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Onedrive sync having issues with Lightroom classic catalog

New Here ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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Hi, new subscriber here!   Also new to Adobe LR classic/PS. 

 

Situation:  I am storing the LR Classic catalog on my Microsoft Onedrive. Doing this so that I can access the catalog from both computers.  I've researched options and I realize you can also do this by putting catalog on external drive, but this way is a lot more convenient and I like having everything in the cloud.

 

Problem:   When LR is open, Onedrive complains it cannot sync the following two catalog files.  When I shut down LR, they immediately sync successfully.

 

lightroom catalog.lrcat-wal
helper.db-wal

preview.db

 

Question:  Should I just ignore the fact that Onedrive cannot sync these files while LR is using them, and continue using Onedrive, since they DO sync successfully after Onedrive shuts down?  Or will this create a problem over time?   (I contacted Adobe support, they don't really know, they just said they don't recommend using Onedrive, there's nothing in the docs about it).  

 

 

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Problem or error, Sync

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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Hi there,

 

Welcome to the Adobe Community!

 

The files you have mentioned are continuously being used and modified by Lightroom Classic when you are working on the catalog due to which OneDrive would have issue syncing when while you have the catalog open.

 

Regards,

Nikunj

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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Got it, thanks!

 

So my question going forward is:  Is this a problem, should I not use Onedrive (or similar cloud service like Google Drive) because of this?  It doesn't seem like it necessarily has to be a problem.  All it's really saying is "Onedrive can't sync these files right now because LR Classic is using them."  But the moment you shut down LR classic, the files sync and you're good.

 

So I'm wondering if....as long as I ALWAYS properly shut down LR classic when done and make sure those 3 files properly synced back to the cloud...I can go use LR Classic and point to those same catalog files on another PC, and I should be fine.

 

True?   

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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Since the files are being used and synced with the cloud services (any cloud service) at the same time, this may result in corruption of the catalog or related files. That is the reason we do not recommend using a cloud storage like Onedrive to store catalogs and access catalogs directly through them.

If you wish to use the same catalog on multiple computers, you can store the images and catalog on an external drive and connect the drive to whichever computer you wish to access the catalog on.

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2020 Jan 10, 2020

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Understood, then I will go with the external drive option to avoid the risk of corrupting my catalog files.  I can still backup to the cloud, of course.  I would just go with the Lightroom CC option and be 100% cloud, but I can't go there yet because LR classic still has more features, and some of those features are things I need. 

 

Suggestion:  I wonder if it might be helpful if Adobe would add this somewhere to the documentation (or maybe I haven't been able to find it).  In your docs about LR classic, add a caution that "placing the LR classic catalog on cloud services is not recommended" because" blah blah.  I think a lot of new users like me have that question.  I would love to have a simple authoritative Adobe help article in the docs that summarizes, here are the recommended options for where to store (1) your LR classic catalog, and (2) your photos.  

 

Perhaps add your warning about using cloud services to this otherwise excellent article about LR classic catalogs:
https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/kb/catalog-faq-lightroom.html

 

Thanks for the reply!

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 13, 2020 Jan 13, 2020

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Thank you for the feedback. I will pass this on to the concerned team and check how we can get more documentation about this.

 

Regards,

Nikunj

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2020 Jan 13, 2020

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I would also appreciate more technical documentation on Lightroom Classic and OneDrive or other cloud services.

Key messages in the documentation could include:

* Don't store your catalogue in OneDrive because OneDrive tries to sync after every edit.

* You can store your catalogue backup files in a OneDrive folder

* You can ??? or cannot ??? store your original photographs that the catalogue references in a local OneDrive folder.

   --- I recall trying to store the original files in a local OneDrive folder, but I believe OneDrive tried to sync all of the original RAW files constantly.  I ended up pulling the original RAW files out of OneDrive and instead exporting jpg images into OneDrive to have high resolution backups in the cloud. 

 

This is why I am reading this post:  To find out if this is still the case or if I needed to change some settings.  I want all of the originals on OneDrive along with the catalogue backups and I don't want to have two copies of the originals on my local drive to do it.  (One copy outside of OneDrive for use with Lightroom and one copy inside OneDrive to have cloud based backups).  Is it possible to store the original RAW files in OneDrive without OneDrive thinking all the files have changed and syncing all of the files continuously?

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2020 Jan 13, 2020

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Any time a file changes Onedrive is going to sync it.  Period. 

 

However, I am keeping the DNG source files that are referenced by Lightroom on my Onedrive.  When I make edits to these files in Lightroom CC, I am not seeing the entire large DNG file uploading in Onedrive every time I tweak a file.  I know that even Lightroom CC saves files to disk in Onedrive, because I specified a Onedrive folder as the place for LR CC to save "a copy of the original files."  So when I edit a DNG, those copies are getting updated in Onedrive, but I'm not seeing a lot of updates every time I tweak a file.

 

However, I tested with regular Lightroom Classic, and in that case, yes I do see the Onedrive cloud icon syncing, literally every time I make an adjustment to an image in Lightroom.  But even though this approach is 'chatty' in the sense that Onedrive is doing a lot of syncing with every touch to a file, it doesn't seem to really harm anything, but it's just not efficient.  If you were on mobile data sitting somewhere working on images on your laptop and getting charged for data use, yeah you'd want to put your catalog AND your images on a fast external drive, like the Samsung T5 SSD.  

 

All this leads me to believe that one could follow something like this basic process: 

1. Store the LR classic catalog on an external drive, as recommended above by Adobe.  

2. Store the LR backup catalog on Onedrive or similar cloud service, so that you always have a good backup separate from the main catalog, and accessible from anywhere.  

3. Store your source photos--including large RAW files--on Onedrive or other cloud service (again, provided you have a fast Internet connection).  If you don't have good Internet or the uploads from your service are too much, then run them on a folder on your machine that's not in Onedrive, or run on an external drive. 

 

I plan to keep experimenting with this and especially item (3), to ensure that it works.  

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 14, 2020 Jan 14, 2020

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tl_t,  thanks for your posts.  I agree with your 3 point process. The remaining grey area for me is within point number three, with respect to exactly how chatty is it?  Is it just the original file that Lightroom Classic is recording edits for or is it all the images in that folder (or the catalogue?).  I recall it being all, but I will also setup some new tests after a I restructure and clean up my catalogues.  Again, thanks for the discussion!   

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New Here ,
Jan 14, 2020 Jan 14, 2020

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Well I've finally solved it for myself after more research today:  I decided to go full cloud and the Lightroom CC with 1 TB plan, so I'm just getting out of LR classic altogether.  It still has a few features that LR CC doesn't, but nothing that I can't live without. 

 

Good luck with your research and plans.  

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New Here ,
Jul 22, 2021 Jul 22, 2021

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"...it is why we do not recommend using a cloud storage like OneDrive..." 

 

- One of Adobe's very own technicion recommended I set up my Lightroom folders in just such a manner.  Oh, great. I have my catalog & all supporting documents in OneDrive's 'Pictures" folder.  So, tell me, just where SHOULD I have these?  Seriously, the "we" of Adobe, I want to know.

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