Dumb newish MacBook Pro user here with major storage issues from LR

Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Hello!  Please be kind.  I freely admit I have no idea what I'm doing.  I went from a Windows user to a Macbook user right before my busy season and basically did enough learning to get me by.  Well, I'm pretty sure I'm doing something majorly wrong because my hard drive is almost out of storage.  I plan on trying to research it more or maybe in zoom call with a fellow photographer to see their workflow but in the meantime, can you tell me if I can delete the following files?  They are in my Icloud/Downloads folder:  

Lightroom Catalog-v10 Previews.lrdata (currently using up 169.3GB)

Lightroom Catalog-v10.lrcat (currently using up 1.2GB)

Lightroom Catalog.lrcat (currently using up 927.9MB)

 

Please dumb it down for me.  I already searched for answers in here and you're techie lingo is over my head.  Thank you! 🙂

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Forgot to mention I use a Synology external hard drive.  

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LEGEND ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Delete the Previews.lrdata folder, and JUST that folder.

It holds the Preview that LrC used to show you your images. LrC will Automatically recreate it the next time you open LrC.

Delete it with LrC Closed.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Lightroom Catalog-v10 Previews.lrdata (currently using up 169.3GB) – Previews for the catalog below. OK to throw this out at any time. However, it will grow again over time, because Lightroom Classic will always be generating current previews of the images that you view or work on in the catalog.

 

Lightroom Catalog-v10.lrcat (currently using up 1.2GB) — This is probably your current Lightroom Classic version 10 catalog with all of your work in it. If that’s true, this must be kept and backed up.

 

Lightroom Catalog.lrcat (currently using up 927.9MB) – This might be the old Lightroom Classic version 9 catalog you used to use before upgrading to version 10 (but of course I don’t know for sure, you’d have to confirm this). If you are absolutely sure this is the same catalog that got upgraded to version 10 above, then this is an old one that can be deleted.

 

Storage space issues are going to be more or less comparable between Mac and Windows. The basic rule is to keep a lot of free space on internal storage (the one the system is installed on), regardless of how much external storage you have. How much is “a lot”? For photography and video editing, try to keep at least 50 gigabytes (GB) of free space on internal storage at all times; I actually aim for over 100GB free.

 

The reasons for this:

  • macOS and Windows constantly need to set up temporary files for various reasons, and those files can sometimes be several GB in size each. For example, if there is only 2GB free on internal storage and macOS wants to create a 3GB temporary file, the system will say it’s out of room. 
  • Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, like other photo editors, can need a lot of temporary room to work too. Lightroom Classic will grow that Previews file which is currently almost 170GB. The bigger the document you edit in Photoshop, the more free space should be available for mandatory temporary files that can be quite large.
  • If you have a recent laptop with solid state storage (SSD) which is normally very fast, you must not let it get too full, because an SSD slows down dramatically if there isn’t much space available. 

 

Free space is like the size of your art studio. If that room gets so crowded that you can only work on a tiny desk in one corner, the kinds of projects you can work on become severely limited. There has to be a lot of room to spread out the things that need to be worked on.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2020 Dec 09, 2020

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One of the best posts Conrad, love the studio space analogy 👍🏿👍🏿--
Best regards

Geoff Walker


Sent from Gmail Mobile

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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Great post Conrad extreamly relevant and informative in this situation.

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.2.3, LrC 10.2, Lr 4.1, Ps 22.3, Pr 14.8.0; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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If your hard drive is almost out of space, how big is your hard drive? You didn't tell us.

 

Which drive are the photos on? You didn't tell us.

 

Usually, the reason for running out of space is not the Catalog or the previews, it is the photos. Those should go on an external drive.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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dj_paige wrote:

If your hard drive is almost out of space, how big is your hard drive? You didn't tell us.
Which drive are the photos on? You didn't tell us.

 

My reply assumed that the Synology device mentioned in the second post, probably an NAS, is where the photos are, and that the low free space warnings are coming from the system volume. The capacity of the volume running out of space doesn’t matter, however large it is, files need to be moved off it until there is enough free space for the amount of work being done (number of images previewed in Lightroom Classic, or sizes of Photoshop documents). Granted, it’s a lot more difficult to keep enough space free on a 256GB or 128GB internal volume.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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Thank you so much to all of you for your help

 

@dj_paige @Conrad C 

 

Again, sorry for this dumb response:

I use a Macbook Pro 2019, 16GB memory

Under Storage it says I have 82.3GB available of 500GB...I don't know if that's a lot or not?  I thought it was going to be enough when I purchased this Mac but now with these problems I don't know what's wrong.  The preview file using up 169 seems like a lot so hopefully getting rid of that will help.  I upload my photos to my external hard drive from my SD cards so hopefully that means none of them are going on my internal hard drive.

 

Maybe some of my storage/memory issues aren't related to LR at all.  Like I said in my original post, I don't know a ton about Mac's.  It seems like Icloud is my problem.  I also don't understand the connection between my Iphone and my Mac and if that's possibly playing a role in my memory issues.  Periodically I have a pop-up warning from a program I recently purchased due to this problem (CleanMyMac) that says, "Heavy memory usage, CleanMyMac has found that you're running out of both physical and virtual memory.  Consider quitting some apps."  I don't feel like I'm running much when it says this so it's super frustrating. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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Conrad's response was spot on!  As for memory - 16GB should be OK for running Lightroom Classic.

I run mine on my Macbook Pro qih 16 GB and never have a memory issue. 

I prefer 1 TB of internal disk space, because I often have both Lightroom and Photoshop running at the same time, and Photoshop does gobble memory with multiple layers as you work on an image.

I also recommend - like Conrad mentioned - that you make sure your photo files themselves - the ones you said were on the external drive, are backed up at a second location. Another drive for example. I always have my Lightroom catalog and the files Lightroom uses when it is open, on my internal drive, however I also copy the Lightroom Catalog-v10.lrcat file on a regular basis to another external drive... If my internal drive were to have a problem, I can reload Lightroom application, and then use the back up copy of the catalog to continue where I had left off. All the images themselves are on an external, with a second extenal backing that one up.   I do think the notices you are getting are from iCLoud. I do not store my photos or much else in iCLoud, becuase you only get a small amount for free from Apple, and because I have external drives, RAIDS, NAS devices, I dont find the need to pay for storage on iCloud.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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>They are in my Icloud/Downloads folder:  

 

That is very strange. Are you sure that these are the actual catalogs you are using? Control click on the little icon in front of your catalog name in the Lightroom Classic window and it should show you where your catalog file is actually located. Storing these in the icloud folder will sync these to the cloud and that might not be what you were intending. The default location for the Lightroom Catalog is in your personal pictures folder in your home folder. 

 

Also, if your previews.lrdata folder is 170 GB, you must have a lot of images or your previews are really large. I have a bout 100k images in my catalog but my previews folder is only 100GB. There is no need to use and keep 1:1 previews in most cases. The preference for the default size of previews is in Catalog Settings (Lightroom Classic Menu) in the File Handling menu. Best is to set the size to Auto and preview quality to medium.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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I control clicked and it says 

Downloads

iCloud Drive

 

I will update the size of my previews, thank you

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2020 Dec 09, 2020

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Just to give you another user's perspective, I have over 150,000 images in my catalog. And my Lightroom Catalog v-10 Previes.lrdata file is 133.6 MB. I do set my default size for previews to the 1:1 size but also have the setting automatically delete 1:1 previews after a month or less.  That way,  when I import, I can quickly see the full size images work on them, and then not worry about the large size previews taking up space going forward. 

 

There are a lot of ways to handle your settings and each person works differently. I think Jao's suggestions are excellent for a "newish Macbook Pro "user.... and by the way, there are no dumb questions!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 08, 2020 Dec 08, 2020

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>Maybe some of my storage/memory issues aren't related to LR at all.  Like I said in my original post, I don't know a ton about Mac's.  It seems like Icloud is my problem.  I also don't understand the connection between my Iphone and my Mac and if that's possibly playing a role in my memory issues.  Periodically I have a pop-up warning from a program I recently purchased due to this problem (CleanMyMac) that says, "Heavy memory usage, CleanMyMac has found that you're running out of both physical and virtual memory.  Consider quitting some apps."  I don't feel like I'm running much when it says this so it's super frustrating. 

 

Don't mean to alarm you but you probably should get rid of CleanMyMac! At best it is harmless but it is mostly crapware. It is actually not easy to get rid of completely. Do not believe ANY of the warnings you get from it. They're mostly nonsense or tries to scare you. It is more likely to completely mess up your system than it is to actually remedy any problem. The warning you saw there is meaningless and except if your machine suddenly becomes really slow with spinning beachballs for minutes at a time, you're probably not actually running out of memory. Also note that the memory it is talking about is not hard drive space. It is internal working memory - i.e. the 16GB of RAM in your machine. 

 

>Under Storage it says I have 82.3GB available of 500GB...I

 

That's not much but at the same time not really a problem. The internal SSD hard drive should have at least 20% empty space in general for optimal speed. So freeing up some more space is probably a good idea. One thing to be aware of is that if you click on the apple icon in the top left of your screen, do "about this mac" and then click on storage you can see an overview of what is taking up space. Clicking on manage you get some options to reduce disk usage. In general, you want to ONLY choose the Optimize storage and empty trash automatically options. Then next you can click on review files and you will see which files and folders on your hard disk are taking up a lot of space. I especially like using the "File browser" in this view as it sorts folders and files that take most space up high. Of course you need to know for sure what you can actually delete before deleting it so caree must be taken.

 

That said, your Lightroom Catalog including previews appears to only really be taking up around 200GB. The operating system and other files usually will only take arounbd 50GB so something else is taking up a lot of space. Might make sense to chase down what it is.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2020 Dec 09, 2020

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Jao gave some excellent suggestions above!!! These are all great ideas for keeping your catalog clean!

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 09, 2020 Dec 09, 2020

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kristinak63635969 wrote:

“…(CleanMyMac) that says, "Heavy memory usage, CleanMyMac has found that you're running out of both physical and virtual memory. Consider quitting some apps." I don't feel like I'm running much when it says this so it's super frustrating.”

 

Those particular CleanMyMac warnings sound like they are only about RAM (memory for processing), not storage. If the only warnings you are getting are from CleanMyMac, then I suspect it is using outdated methods to measure memory and you should not be concerned. The best way to understand whether you have enough RAM is to open Activity Monitor (in the Utilities folder) and specifically look at Memory Pressure, which evaluates the memory system as a whole. If Memory Pressure is green, everything is OK, no matter what the numbers say for memory used etc. If CleanMyMac is using old ways, it will panic if it sees low free RAM, but in current versions of macOS (and I think Windows too), low free RAM is not necesssarily cause for alarm. If there is so much demand for RAM that the system really can’t cope, you will see Memory Pressure go orange or red: If you see that frequently, then there is a real problem.

 

Activity-Monitor-Memory-Pressure-macOS-10.5.7.jpg

 

Your 16GB of RAM should be enough for most things; my MacBook Pro has the same amount and I spend a lot of time in Lightroom Classic.

 

kristinak63635969 wrote:

“Under Storage it says I have 82.3GB available of 500GB...I don't know if that's a lot or not? I thought it was going to be enough when I purchased this Mac but now with these problems I don't know what's wrong. The preview file using up 169 seems like a lot so hopefully getting rid of that will help. I upload my photos to my external hard drive from my SD cards so hopefully that means none of them are going on my internal hard drive.”

 

500GB internal storage is pretty good, and 82.3GB free is acceptable (might not be enough if opening very large Photoshop files). Many Mac users make the mistake of buying the base storage (128GB or 256GB) for Lightroom or Photoshop, and they run out of space real quick. Buying at least 500GB is wise. Some don’t need that much space because they are religious about keeping old projects off the laptop, but others install many apps and have enough important stuff to fill up the drive.

 

kristinak63635969 wrote:

“Again, sorry for this dumb response”

 

Remember, there are no dumb questions! That’s why we’re answering… 🙂

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