Splitting a catalog?

New Here ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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My Photoshop Elements catalog contains around 60 000 pictures. It is painfully slow, in spite I have 32 Gb of ram and plenty of disk space, an Intel Core i7 4770K @ 3.50GHz processor and the latest version of the program. Windows 10. Repairing or optimizing the catalog doesn't help. So I would like to have a smaller catalog by splitting it in two or three smaller catalogs. Maybe this will make things go faster. Is it possible to do so? For instance one catalog for pictures before 2010, one 2010-2020, and one after 2020. Regards, Øivind Øvrebotten, Norway.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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Yes, it is possible.  Copy the existing catalog folder and rename it, e.g. Catalog before 2010.  Go to File>Manage Catalogs and open the new catalog.  Select all the images that are after 2010 and delete them.  Repeat the procedure for images 2010 - 2020 and for after 2020.  For safety's sake do not make changes to the original catalog.

 

Let us know if you need any more details.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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I should add that you may want to delete images in several batches as it can take some time with a large catalog.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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quote

I should add that you may want to delete images in several batches as it can take some time with a large catalog.


By @Greg_S.

Greg,

You are absolutely right about the best [theoretical] process and also about the issue with the time needed to delete a big batch of files at the same time from the catalog. Your advice to work on a catalog copy is absolutely necessary.

In my experience (in older versions), I was absolutely unable to delete with batches of more than 500 files, the memory filled progressively and the computer did freeze.

On the other hand, the consensus is that splitting catalogs does not solve at all the slowness issues. With the normal size of the OP's catalog, my bet is that there will be no visible gain in speed and the big disavantage of not being able to search several catalogs at the same time. You have often explained here which factors like background tasks could slow down the workflow significantly.
The organizer has no integrated way to split catalogs like Lightroom.

Greg, I suggest you try to delete say, 10 000 items from a copy of your big catalog and report here how long that takes with your powerful hardware. I'll try on my side with PSE2022 and my old computer.

 

 

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New Here ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I like to add to my question that this has been a problem with at least the three latest versions of Elements. I upgraded the memory a few weeks ago from 16 to 32 Gb, and changed my system drive yesterday from 270 Gb to 1000 Gb. But it did not make Elements work faster. I freezes for half a minute to several minutes and tells me that the program is not responding, and the screen gets blurred, but it never crashes. Then it works satisfactorily until I change for instance from albums to folders, or from one folder to another, or from Media to Places. Then it freezes again. If splitting the catalog does not be the solution, what else would you suggest? Øivind Øvrebotten, Norway

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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@MichelBParis said:

Greg, I suggest you try to delete say, 10 000 items from a copy of your big catalog and report here how long that takes with your powerful hardware. I'll try on my side with PSE2022 and my old computer.

 

So, my current catalog has about 225,000 media files.  I copied the catalog folder which is almost 22GB and it took about 45 minutes.  (The length of the copying operation is exponentially increased because I use face recognition and consequently have a huge number of small .json files in addition to the .xmp files which take forevery to copy and save.)  Once I had opened the copied catalog, I selected one of my People tags with 10,000+ files and hit the delete button.  It took a couple of minutes of a spinning ball cursor before anything else appeared on screen, then a status bar appeared at about 36% complete.  The spinning ball cursor continued and the status bar showed a couple of other increases before it was 100% complete at just over 5 minutes from the start of the operation.  I was a little confused because some images with the deleted People tag remained on screen.  Then I realized that I had chosen not to delete all images within version sets and stacks.  So, those images remained in the catalog.  The status bar finally disappeared from the screen after another two minutes and from what I can tell the deletion operation was successful.

 

Now, as Michel says, I have a fairly robust computer that is about a year old, with 64GB of RAM and a very fast system drive. (It's an M.3 SSD using PCIe 4.0.)  But I agree with Michel that splitting up the catalogs, even on an older system will not make much of a performance difference.  I'm not sure what may help what you describe as being "slow".  What version of Elements are you using?  If it is one of the versions from the past couple of years, the system requirements are for a 6th Generation Intel processor.  Yours is only 4th generation and may be the cause of some performance problems.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 06, 2021 Nov 06, 2021

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I have just run a deletion test on a copy of my main catalog.

I tried to delete 7500 files from my 76000 items shown in the organizer (really stacks/version sets, I have more than 100000 photo files).

The process aborted after 5 hours, probably due to an error on my part on trying to monitor the task bar. Anyway, that shows that with my modest computer, deleting for splitting is not really an option.

To @ovinovre ,

My hardware is just above the minimal requirements and I don't have the slowness you are complaining about. I don't use face recognition nor other automatic background tasks.

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