What is the best way to go about transferring my Catalog to a new computer, and new version of Photoshop Elements?
Old computer has Windows 8, running Adobe Elements Organizer 2018/ version 16, with a catalog of 80,000 photos. New computer has Windows 10, and I just purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021 & Premiere Elements 2021. I want to make sure to keep my catalog intact, with all Smart Tags, metadata, etc. I’ve heard there can be problems. What is the best way to get this accomplished, with the fewest snags?
The best way is to create a full backup of the 2018 catalog on your old computer and restore it on your new computer using Elements 2021. I recommend that before you backup the catalog, make sure there are no missing files. (Go to Find>All Missing Files and either reconnect or delete from the catalog any missing files.) Also, in File>Manage Catalogs, Repair and Optimize the catalog. (Complete these processes even if the Repair says there are no errors.)
Given the size of your old catalog, you will need a large external drive to save the backup.
When you restore the catalog to the new computer, the program will convert the catalog to an updated format. This may take a long time. Be patient, even if the program seems to be non-responsive.
One other point. I think I would recommend restoring the media files to the original folder structure. Since the system folder names are different between Win 8 and Win 10, you may end up with a little bit of an unusual folder structure that includes a folder named Pictures as well as My Pictures or My Photos or whatever it was called in Win 8.
Here are a couple of HelpX articles that may be of help to you: