Using Lightroom across two computers with external HDD.

New Here ,
Feb 21, 2019 Feb 21, 2019

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Hi, I am also relatively new to Lightroom Classic CC, but I have been using an external hard drive when traveling as I, too, need to edit photos across on two computers, an iMac and a Macbook Pro. So I have loaded all my library photos onto my Seagate external drive and it works very nicely with my Macbook Pro while traveling. But I thought since I only have one account with Adobe, and that when I sign on to LR on Mac desktop, LR should recognize the Seagate external drive. It turned out my LR has no inkling of the existence of the photo library on Seagate, and the only way my desktop LR can have access to the photo library on the external hard drive is to import them once more, as I already did onto to laptop, to the LR on my desktop. While is this repetitious importation necessary?

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019
You need to place the LR catalog file, the one that has all the images imported into it, on that same external drive and open it, Use that catalog, on both computers when moving the external drive.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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You need to place the LR catalog file, the one that has all the images imported into it, on that same external drive and open it, Use that catalog, on both computers when moving the external drive.

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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Thanks for your reply. That is exactly what I have done.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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The catalog can remain on the external hard drive and reference the images that are on that drive.

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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Thank you for your reply. I did exactly that. I was hoping to find a way that enable automatic sync without having to import every time when I plug in the external hard drive. But I guess that is what I have to do.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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barbaras81920612  wrote

Thank you for your reply. I did exactly that. I was hoping to find a way that enable automatic sync without having to import every time when I plug in the external hard drive. But I guess that is what I have to do.

The post from JimHess​ does not suggest "Import every time". You do NOT import every time. There is NO syncing involved at all.

You simply swap the external drive to a computer and 'Open' the catalog (.LRCAT) that is on the external drive that also has your image files.

[I know windows computers may show external drives with differing letters ( E: F: G: etc) when moved from one computer to another, that causes a "missing" problem, but there is an easy way to re-link image folders in the catalog to fix this. I do not know if  Mac systems have this problem.]

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.3, Photoshop 23.3, ACR 14.3, Lightroom 5.3, Lr-iOS 7.0.2, Bridge 12.0.1, Windows-10.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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barbaras81920612  wrote

Thank you for your reply. I did exactly that. I was hoping to find a way that enable automatic sync without having to import every time when I plug in the external hard drive. But I guess that is what I have to do.

You are completely missing the point.

If you have your WORKING catalog on the external drive and you open that catalog on each computer you use LR on you won't need to re-import any images. You import them once to that WORKING catalog on the external drive and when you move that external drive to the other computer and OPEN that same catalog on the external drive all the images will be there.

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New Here ,
Feb 22, 2019 Feb 22, 2019

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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I know. The whole point of using external drive is NOT to import file every single time, which is why I enlisted help from this community when I was forced to import file from the external drive to my desktop. The external hard drive was visible, but not recognized by the LR and the only way to get the files through is click the Import button. I was baffled for answer. After reading in the forum, I know my understanding was right to begin with and that I shouldn't have to import again when I plug the external hard drive into my desktop. But today I think I finally figured out what the cause might be, which I could have been my own oversight.

When I initially set up the external hard drive to work with my Macbook Pro, I had to download Seagate Paragon drive in order for my laptop to recognize the external hard drive and enable the content on the hard drive to be editable instead of read only. I had not done that on my desktop until today. So I hope the LR on my desktop from now on will recognize this external hard drive. No more needless importation after coming home.

Your posts and replies to my inquiry are helpful. I very much appreciate your insight.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 23, 2019 Feb 23, 2019

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Again you are missing the point.

You have to OPEN the Catalog file that is on the external drive. There are 2 ways to do that. First Open LR then go to File, Menu item, and select Open Catalog then Browse to the catalog on the external drive. Or open Finder and browse to the catalog file on the external drive and Double click on it.

But you also need to set LR on both computers to automatically open the catalog on the external drive. You do that in the LR preferences.

Default Catalog location.png

As above mine is set to open a catalog on my D drive. You would set it to open the catalog on the external drive. Using the Drive name and full path.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 01, 2019 Dec 01, 2019

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You fixed my problem as well. Thank you!

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New Here ,
Jan 24, 2022 Jan 24, 2022

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I just came off the phone with Lightroom rep, did all of that and the 3 files that were edited on computer one did not show up on computer two with the edits

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