I am using Photoshop Elements 2019 on a Windows 10 computer. I also have Microsoft Office 365 which gives me 1TB of cloud storage. So my 500GB of photos are stored on my computer and are automatically backed up on my OneDrive cloud.
I have now bought a new computer and want to restore my PSE19 catalog onto it.
As soon as I signed in to the new computer with my Microsoft account it automatically recognised me and downloaded all my photo files from the OneDrive cloud onto my new computer with the original folder structure. It took all night to do it.
I have now just installed Elements19 and want to transfer the catalog from my old machine.
MY QUESTION. The full back up of my catalog contains all the photo files but I already have those on my new computer from my cloud. If I ask to restore the catalog will it see that the files are already there or will it recreate a new folder and therefore give me a double set. I want to check before I press the button and cause myself a lot of trouble.
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I assume your full backup was made from the organizer.
This backup would let you restore anywhere on a 'custom' location, a folder created on one of your drives. The problem is the special nature of the One Drive folder, which is synced with the cloud. On normal folders, you can restore to 'original location' or choose a custom one. If the restore finds the files, you are prompted to overwrite or not the already present pictures. I don't see how a duplicate folder structure would be created with the One Drive folder, but I fear that overwriting files would be problematic.
So, it would be wise to do a test before. If you are not in a hurry, I can do a test myself with a small catalog.
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Here are the results of my tests.
- I did not try to restore to "original location". That would have worked in my case, but not in yours, since you have changed computers and the restore would have seen that and prevented you to restore.
- I then tried to restore on 'custom' location, that is in the existing master folder of your library under the One drive folder. I also chose to tick the option to keep the folder structure. Very bad idea, it created a duplicate restored folder tree with all the subfolders including my User folder. It also created the restored catalog in that new tree.
- after deleting the duplicate files and the catalog, I did the same, but without ticking the option to 'keep the folder tree structure'. As expected, I got warnings to agree that the restored files would combine with the one present in the One Drive folder. It also warned me that I had to agree to overwrite the previous data to all such duplicates. Good result with some patience. The catalog folder is restored under the master folder chosen for the custom restoration.
I can open the restored catalog by browsing to the new location in the catalog manager or by double clicking on the catalog.pse18db file in the folder, which opens the organizer with that catalog.
Only issue, I tried to move the catalog to the default location under C : but I get the message that I can't move it because it's already in use (even if I have a different catalog active). However, I can copy and paste the catalog folder manually from the explorer to the default location, which works as expected.
So, to summarize: the restore works on custom location without keeping the folder structure. It overwrites the existing files. The restored catalog is under the same master folder. You can keep it there or copy it manually to the default location (or elsewhere).
The risk would be to duplicate the folder tree if the 'custom' destination folder is wrong. In any event, you have a backup. Since your library already fills half of your OneDrive space, don't take too much risk. If you don't get the two notifications I mentioned (to accept combining and to overwrite for all) abort the restore process.
Thank you Michel for your expert help and guidance. I have followed your instructions and I am now fully restored on my new computer.
What I should think about now mybe is should I create a new Catalog? I have everything in one catalog now which is 7360 files. Is that too big and should I start a new one? I see it searching for faces etc every time I load the program and I suppose it is looking through the complete catalog.
Any recommendations for optimum catalog size would be welcomed.
Thank you again for your help.
I have been carefully working with my restored files and now realise and understand one point that you made. My catalog is is the same folder that my photo files are stored in. Ideally I would prefer this to be in the default location that Adobe uses. As you know my photo files are in my One Drive folder so are continuously backed up to my One Drive cloud storage. Therefore the catalog is also being backed up together with all the little background changes that adobe does during normal use.
So you said you did a Copy Paste of the catalog into the default location in Win Explorer and it worked so I will try that. Just to be clear - Did you Cut and Paste or did you Copy and Paste, then delete the original. Also did you have the Photoshop Elements program open at the time or closed. I am concerned it will not be able to find it etc.
I have always tried to do all moving within the Elements organiser to make sure things do not get lost, so this is a new venture for me.
I have not kept the test OneDrive catalog, but I am sure I did not cut and paste. It's much safer to work on a catalog copy. I did not understand why the 'move' to default location did not work; I don't remember either if the editor was open, I don't think so. I feel much safer if the catalog folder is not in the OneDrive folder and there is no sync to the cloud. I don't consider using OneDrive or Dropbox is a backup, it's mainly a way to share files. That does not replace regular backups on external drives. It does not matter if you store the catalog folder in default location or anywhere else, provided it's not on OneDrive; it which case you must have a way to backup the folder.
OK Michel I have succeded in moving the catalog. In organiser I first created a new Test catalog in the default location ( wherever that is I do not know). Then I switched to this catalog and added one photo just so that it had some data. Then I restarted my machine and opened Organiser with nothing else ont hte machine running. The Test catalog was open and I was then able to go . Manage catalogs and move my real one into the default location.
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"What I should think about now mybe is should I create a new Catalog? I have everything in one catalog now which is 7360 files. Is that too big and should I start a new one? I see it searching for faces etc every time I load the program and I suppose it is looking through the complete catalog.
Any recommendations for optimum catalog size would be welcomed."
Ken, I am glad you were able to recover your catalog as expected.
For the optimum catalog size, the general consensus is that the best solution is to keep a single catalog. My catalog has about 100 000 items and the library is about 600GB (rare videos...). No problem at all, even in a second computer with minimal specs. I think that Greg_S has about 180 000 items including videos and he uses face recognition, which I don't. Maybe he can give his opinion here.