND ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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Whatever you did was not the reason Program Files (x86) was created; this folder was created by your operating system. I don't think users should be putting anything in Program Files (x86).

 

LrC catalogs, associated files, and photos, should not go in Program Files (x86) or Program Files. If you are going to put them in your C: drive, it ought to be under C:\Users\<your user name>, you can create any folder you want within there and put your catalog in this new folder you create in there.

 

The better solution (in my opinion) is to leave the catalog file where it is in Pictures folder and simply turn OneDrive off. I know it can be done because I did it. I don't remember how I did it, but I'm sure you can find instructions using an internet search engine.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 03, 2023 Nov 03, 2023

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"Program Files (x86)" is used by some software for its own application related files, so I would not recommend using that for user data also. I generally make a completely separate new top level folder (such as, "C:\data") that is then not exclusive to any particular computer user. Any valid computer login can access it equally well. Thus if some user profile problem ever dictates making a fresh new user login, your data will not then find itself locked by the access permissions of a former login. 

 

But you may want the data to live in a computer-user dedicated area (such that any other login accounts on the same computer could not access that). By initial default, with OneDrive not yet set up, a given computer account's own standard Documents and Pictures and Desktop and such, live directly within C:\users\[username] folder.  Once OneDrive is told to start syncing user files, these user folders automatically change their locations, moving inside C:\users\[username]\OneDrive instead (this behind-the-scenes move is not evident to the user who seems to continue accessing the same files on their "Desktop", or within "Pictures", or whatever. But LrC will know this has changed since it operates on absolute file system paths. For the same reason, OneDrive causes something on the Desktop say, to appear permanently present - which in fact is sometimes not present locally, in which case it would need to be fetched down from cloud to open. That's generally more or less invisible to the user. But not when it comes to LrC: which is not so easily fooled. LrC does want the file to be genuinely present, and not just virtually so.     

 

Anything nested within that C:\users\[username]\OneDrive folder is automatically involved in cloud sync AFAICT.  But for example a new folder C:\users\[username]\data would avoid OneDrive involvement.

 

All this does not prevent one from still using the Pictures folder for other purposes than LrClassic. It is is relatively benign if your imported image files are here, and synced to OneDrive, provided set so a local copy is being always left in place too. And so far as JPG exports from LrC, I find Pictures the natural and convenient home for those. I do like those being synced to cloud; and these exported files being no concern of the Catalog's, no difficulty arises.

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