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I am movng my external HDD lightroom library from my iMac to my macbook.
I have the external HDD hooked up to the macbook now.
When i go to the folders pane on the left hand side of LR - i choose add a folder...
I navigated to the external HDD and chose one of the folders.
It then looks like I need to import them to my macbook? as it brings up the import pane.
I would like to keep my library on the external HDD and not on the macbook...what step am i missing to complete this?
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You only want to move (copy) the Library, just do that from the Finder (copy from external to new Mac HD).
The 'link' (info) LR has about your photo's hasn't changed, you simply moved the Library, so all should be fine.
Double Click on that Library from the newer drive, you should be off and running.
Moving photo's, folders, renaming or deleting etc, do that all within LR, not the Finder (as LR has no idea you did this).
Frankly, I'd dedicate a drive to the Library and all your photo's for reasons we can go into if you wish.
Not sure if i explained it correctly above....
i do not want the files on my macbook...i just want to be able to access the current files on the external hdd that i had been using as a lightroom library on my imac.
Which is again, why I recommend you place your catalog, photo's, persets* everything LR related on an external drive. That way you can:
Move that drive to any computer with LR and have access to photo's and catlaog.
You can clone (backup) that dedicated drive to as many other HD's as you wish. Then maybe rotate the drives or take one with you on location etc.
*Using the Save Presets with Catalog preference will move all your presets to that location for access, instead of deep inside your System Folder (Application Support).
Again, you can move just the catalog with the Finder. To move anything you see in folders inside of LR, use LR as if you were doing the same from the Finder. By having LR move, copy, delete, rename etc, inside LR itself, the catalog now updates with all those changes. If you do any of this outside LR, it has no idea and you end up with the dreaded question mark's beside the photos.
ok...sorry to be a pain...
i think maybe the issue is that my exisiting lightroom library - which is on the external HDD does not have a library file - its just six folder by year from 2016 - 2021.
I was using that external library with my iMac - which now no longer works.
I want to use that exisiting external library now on my Macbook but dont want to actually copy it over to macbook
You've got a catalog, somewhere. Just have LR show you were, from the Catalog Preferences.
Now copy it, where you want it.