Lightroom folder cleanup mess, need advice

Explorer ,
Jun 27, 2020

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I'm using LR Classic. I haven't paid close attention to the evolving name changes Adobe has imposed on us but I do know it used to be called Photoshop Lightroom, then I think there was a CC version and then mine became Lightroom Classic. When I open up the Lightroom folder inside of the Pictures folder, I see it's a mess of stuff which desparately needs cleaning. But I'm not sure what is what and what can be safely tossed and what shouldn't. I've attached a screenshot of what I see. 

 

You can see an Archive folder, a Backup folder, multiple catalog files, temporary files, etc. There's also the mysterious Lightroom Library.lrlibrary folder. Googling suggests it's from Lightroom CC. Is that still a product?

 

My questions first:
1. Why an Archive and a Backup folder?

2. How many Backups does one need? I open that folder and find backups going back to 2013. I should probably put Backups on another drive/system and not on the same system my LR folder is on, right?

3. What catalog files can I dump? 

4. Can I dump the .lrlibrary folder? Do I need it with Classic?

5. What is the temporary import data stuff?

6. What is the -2 and -2-2 appended to the Lightroom Catalog files?

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by WobertC | Adobe Community Professional

1. Why an Archive and a Backup folder?

I guess that you must have manually created an 'Archive' folder as some time. It looks like really old stuff! It could be deleted.

The {Backup} folder is the default one that Lr creates for Catalog backups- see Q2

2. How many Backups does one need? I open that folder and find backups going back to 2013. I should probably put Backups on another drive/system and not on the same system my LR folder is on, right?

"How many?"- The right number for me is: Several recent, and a couple over some months. -The decision is yours!

"another drive system?"- Yes, definitely!

3. What catalog files can I dump?

Keep all the current files that end with '-2-2'. Move others to another folder until determined they are not needed, then delete.

I do not know what you have in the {Catalogs to Import} folder, or why.

4. Can I dump the .lrlibrary folder? Do I need it with Classic?

Lightroom library.lrlibrary is the cache used by Lightroom (Cloud version- Lightroom-Desktop). It is not used by Lightroom Classic. Do you have Lightroom v3.3 installed and using?

5. What is the temporary import data stuff?

Stuff you can delete.

6. What is the -2 and -2-2 appended to the Lightroom Catalog files?

Every time LrC gets a major upgrade the Catalog gets copied and upgraded with -2 added to the Catalog name.

(eg. an upgrade to LrCatalog-2.lrcat  will create a new LrCatalog-2-2.lrcat )

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Lightroom folder cleanup mess, need advice

Explorer ,
Jun 27, 2020

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I'm using LR Classic. I haven't paid close attention to the evolving name changes Adobe has imposed on us but I do know it used to be called Photoshop Lightroom, then I think there was a CC version and then mine became Lightroom Classic. When I open up the Lightroom folder inside of the Pictures folder, I see it's a mess of stuff which desparately needs cleaning. But I'm not sure what is what and what can be safely tossed and what shouldn't. I've attached a screenshot of what I see. 

 

You can see an Archive folder, a Backup folder, multiple catalog files, temporary files, etc. There's also the mysterious Lightroom Library.lrlibrary folder. Googling suggests it's from Lightroom CC. Is that still a product?

 

My questions first:
1. Why an Archive and a Backup folder?

2. How many Backups does one need? I open that folder and find backups going back to 2013. I should probably put Backups on another drive/system and not on the same system my LR folder is on, right?

3. What catalog files can I dump? 

4. Can I dump the .lrlibrary folder? Do I need it with Classic?

5. What is the temporary import data stuff?

6. What is the -2 and -2-2 appended to the Lightroom Catalog files?

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by WobertC | Adobe Community Professional

1. Why an Archive and a Backup folder?

I guess that you must have manually created an 'Archive' folder as some time. It looks like really old stuff! It could be deleted.

The {Backup} folder is the default one that Lr creates for Catalog backups- see Q2

2. How many Backups does one need? I open that folder and find backups going back to 2013. I should probably put Backups on another drive/system and not on the same system my LR folder is on, right?

"How many?"- The right number for me is: Several recent, and a couple over some months. -The decision is yours!

"another drive system?"- Yes, definitely!

3. What catalog files can I dump?

Keep all the current files that end with '-2-2'. Move others to another folder until determined they are not needed, then delete.

I do not know what you have in the {Catalogs to Import} folder, or why.

4. Can I dump the .lrlibrary folder? Do I need it with Classic?

Lightroom library.lrlibrary is the cache used by Lightroom (Cloud version- Lightroom-Desktop). It is not used by Lightroom Classic. Do you have Lightroom v3.3 installed and using?

5. What is the temporary import data stuff?

Stuff you can delete.

6. What is the -2 and -2-2 appended to the Lightroom Catalog files?

Every time LrC gets a major upgrade the Catalog gets copied and upgraded with -2 added to the Catalog name.

(eg. an upgrade to LrCatalog-2.lrcat  will create a new LrCatalog-2-2.lrcat )

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Jun 27, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 28, 2020

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1. Why an Archive and a Backup folder?

I guess that you must have manually created an 'Archive' folder as some time. It looks like really old stuff! It could be deleted.

The {Backup} folder is the default one that Lr creates for Catalog backups- see Q2

2. How many Backups does one need? I open that folder and find backups going back to 2013. I should probably put Backups on another drive/system and not on the same system my LR folder is on, right?

"How many?"- The right number for me is: Several recent, and a couple over some months. -The decision is yours!

"another drive system?"- Yes, definitely!

3. What catalog files can I dump?

Keep all the current files that end with '-2-2'. Move others to another folder until determined they are not needed, then delete.

I do not know what you have in the {Catalogs to Import} folder, or why.

4. Can I dump the .lrlibrary folder? Do I need it with Classic?

Lightroom library.lrlibrary is the cache used by Lightroom (Cloud version- Lightroom-Desktop). It is not used by Lightroom Classic. Do you have Lightroom v3.3 installed and using?

5. What is the temporary import data stuff?

Stuff you can delete.

6. What is the -2 and -2-2 appended to the Lightroom Catalog files?

Every time LrC gets a major upgrade the Catalog gets copied and upgraded with -2 added to the Catalog name.

(eg. an upgrade to LrCatalog-2.lrcat  will create a new LrCatalog-2-2.lrcat )

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.1, Photoshop 22.1, Lightroom 4.1, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Jun 28, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jun 29, 2020

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WobertC, thank you! Good clear responses that are very helpful. Followup questions and answers to your questions follow:

 

3. What I meant by "what catalog files" is not about what's in my catalog but about which of the various files that make up the "set". When you got a folder of various files, it becomes cloudy which ones are critical and which ones are my own from the past or generated by old revs of old LR app versions.

 

4. Is it safe to rename the catalog files that have the -2-2 or -2? I assume so but don't want to break anything like linked references to it within LR. 
Not sure why you asked but no, I don't use LR v3.3.

 

Thank again!

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Jun 29, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 29, 2020

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which of the various files that make up the "set".

Your current working Catalog "set" would be these-

ScreenShot337.jpg

So, In the {Lightroom} parent folder-

Keep the {Backups}folder (as it most likely has some recent backups!)

Keep all the files that end with '-2-2' as in my screen-clip. Move others to another folder until determined they are not needed, then delete at a future date.

Is it safe to rename the catalog files that have the -2-2 or -2?

Yes!-  but no point to rename the -2 files, they are the 'old' versions of your catalog (put them in a backup folder).

To rename the catalog you must rename all the files in the "set" (my screen-clip) in the same manner-

Lightroom Catalog-2-2.lrcat   >  2020 Catalog.lrcat

Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Previews.lrdata  >  2020 Catalog Previews.lrdata

Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Smart Previews.lrdata  >  2020 Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata

etc. 

See more info here- RENAME CATALOG 

I don't use LR v3.3.

Then maybe you trialled it once or installed it from the CC Desktop App by mistake (in Feb 2019?), which would also explain why you have a 'Sync' folder- {Lightroom Catalog-2-2 Sync.lrdata}.

If you do not use (or intend to use in the future- it might be handy 🙂 ) Lightroom- CC (v3.3) then you could uninstall it from the Desktop App.

 

Another question- What reason do you have to use Smart Previews?  (They occupy 1.53GB!)

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.1, Photoshop 22.1, Lightroom 4.1, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Jun 29, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Jul 02, 2020

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WobertC, thank you again! Excellent response once again!

I think I did trial or open by mistake the LR-CC. I didn't realize you meant that when you said v3.3. I don't have a clear understanding of what are the pros and cons of LR CC but I like what is now LR Classic and have stuck with it. I know CC is about cloud storage and transfer between mobile devices more. That may be off but it's what my impression is. If you or anyone can let me know what I would gain or lose from switching I'd welcome hearing about it.

 

I don't know where the Smart Previews came from and why it's so huge!  I don't know what to do with it either. Suggestions?

 

BTW, why does LR put the Backup folder in the LR folder on the same drive as the catalog by default. Shouldn't it be located on another drive?

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Jul 02, 2020 0
WobertC LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 02, 2020

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 I don't have a clear understanding of what are the pros and cons of LR CC but I like what is now LR Classic and have stuck with it.

IMO Stick with Classic!  And using both LrC & Lr together is discouraged by Adobe!

COMPARE LR & LR-CLASSIC

 

I don't know where the Smart Previews came from and why it's so huge! I don't know what to do with it either. Suggestions?

If you have a purpose for them- you can easily create Smart Previews.

If you are not using them you can delete them- either selectively from the menus, or simply delete the whole folder {xxxx Smart Previews.lrdata} with Lr closed and using the File browser..

ScreenShot343.jpg

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-performance-previews-caches/

 

BTW, why does LR put the Backup folder in the LR folder on the same drive as the catalog by default. Shouldn't it be located on another drive?

It is the default that is created when Lr is installed. The installer can not know what external drives, etc, that you may want to use for backups- everyone is different! Your choice location for Catalog backups is given in the 'Exit' dialog.

(My screen-clip: I use C:drive because my working catalogs and photos are all on other physical drives!)

ScreenShot344.jpg

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.1, Photoshop 22.1, Lightroom 4.1, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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