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Lightroom Classic users: catalog on internal drive or external drive?

New Here ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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am working my way to using Lightroom Classic to catalog my image library (75k).

i have several process questions.

today's question:

what is the best practice for both speed and efficiency, to keep Lightroom Classic's catalog on my internal drive (late 2015 27" iMac I7 40gb/3Tb) or keep the catalog on an external Lightroom dedicated drive (spinning or ssd)?

I doubt I will be editing anywhere but on my iMac (or future newer, more powerful m1 imac), though in the future that could change.

any and all thoughts are appreciated.

thank you for sharing your LR experiences with a novice.

thumbs up.

rob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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Even avoiding the question of HD speed, I suggest dedicating one big drive for all photo's, catalog(s) (one is ideal), presets etc on an external drive. Why? It makes cloning that one drive super simple so you can rotate drives that backup all your important image data, catalogs, edits etc. I have one external on my desktop Mac which I regularly clone (backup) to yet another dedicated drive for location work, and a third in a fireproof media save. I rotate them and clone them on a regular basis. You can take any of the drives and attach to any computer that has the same version of Lightroom and access all your images and work which is also useful.

So, internal boot drive? No.  

Tip: Look into the important preference "Store presets with Catalog". 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management"

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LEGEND ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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The general opinion is that the catalog file goes on your fastest drive, this will provide the fastest performance.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2021 Oct 16, 2021

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I have the catalog on my internal Solid State Drive and images on external 5 TB hard drives - 1 primary and 1 backup.

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