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Moving Lightroom catalog from PC hard drive to external hard drive

Community Beginner ,
May 12, 2023 May 12, 2023

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I bet this question has been answered before, but so far I can only find answers related to Macs.  I'm running out of space on my PC hard drive.  Its mostly photos.  I want to move my Lightroom catalog to an external hard drive.  How do I do that without drama?

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LEGEND ,
May 12, 2023 May 12, 2023

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Shouldn't you be wanting to move the Photos to a new hard drive? They take up far more space than the catalog file and previews.

 

Instructions are here: go to Part 2 — Updating Photo Location. COPY (not MOVE) the entire "tree" of folders from one drive to another using your operating system, without changing the hierarchy or moving photos from here to there within the tree. Then use the "Update Folder Location" command. Once you have confirmed that everything is running properly in LrC, delete the copies of the photos on the PC hard drive.

 

And by the way, the same instructions apply to both Windows and Mac.

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Community Expert ,
May 12, 2023 May 12, 2023

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(please check that link to instructions - you've pasted in something else!)

 

Otherwise, agreed. The location of the Catalog is easily changed, the location of the images also but this does sometimes cause more confusion. Headline summary: backup Catalog, move all the images as a group outside of LrC, make sure parent folder of all these images is showing inside LrC, re-address this parent folder to point to the moved images location. No importing involved - that is important. These images are already imported and edited. It is only that the information held within the Catalog about their storage locations has to be updated, to bring everything back into proper alignment.

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LEGEND ,
May 12, 2023 May 12, 2023

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Fixed, thanks!

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