I have Elements 2019 on my PC. I regularly save the photos on my PC and restore them on my wife, Theresa's, PC, so the photos are on both PCs. Theresa's PC doesn't have Elements on it - she uses Microsoft's Photos to view the photos, but can't see the same structure or tags that I can see using Elements 2019.
If we buy Elements 2021 and install it on Theresa's PC, is there an easy mechanism for me to save the structure from Elements 2019 and restore it on a PC that has Elements 2021 on it, so that Theresa can see the same structure, tags, etc. that I have maintained on my PC?
1 - The backup and restore process.
You do a full backup (something you are supposed to do regularly), then you restore to your wife's computer or to an external drive that can be plugged in to your wife's computer. The folder tree as well as the catalog is restored. It's possible to restore by overwriting your wife's own library and catalog, but I would advise restoring on another location (disk, partition or master folder).
2 - The common library with files and catalog on an external drive plugged in alternatively to both computers.
You start with the above solution, backup and restore on an external drive. Immediately usable and always updated. No need to wait for a long restore. No duplication, but you have to trust your wife for the edits.
You wife may have her own catalog beside your personal catalog (with the same media folder tree) but that supposes that only one of you add, delete or rename files. The other catalog will need checking for new files or missing files to reconnect.
Excellent, thank-you Michel. That's a very good idea - plugging the backup into my wife's computer on an external drive.
Please can I just confirm that this will work if I do the backup using 2019 and my wife is using 2021?
Warning: you don't plug in the backup, you plug in the restore from that backup. A backup is not a usable copy, it's a resource for restoring.
You'll need to have the same PSE version because the restore can only automatically convert an old version to the new one, not the other way round.
If you simply install PSE2021 over 2019 on your wife's computer, you'll only have to convert the old catalog from the catalog manager; this does not require a backup and restore nor a new import in a new catalog.
Thanks again Michel for your very speedy reply. At the moment I have PSE 2019 and Theresa doesn't have PSE. So I guess I'll need to upgrade my 2019 to 2021 and also buy 2021 for Theresa. Then I can create a backup on my PC on an external drive, plug the external drive into Theresa's PC, and restore the backup (first time). Then after that, on a regular basis, I can convert the catalogue.
You are entitled to have a copy of both versions on both computers (but you can't use both copies simultaneously).
...but technically only the same person is allowed to use them.
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Then I can create a backup on my PC on an external drive, plug the external drive into Theresa's PC, and restore the backup (first time).
Then after that, on a regular basis, I can convert the catalogue.
There is nothing to convert, you'll be in the same PSE version.
So, if you don't want to repeat the whole process (backup on external drive and restore on the other computer) my suggestion is to:
- backup to an external drive from your PC
- restore to (preferably another) external drive.
Then you use the external drive alternatively by plugging it in either PC.
The external drive will hold your shared library, no need for backups/restores afterward.
Of course, you are free to also do a backup and restore from the external drive to either of the PCs when you have time and if you have enough disk space.
My remark about different catalogs is a general one for people sharing the same computer. You may wish to have a common library (file folder tree) and manage it differently. But what is done in a catalog is ignored by the other. If you use the same external drive, you'll share the same catalog, but you may want to create a different one as a subset for example. Not your original question, sorry if I have made it confusing.
That's great Michel - thank-you for providing all that detail - it is very useful! I will follow your recommendation of restoring to an external drive which can then be plugged into either PC. We will only want one catalogue, so we have the same view of the photos.
Once again, thank-you very much.
Also, thank-you Greg. We will, however, but two 2021s and have one installed on each PC for simplicity.
I don't know whether this matters to you, but because of where the folders are stored, each computer will have its own set of auto-creations. It will be interesting to know whether different creations are generated because of some randomness within the creation algorithms. Of course, you can always save an auto creation to the catalog and it will then be available on both computers.