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I'm afraid to delete any of these files collected over 10 years. Is there any way to know?

Advocate ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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Files collect with Lightroom over the years. I don't know why Lightroom doesn't clean up after itself but I tried deleting once and wound up with an awful mess. What do the experts recommend? Just leave them? Seems to be the safest. This screen shot is only a small fraction of all of the lightroom files that have collected through the years. I only have one catalog of files over several disks. I don't want to destroy my catalog which is working beautifully now. Any recommendations?

 

Screenshot 2024-05-01 at 10.43.52 AM.png

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

Screenshot-2024-05-01-at-10.43.png

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Community Expert , May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

Here's the set of files belonging to one LrC catalog.

 

LrC.png

 

The essential one is the catalog file itself, obviously. The others are there just to speed things up. You can delete them, they will get rebuilt as needed - but it will take some time and things will move a bit slower until they're completely recreated.

 

And then there's the backups (zip). They should be stored elsewhere, having backups in the same place as the original sort of defeats the purpose. You only need to keep one backup as l

...

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Community Expert ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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Screenshot-2024-05-01-at-10.43.png

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Advocate ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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This is amazing help, I've marked as correct answer and will chime back in after deleting with confidence now. Thank you so very much. What is it that makes is clear that these files can be deleted? I would like to know how to identify safely. what is good and what is not needed.

 

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Advocate ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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I've deleted all I felt safe in deleting but stopped when it said 'helper' files. Please check the remaining files that are Lightroom files as I now know the top three are keepers. What else can I safely delete if any?

Screenshot 2024-05-01 at 12.13.37 PM.png

Thank you!

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Community Expert ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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Here's the set of files belonging to one LrC catalog.

 

LrC.png

 

The essential one is the catalog file itself, obviously. The others are there just to speed things up. You can delete them, they will get rebuilt as needed - but it will take some time and things will move a bit slower until they're completely recreated.

 

And then there's the backups (zip). They should be stored elsewhere, having backups in the same place as the original sort of defeats the purpose. You only need to keep one backup as long as you know it's good.

 

Look at the version numbers on your files. Anything v12 is no longer needed.

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Advocate ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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Incredibly helpful D fosse, While we're on the subject 1.) Does Lightroom offer a way to keep a backup of these essential files only in another location on another hard drive? and 2.) Is it normal for Lightroom to 'make a mess' or keep old unneded files for years on end? - or is that just my updating to newer versions that leaves older files behind? I love lightroom but this is one are that is a puzzle to me.

 

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Community Expert ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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They're not automatically deleted. It could be that you needed to roll back a version if the new one doesn't work properly, and then you need them.

 

The backups can be directed anywhere you want. The preview cache/helper files aren't necessary to back up.

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Advocate ,
May 01, 2024 May 01, 2024

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Okay, last question then, the star ratings and marked choices for images are preserved in the main Lightroom file then?

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Advocate ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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Okay, I deleted all but what you see here and now Lightroom says it cannot make a backup. I am locked into a corner on this. I have tried repeatedly and even shut the computer down for a fresh start and still get this error.  I hope I did not destroy my Lightroom catalog. I have all of the files shown here:

Screenshot 2024-05-03 at 11.49.57 AM.pngScreenshot 2024-05-03 at 11.48.24 AM.png

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Community Expert ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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But you can open it? It's not corrupt?

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Advocate ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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Yes, that is the good part, the catalog is open and working normally. It's just if I try to quit Lightroom and it wants to make a backup then I get this error. Folder permissions are okay, there is plenty of room on the hard drive. What do you suggest?

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