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Lr file is growing and growing: how to stop and clean up?

Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017

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Everytime I close Lr CC, it makes a back-up in the Lr-file.

This file is now 24 Gb big and I really want to clean it up.

Since 6 months I don't make smart previews anymore.

In the Lr file:

  • "Backups-file" - 4,8 Gb; I'm scared to trow back-ups away, because I don't really understand how Lr backs-up: is every new back-up the same as the former one, with the latest made adjustments in Lr?
  • "Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata-file" - 7,82 Gb
  • "Lightroom Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata-file" - 10,9 Gb
  • "Mobile Downloads.lrdata-file" - 34 Mb (I do not use mobile, maybe after I've updated the new downloads, but not for now)
  • "Lightroom Catalog" - 5,62 Mb (like a white paper)
  • "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat.lock" - 60 bytes (like a white paper)
  • "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat-journal" - 28,5 kB (like a white paper)
  • "Temporary Import Data" - 40 kB (like a white paper)
  • "Temporary Import Data.db-journal" - 7,55 kB (like a white paper)

I've spent hours on the internet, watching tuts and looking for answers, but I can't find what I'm looking for.

Resumé:

  1. I should like to understand what the purpose of each file in the Lr-file is.
  2. I would like to know what I can put in the bin and what I absolutely should not remove.

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Lr file is growing and growing: how to stop and clean up?

Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017

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Everytime I close Lr CC, it makes a back-up in the Lr-file.

This file is now 24 Gb big and I really want to clean it up.

Since 6 months I don't make smart previews anymore.

In the Lr file:

  • "Backups-file" - 4,8 Gb; I'm scared to trow back-ups away, because I don't really understand how Lr backs-up: is every new back-up the same as the former one, with the latest made adjustments in Lr?
  • "Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata-file" - 7,82 Gb
  • "Lightroom Catalog Smart Previews.lrdata-file" - 10,9 Gb
  • "Mobile Downloads.lrdata-file" - 34 Mb (I do not use mobile, maybe after I've updated the new downloads, but not for now)
  • "Lightroom Catalog" - 5,62 Mb (like a white paper)
  • "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat.lock" - 60 bytes (like a white paper)
  • "Lightroom Catalog.lrcat-journal" - 28,5 kB (like a white paper)
  • "Temporary Import Data" - 40 kB (like a white paper)
  • "Temporary Import Data.db-journal" - 7,55 kB (like a white paper)

I've spent hours on the internet, watching tuts and looking for answers, but I can't find what I'm looking for.

Resumé:

  1. I should like to understand what the purpose of each file in the Lr-file is.
  2. I would like to know what I can put in the bin and what I absolutely should not remove.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 28, 2017

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I keep just a few recent backups, beyond that I delete. How much you keep is up to you.

The rest really should be left as they are, let Lightroom manage them.

Your .LRCAT file is the catalog file, the Previews.lrdata are your Previews, Smart Preview.lrdata are the smart previews. Others are temporary items needed for Lightroom to operate.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2017

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JolandaMC  wrote

Everytime I close Lr CC, it makes a back-up in the Lr-file.

This file is now 24 Gb big and I really want to clean it up.

Since 6 months I don't make smart previews anymore.

In the Lr file:

  • "Backups-file" - 4,8 Gb; I'm scared to trow back-ups away, because I don't really understand how Lr backs-up: is every new back-up the same as the former one, with the latest made adjustments in Lr?

In the LR Catalog Settings dialog on the general tab change the backup time to once a week.

The backups are store in a FOLDER not one File. There are multiple subfolders named with the Date the backup were made. You can delete all the older dated subfolders. I retain the last 2-3 weeks backups.

Every new backup is of the Current, up to date as of the time you are closing LR, Catalog file.

What is backed up is only the Catalog file. No preview and none of your images are backup. Image backup is something you as the user have to do either manually or with some other backup/cloning/drive image program.

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Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017

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Sorry, I wrote file but you are right, those are of course folders.

I prefer backing up each time I've worked in Lr and yes, I'm aware of the fact that I back up catalogues and not images.

So I can clean my Backup-folder. Is there anything more I can clean up? Smart previews for example?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2017

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You can remove the smart previews and that should be done while in LR.

If you like you can delete the standard Previews folder, name starting with the name of the catalog then Previews.lrdata, and LR will recreate it the next time LR is opened. Have LR Closed when deleting that folder.

But all your preview will be gone and LR will need to rebuild them once an image is selected or viewed in the grid view area. If you see 3 white dots in the upper right hand corner of the image thumbnail that mean LR is building a preview or and or reading the metadata for that file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2017

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Also let me add that you can filter all images that have smart preview so they can be all selected at the same time to remove the smart previews as a group. so you don't have to do it one at a time.

I normally don't use smart preview and have never deleted the Smart Preview folder on the few occasions I have created a smart preview of certain images. So I don't know what would happen if you just deleted the smart Previews folder like I suggested to do with the standard preview folder I referenced in my above post.

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Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017

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Okay; thanks for the warning!

I'm into Lr since 1,5 year and did not know I let Lr create smart previews. Learning while using, you know . Once I found out what smart previews were, I unchecked the "make them" box  immediately.

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Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017

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You helped me anyway with that suggestion; searching on youtube "how to remove smart previews" gave me a lot of helpful hits that I could not find in my former search.

And in case you want to know how: How To Delete Smart Previews In Lightroom - YouTube .

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Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017

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With many thanks to Just Shoot Me, who gave me some new key words to use in my search, I also found this one from Julieanne Kost: .How to Prevent Lightroom’s Previews File from Taking Over the Hard Drive - YouTube

Problem solved, my folder is reduced to 8,7 Gb!

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