I have Photoshop Elements 2020 installed. Do I need to uninstall 2020 before I install Elements 2021 or will 2021 overwrite 2020?
No need to uninstall.
Each version is independent of the other. You may have many versions installed on the same computer.
. . . and nothing will be overwritten. So, when you are satisfied that you don't need the earlier version, you can delete it then.
In addition to the above answers: it's also a much better idea not to remove things because your Organizer library will need to be manually copied over. So: you'll have to make a backup and then restore that backup again (assuming you already made some of your own categories and photo albums). I just installed PSE2021 and discovered this feat for myself. Time to backup! 🙂
Yes, this is one of the most common faq:
However, the backup and restore process is not required if you install a new version of PSE on the same computer as the old version. You simply have to 'convert' your catalog to the new version; that also keeps the old one renamed with a -1 suffix for the older software.
You are right, a full backup is an excellent idea before or even after the conversion.
While we are at it, take the time to have a look at the new feature to backup the catalog only automatically in PSE2021 (see the What's New features).
Yups, you just beat me to it. See, there's one exception to the above (and where I somewhat went wrong in my above comment): if you're using the Micrsoft Store version of PSE 2020. I just discovered that this version doesn't store the catalog in a common location (common for Windows 10 would be c:\programdata\adobe\elements organizer\catalogs) and I assume it has everything to do with PSE 2020 actually being a Windows 10 app (when bought from the MS store!).
Windows 10 'apps' have a tendency to store app data in the same highly restricted app folder as the app itself is. The advantage is that there won't be any left over data whenever you remove/deinstall the app. The disadvantage should be obvious: upgrades can become tricky because apps cannot "just" access each others app storage.
As such my above comment, but in hindsight I should have made it more obvious that I was using the MS store version.
In addition to the above answers: it's also a much better idea not to remove things because your Organizer library will need to be manually copied over.
That is not correct. Upon first launch of a new version, you are given the opportunity to convert and open the last catalog you had open in the old version. If you rush past this dialog, and give the wrong response, a new empty catalog will open. In this case, you can convert the old catalog via the File>Manage Catalogs dialog.
When you delete an old version of the program, the catalog database is not deleted (unless you manually stored it in a very unusual location). And when you convert an old catalog to work with the new version, the old catalog is not deleted. It will be saved with a new name, usually with a suffix of -1.
And as for backups, Elements 2021 has a new feature which automatically backs up just the catalog (not the media). If the program runs into a problem launching the catalog, the system backup will be automatically restored.
@Greg_S. No worries!
Well, at first I assumed that it was stored in the actual application folder. Windows 10 hides store apps in system folders which you can't easily access, not even as an administrator. I concluded as much because I couldn't restore my backup to the default catalog location and when I eventually removed the PSE 2020 app I also noticed an increase in free diskspace.
However... after I decided to re-build my catalog from scratch I suddenly noticed: "c:\users\me\onedrive\pictures\adobe\elements organizer\catalogs\mijn catalogus" (where 'me' is my Windows username which I'm obviously not going to share). I tried to open this catalog (using 'manage catalog' => control-shift-c) but Organizer didn't recognize it as a valid catalog. Even though the directory structure is fully consistent ('Waldo data', 'FaceAnalysis', 'CAXPMFiles', etc.).
So I'm not 100% sure, but right now my bet is that it was located in my pictures directory. The reason I have doubts is because within Organizer 2020 I had set the catalog to "all users have access" which is not consistent (because then it should be in 'c:\programdata\adobe') but I have no explanation for this "hidden" catalog. I checked some JSON files and they matched the folder monitoring settings which I used in my previous setup.
Hope this can be of some use to you.