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Store LR Catalog Previews.lrdata on external drive?

New Here ,
May 20, 2020

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My lightroom catalog previews.lrdata file is taking up a huge amount of space on my computer (207GB). I've read that if you delete this file, Lightroom will recreate previews when you open up the app. 

 

Has anyone tried storing the previews.lrdata file on an external drive when not using lightroom, and putting it back on the computer when you import photos/work in lightroom? So the previews file isn't permanently deleted and stays updated (by transfering it back and forth between computer and external drive).

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Store LR Catalog Previews.lrdata on external drive?

New Here ,
May 20, 2020

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My lightroom catalog previews.lrdata file is taking up a huge amount of space on my computer (207GB). I've read that if you delete this file, Lightroom will recreate previews when you open up the app. 

 

Has anyone tried storing the previews.lrdata file on an external drive when not using lightroom, and putting it back on the computer when you import photos/work in lightroom? So the previews file isn't permanently deleted and stays updated (by transfering it back and forth between computer and external drive).

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Import and export, Performance

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470

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2020

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Never tried your suggestion! (not at all practical IMO)

If your external drive is relatively fast with ample free space- why not put your Catalog there also (with the .lrdata) and run the catalog from there? You will only need the drive connected, but never have the bother of transferring (207Gb) back and forth!

CATALOG-FIND AND MOVE

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 9.4, Lightroom 3.4, Photoshop 2020 (21.2.1), Nikon DSLR, Windows-10.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 21, 2020

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Just Delete that previews file and as you say LR will recreated it the next time you start LR. BUT it will not have all the preview, LR will need to Recreate them. Which is OK. Because the reason your LR Catalog FOLDER, Not just the actual catalog.lrcat file, is so big is because of all the previews LR has created for ALL the files you have "VIEWED" (Viewed is the key word here). LR is Supposed to delete older preview (not just 1:1 previews) after a certain period of time but it doesn't so your Previews folder is holding LR created previews from 2-3-4-whatever years ago that you will never need.

Deleting the Previews folder clears those out and you start fresh with only a limited number of preview files for your most recent images (the images you View after LR recreates the Previews folders).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 21, 2020

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What you suggest does not make sense. Lightroom needs the previews file each time you open the catalog and look at images, not just when you import images. What you can do (if you know how to do this) is place the previews on an external drive and then place a symbolic link to that location inside the catalog folder on your internal drive. This works on two conditions:

1: it must be a symbolic link, not an alias (Mac) or shortcut (Windows)

2: the external drive must be connected when you start using Lightroom.

-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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