1. On a Windows 10 Pro PC, I have a collection of 22 thousand odd photos in my collection. Not very large but growing by the day 🙂
2. The catalog exists on C-Drive and before starting, the space on C-Drive is 4.25GB.
3. When LR starts I find a popup that pleads for 20MB space on C-drive. The popup refuses to go away since the space is now below 20MB.
4. I use an optimising tool (Wise Care) and clean up junk. LR popup goes away.
It seems LR is creating and using space for caching images, so forth? I optimise and backup catalogs very regularly.
What is happening here? What should I do apart from splitting the catalog OR moving it to a drive with even more space than say 4.25GB? Suggestions, please.
Your drive is full. What you need to do is clear out space on your system drive. 4.25 GB free is nothing, it can be gone in three seconds. This is an emergency situation that you need to deal with immediately! Your whole machine can freeze up at any moment.
This has nothing specifically to do with Lightroom. When you run out of RAM, any application working data will be written to disk, and this is handled by the operating system. If you then run out of disk space too, the whole system grinds to a halt.
Never allow a system drive to fill up beyond 60-70 %. You need to have available space at all times for temporary data.
As mentioned, the main problem is that you should definitely free some space or get a bigger hard drive.
One thing I've done in the past to free space is get rid of some of Lightroom Previews and Smart Previews.
Previews allows Lightroom to quickly show images in the library without having to read all pictures files. It's very useful to improve performance, but takes a lot of space. I rarely ever pictures older than 3 or 4 years, so I've just deleted the previews for all of those older pictures. If and when I want to see a few of them, Lightroo will just rebuild them, no big deal.
Smart previews allow you to edit the pictures in the develop module even if the photos are offline (for instance, if they are stored on an external drive). Smart Previews also take a lot of space and if you never edit offline pictures, they are useless. Whenever I think I might work offline from my laptop, I just create Smart Previews for the pictures I'll need to edit (staying on the safe side, I do it for more pictures than I could possibly edit in a given time).
Removing all those (smart) previews is definitely not as good as getting a (much) bigger drive, but it's free, and in my case helped a lot (tens of GB).
Independently of Lightroom, on Windows you can run Disk Cleanup to find out how much space you could free (temporary files, files from previous Windows updates that you can safely delete, and so on...). If you've never done it, you'll probably be surprised by how much space is wasted by unnecessary files.
Hope that helps,
I completely agree with the others. I try to keep over 100GB free on a computer’s system storage. If it gets below 50GB I immediately find out what can be deleted or moved to another drive. If I had under 5GB free, that would be an emergency. Because there are too many system processes and creative applications that need large amounts of temporary storage space, which can fluctuate greatly depending on the day’s work. If a large file is opened, the system might decide to allocate a few GB of temporary virtual memory swap file space. In Lightroom Classic, the previews file might grow a little if I view 3 or 4 images today, but if I review a shoot of 300 photos in Loupe (full image) view then it will generate 300 screen-sized previews, and that will make the previews file grow a lot that day.
If a certain combination of system and application demands happen on a particular day, the system and/or applications could easily ask for much more than 5GB of temporary storage space at that time.
Thank you all for the education and esp. the suggestion on deleting smart previews.
Have a good day while I shop for disks.