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Saving space on the local drive while retaining editing capability -- sync and previews

New Here ,
Dec 16, 2020 Dec 16, 2020

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Hi all, I'm looking to save local drive space with a 100k+ photo catalog while preserving editing capability. My original files are stored on an external drive, and LrC's previews currently consume 150 GB or so of my 500 GB non-upgradable internal laptop drive. 

 

Since I frequently dig into my archive for gems I've overlooked in the past I'd like to retain editing capability. It's for this reason that I stick with Lightroom Classic instead of switching to Lightroom CC, as I organize most of my photos through smart collections sorted by keywords. My original files total 1.7 TB, so I don't really have a desire to store them all in the cloud at this point both for the sake and convenience and cost. As I recall there were also certain editing tools missing from the Lighroom CC the last time I tried it, though at the moment I don't remember what those were. 

 

Since realizing "Smart previews do not consume space on the cloud" (as Adobe states in the LrC sync FAQ) really means "Smart previews do not count against your cloud storage limit" (Hey Adobe, make this clearer!) I have begun syncing all my smart previews to the cloud, but it appears this does not enable me to save space as I had hoped by downloading the cloud-side smart preview only when I need it instead of keeping 100+ GB of smart previews taking up space on the local drive. Is this correct, and if so why? I imagine there's some reason this feature doesn't exist, and if not I'd like to request it. 

 

It also isn't clear why or if I need 50 GB or so of regular previews when I have built smart previews (at higher resolution) for my entire catalog. Is there some benefit to keeping regular previews? Why not unify this architecture to avoid taking up more room than necessary?

 

From what I've been able to find it sounds like my use case is somewhere between the intended uses for Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC, but I imagine I'm not the only one. 

 

Any other recommendations for freeing up local space without losing the ability to edit offline photos are welcome. 

TOPICS
Feature request, Performance, Sync

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Contributor ,
Dec 17, 2020 Dec 17, 2020

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In your case, I think the best approach would be to move you LRClassic catalog to an external fast drive. You will then have as much storage as you which on your local HD. As your images are already on an external HD, you also can edit the images when you are on the go.

Hope this resolve your concerns. Adobe Cloud ecosystem is a pure nightmare. You do not control ( nor understand) how it works and Adobe takes great care not to explain anything.

Best Regards
Éric Pecquerie
Sent from Eric's IPad Pro

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2020 Dec 17, 2020

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Thanks Eric, my external drives aren't portable (even if they were I'm often in spots where I'm literally working from my lap and have nowhere to place a portable drive), so I need to keep the catalog on my Mac. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 17, 2020 Dec 17, 2020

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Don't put the photos on your internal drive in the first place. Straight out of the camera, put them on an external drive. Move the ones that are already on your internal hard disk to an external (Instructions here, in "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location"). And then this entire problem goes away, the photos you move to the external via the above instructions still have edits and user-provided metada available inside of Lightroom Classic. ) And don't move the catalog file itself, leave it where it is on the internal drive.

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2020 Dec 17, 2020

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That doesn't answer my question at all, in fact it sounds like you didn't even read my post. 

 

My original photos are and always have been on an external drive. I say this right at the very top. It's the previews and smart previews that are hogging my internal drive. 

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2020 Dec 17, 2020

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I just rebuilt regular previews for my entire catalog at smaller size and quality and it appears to have saved about 30 GB of space, but that still leaves 100 GB of smart previews. Those give me the ability to edit on-the-fly which is what I want to retain, but I don't need anywhere near all of them all the time. 

 

I know I have cloud-side smart previews built for most of my library -- Is there any way to sync those down from the cloud on demand to allow me to eliminate the 100 GB of smart previews stored locally? If not, what is the reason for this design decision? 

 

If smart previews sync only up to the cloud but not down from it in Lightroom Classic, what purpose is sync supposed to serve for Lightroom Classic users? If the sync is only one-way and is limited to smart previews, what's the point? 

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New Here ,
Dec 25, 2020 Dec 25, 2020

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Anyone? 

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Advisor ,
Dec 25, 2020 Dec 25, 2020

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Your best option given your requirements is to remove as much other stuff off the drive as you can. If that is not feasable, get a SSD external drive with the fastest connection you can and put the catalog, previews, smart previews folders and select image files on that. From your comments, it seems you use the laptop away from home some times. Do you need every single original image at those times?

Kenneth Seals

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LEGEND ,
Dec 25, 2020 Dec 25, 2020

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Your catalog is on the internal drive

Your photos are on an external drive

You are running out of space on your internal drive

 

How to clean up or reorganize or alter LrC to take less hard drive space on internal drive?

 

Move catalog (and previews) to an external drive.

 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 25, 2020 Dec 25, 2020

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Other options, many of which you are not asking for.

 

Review software installed.

  • Any old versions still installed?
  • Any never used?
  • Ant bloatware not desired?

 

Crud left behind, Trash, Apps, CACHE, etc. Do you have a app for cleaning up MACOS? Something like:

https://macpaw.com/how-to/best-mac-cleaner-software

 

 

  •  

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LEGEND ,
Dec 25, 2020 Dec 25, 2020

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Things to consider for LrC performance

 

  • The catalog can take advantage of being placed on a fast hard drive.
  • The Library previews need to be in the same location as the catalog, They cannot be on separate drives
  • PS scratch and LrC Camera RAW CACHE do not have to be the same file or folder. Both can be on any drive, both can take advantage of Hard Drive Speed.
  • On a Windows PC, avoid placing Camera RAW CACHE on the boot drive if possible, it will compete with the paging file read/wrights.
  • The photos can be on any drive, even a NAS, No advantage as to hard drive speed.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 25, 2020 Dec 25, 2020

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LATEST

Some of my comments on your situation-

"....but that still leaves 100 GB of smart previews. Those give me the ability to edit on-the-fly which is what I want to retain, but I don't need anywhere near all of them all the time..."

Then you can delete selected 'unwanted' SPs from your internal hard-drive!

You only need to take SPs with you in your laptop if you know you need to edit them while travelling without the master files on the external drive. Do you really edit all those 1.7Tb of master images when you travel?

 

I know I have cloud-side smart previews built for most of my library -- Is there any way to sync those down from the cloud on demand to allow me to eliminate the 100 GB of smart previews stored locally? If not, what is the reason for this design decision? 

There is no need for YOU to create any 'local' Smart Previews to sync with the Cloud.  (I have never created SPs locally, and yet I sync ~7000 images to Cloud from Collections in LrC - these I use to edit with Lightroom-Mobile remotely.)

If you create a Collection marked to Sync, LrC will automatically send a SP to the Cloud without creating one locally. You only get a local SP if you deliberately create the SPs (eg. for the travel need!).

 

If smart previews sync only up to the cloud but not down from it in Lightroom Classic, what purpose is sync supposed to serve for Lightroom Classic users? If the sync is only one-way and is limited to smart previews, what's the point? 

Lightroom-Classic is not a 'full member' of the Cloud ecosystem, and never designed to be.

Those SPs that sync 'UP' to the Cloud allow you to edit the images with Lightroom-MOBILE (on iPad, iPhone, Lightroom-Desktop v4 on a PC or Mac)-

And- why do you even need to Sync to the Cloud if you have Lr-Classic installed and your own created (selected) SPs in the internal Laptop drive?

 

"why or if I need 50 GB or so of regular previews\"

Regular previews are the images you see on screen when you use Grid View, Loupe View, Compare View, Survey View, different Zoom ratios, 1:1. etc. LrC cannot operate without them! (You can refresh the Previews with the Masters connected, as you know, and also set 1:1 previews to delete after a set time.) The SPs are necessary when you use the Develop module (if the master files are not connected).

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.0.1, Photoshop 23.0.2, Lightroom 5.0, Bridge 12.0, Windows-10.

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