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proliferation of catelog files - what do i actually need and what can I delete

New Here ,
Jul 23, 2020

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Hi all

 

I tend to back up my lightroom catelog folder periodically but after a hard reset trying to restore and then back up has been a nightmare.

 

In terms of my photos, I have 117k in my library and about 30,000 files in my catelog folder, split into the sub directories. most have long coded names, are tiny but take hours to copy to and from my NAS backup.... I am stating the obvious in that these are probably previews and smart previews etc but is there a way i can either just

 

A.) delete them with no impact

b.) clean them up so I dont have 30,000 catelog files?

 

What of this do i actually need?

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proliferation of catelog files - what do i actually need and what can I delete

New Here ,
Jul 23, 2020

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Hi all

 

I tend to back up my lightroom catelog folder periodically but after a hard reset trying to restore and then back up has been a nightmare.

 

In terms of my photos, I have 117k in my library and about 30,000 files in my catelog folder, split into the sub directories. most have long coded names, are tiny but take hours to copy to and from my NAS backup.... I am stating the obvious in that these are probably previews and smart previews etc but is there a way i can either just

 

A.) delete them with no impact

b.) clean them up so I dont have 30,000 catelog files?

 

What of this do i actually need?

Topics

How to, Performance, Windows

Views

41

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 23, 2020

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In reality, you only need one or maybe two catalog files. I have one catalog that I keep all of my keeper images in, and another catalog that I call my "test" catalog that I use for experimenting. And that's it. I have each of those set to back up on a weekly basis. Occasionally I will go to the backup folder and eliminate all but maybe a half dozen backup files. Previews, smart previews, collections, keywords and all that other stuff is all stored inside of the catalog file. So if you really have as you say 30,000 catalog files, are these all backups of the same catalog? What have you done?

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WobertC LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2020

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"long coded names, are tiny ...  these are probably previews and smart previews etc"

Yes, for sure. If they in a folders with the file type suffix of .LRDATA

but is there a way i can either just

A.) delete them with no impact

No. They are the Previews that allow you to see the thumbnails and Loupe views in Lightroom.

b.) clean them up so I dont have 30,000 catelog files?

You Can delete the .LRDATA folders with contained Previews, BUT LrC will start re-building the Previews when next started.

You can also 'clean up' any 1:1 and Smart Previews from the Lr Menu: Library > Previews

 

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

 

 

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

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