Hi, I just got a new desktop w/ Windows 10. It has a small SSD drive for Windows/startup programs and I've transferred all of my Data onto the larger D:/ drive. I set up the latest version of Lightroom Classic via my Adobe Cloud account and imported all of my photo files. It automatically began to create Catalog Previews which took an entire day. After the fact, I updated my Catalog settings to recommended space-saving settings, but that still leaves me with a Lightroom Catalog Previews file that is 220GB (77,658 files) large! I need to free up some space. My entire Lightroom Catalog (.lrcat) file is 596MB large. I've cleaned up, deleted and/or transferred many files onto an external hard drive which I will continue to do, but the Previews file is just way too large and I'm looking for a solution.
I'm wondering if I should just delete the Previews file altogether. I've read conflicting information and nothing more recent than two years old. I've read that LR will automatically regenerate the previews into the same file again if I delete it? Also wondering if it could damage the LR program by deleting that file.
Any ideas out there would be greatly appreciated!
If you delete it, it will just rebuild again, new previews being generated whenever LR needs to display files.
You won't do any damage, but you'll be affecting the speed of displaying thumbnails and full screen previews.
How big is the hard drive, how big is the previews folder? If this is a serious problem, maybe your hard drive is too small?
Thanks, John. It's a 2TB and since it's an all-in-one desktop, it would be difficult to change. It should be sufficient for my needs, using external hard drives for older files that I rarely use. Thanks for your response!
Yes you can. The previews folder will be recreated but only the previews for images you view in the grid view or loupe view will be recreated in that folder.
Close LR and use the File manager for the OS to delete it.
I do this every now and then.
"Just shoot me" - (chuckling at your forum name!). Thanks so much. I've just deleted the file with confidence, thanks to you. I appreciate your help!!
You can also keep the Previews folder smaller by selecting 'Medium' Preview Quality, which causes no issues from my experience. If you have it set to High I suggest deleting the Previews folder again and let the LR build new smaller file size previews.
Thanks in advance, sorry if it seems Banal, but delete folder? or contents?
Hi, I did this as I read it here and in other forums. Now I cant see any preview and cant open any of my images anymore. Is it possible to reinstall this Lightroom Previews.lrdata folder again? Please help!
You have to CLOSE LrC before you Delete that folder.
Once you start LrC again it Recreates that folder system and then starts rebuilding preview for the images you display in the Grid view area.
This can take some time bepending on the settings you have select to the Size of the previews.
Post some screen shot of what you are seeing.
Look in the same Folder your catalog is stored in and see if the Previews.lrdata file has been recreated.
Hi and thanks for your reply! I think another problem is that most of the images are originally safed on seperate harddisk and in the cloud. But as you can see on my screenshot it says it has 1973 Problems to create a preview. Thats almost everything I have saved in there. On another hand I tried to restore the previews and it gives me a huge lists of errors.
I need to ask why you didn't show the Folders section?
All the images you are showing in the Grid view area are MISSING. They are not where LrC thinks they should be.
If you had shown the Folder section I bet whatever folders (and drives) listed in that section would have a question mark next to them.
If you want help you need to start helping by showing the FULL LrC Library module with Relevant sections displayed. Like this. And you can collapse the Navigator section so other sections can be displayed.
Nest question: 😉 What about deleting empty folders inside the Previews.lrdata folder? Can they be deleted?
You could. But since they are empty, why bother?
The *.LrData folders are not something you should be poking through.