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Working catalog vs backup catalog.

New Here ,
Dec 18, 2020 Dec 18, 2020

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Does the working catalog for PSE (20) have to be on the computer's drive or can it be located on an external HD?  Over time, I imagine the working catalog would get quite large and outgrow the storage on the computer.  Isn't it possible to simply have the program on the computer and just have the ext HD connected whenever editing?  I would prefer to have all the media on an external drive so as not to run the risk of running out of room and to keep the computer running faster. Thanks. 

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Actions, How to, Import and export, Performance

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2020 Dec 18, 2020

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To be clear, a catalog is just that: a rich list of media files situated on your internal or external drives. The catalog itsel is a folder containing a database and a thumbnails cache among other resources, it does not contain any media files.

So you have to think separately about:

- the program itself, nearly always situated on your main system drive

- the catalog folders, situated by default on your main drive, but which you can copy or move elsewhere, including in an external drive. To have an idea of the size and locattion of the catalog, use the menu Help >> system information on the organizer. The catalog is relatively small compared to the media files.

- The media files folder trees which can be stored on internal or external drive. It's a good practice to store those media files on a different drive or partition than your main C : drive.

- As I want to share my catalog and pictures on two different computers, I store both the media files and the catalog folder on the same external USB drive.

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Participant ,
Dec 19, 2020 Dec 19, 2020

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MchelBParis:   You mention that you can share your catalog and pictures on two different computers. Do the two computers have the same O/S? I want to do the same as you but I have a desktop PC with Windows 10 and a Mac Air (M1) 2020 with Big Sur. Both of my computers are successfully running PSE 2021 and are independently running the same catalogs and photo files.  It would be nice if I could share with both computers one catalog & photo files on an external SSD. I would appreciate your comments or the comments of  forum members who have experience with this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 19, 2020 Dec 19, 2020

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I don't know about Macs myself, but I think that could work.

To move your photo/video files and the catalog to the external drive, use the backup and restore procedure.

Create a new master folder just under the root drive of the external drive

The catalog folder will be just under that master folder.

From the other computer navigate to the restored catalog folder which you'll find in 'custom' location. With Windows you only have to double click on the 'catalog.pse19db file to open the organizer with the catalog.

Thanks for reporting how that works for you.

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