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How to move your lightroom catalog

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How to move your lightroom catalog? This might happen if you run out of hard drive space. What do you do? Or, what if you are buying larger hard drive storage to migrate too? There will come a time when you need to move your lightroom catalog from one location to another location. In this short video, PhotoNERDs will show you how to move your lightroom catalog from one hard drive space to another hard drive space quick and easy. Please do the usual if you liked what you saw! (Thumbs up, Subscribe and the like) SUBSCRIBE https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9USzbWmh_wAZGUQDGj0ncg?sub_confirmation=1 FOLLOW: http://twitter.com/photonerdsunite http://instagram.com/photonerdsunite http://facebook.com/photonerdsunite VISIT OUR WEBSITE http://www.photonerdsunite.com/ -~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Please watch: "3 Ways How to rotate your photo in Lightroom?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDyfCBpA7pU -~-~~-~~~-~~-~-
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Text Comments (51)
Frank Boucher (3 months ago)
Awesome, I was not sure. You saved me a lot of struggle, thanks!
Ian Prior (4 months ago)
PS The lrdata file seems to be ok...located in the Pictures folder....in "capture one catalogue" !!
Ian Prior (4 months ago)
Hi..again! I have created a new catalogue. Also, imported MY Pictures contents into LR...I note that the Lightroom folder , which was in my pictures is absent from imported files! And, the photos don't have the various adjustment the should have. I can locate the .irdata file in My Pictures, in the explorer library. Can I import that to get my adjustments back with my photos? thanks ian
Ian Prior (4 months ago)
hi....I have messed up transfer from my old pc / lightroom photos to new pc...all the "Develop" adjustment are lost. I still have all the original adjusted pics on my old pc. Is there still hope of re- transferring ,this time correctly? ...in other words, do I get another chance to move stuff?
Ian Prior (4 months ago)
Thanks for that. I started to move photos from old Pc using a mem stick. This could only accept about half of my photos. When I put these into new PC I realised I was getting into trouble! So, can I safely delete these and start again? Can I transfer using a USB connection between the 2 computers..? If I use the " new Catalogue" how do I merge the stuff still on my old pc? ian
Photonerds University (4 months ago)
Ian Prior did you make a new Lr catalog on the new pc? If so and the old Lr catalog is on the old machine then all you have to do is merge the new Lr catalog with the old Lr Catalog. When you do your adjustments will come with.
Melinda G (5 months ago)
Q: When you say copy the catalog, did you really just "copy" it (command-C on a Mac)? It looked like you were using a drop down menu which did not show "copy"...Nevertheless, I did a command-C and pasted the catalog, etc but I end up with a Lr Catalog-2 and some associated folders with LrCat-2 (not the name of my original catalog which is simply LrCatalog). Then, the catalog, etc still exists in the original position as well. What have I done wrong?
Melinda G (5 months ago)
'love that suggestion! Thanks SO much for the help.
Photonerds University (5 months ago)
Yes, I might have forgotten to mention that. When you upgrade it will put a -2 or -3 at the end to signify that your catalog has been upgraded. Yes, you can rename the new version and probably just get rid of (delete) the old version. However, if you feel weird or uncomfortable deleting the old version, just create a folder for your old/unused Lr Catalogs and dump them in there. This way you have something to refer back to should you ever need to.
Melinda G (5 months ago)
I think I found the source of the second catalog; Lr is creating it when I upgrade the catalog to use with the newest version of Lr. Can I just rename this catalog and what do I do with the older one?
Melinda G (5 months ago)
Thank you so much for your speedy reply! Indeed, the catalog is still in both places. However, I tried the copy and paste again and only the actual catalog moved (without the -2 catalog again). The paste process actually took a couple of minutes this time. The original catalog still exists in the old location however. But, I've accomplished the main task so I'm happy with that. Now I'll look at how to move photos over, etc. Thanks!
Photonerds University (5 months ago)
It's hard to know what happened for sure without actually seeing it BUT it sounds like you copied the Lr Catalog (command-c on a Mac as you said) and then copied it into the same place? This would have resulted in the catalog being duplicated as a LrCat-2. That would not have happened if you copied the catalog and pasted it into a new location. I would make sure that you paste your catalog into the new location. Then close lightroom and reopen Lightroom from the LrCatalogs new location. Lastly you would delete the old catalog location. DO NOT DELETE ANYTHING UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU DID THIS CORRECTLY. I would hate to hear you 'thought' you moved it, deleted the old catalog only to find out you didn't move anything and now your catalog is gone. I would be super, duper sad!
Aadu Simm (5 months ago)
Thanks for the advice! :) The music got very anoyingly loud in the end.
Madison Marko (7 months ago)
i moved it, but it still says i have low space :-/ and the message is popping up with the old location, despite the catalog settings button saying the new location. any tips?
Hakski (7 months ago)
Hi there - great video. But can you tell me how to move a portion of my catalog into a Master Catalog? I get this is a form of merging but I'm just not sure how to do it. Thanks!
Thank you so much. I finaly solved this problem. Great tutorial !
Photonerds University (8 months ago)
Ορθόδοξα Προσκυνήματα Orthodox Pilgrimages thank you. We are happy to have been able to help. Let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you. We love serving the community
MrBluesfly (9 months ago)
My big problem with catalogs is that even if i save them on an external G-tech theese 2 T are never enough for storing the RAW photos at same place so i can work with catalogs on location.So i have to team up the hard drives withe their catalogs inside,the annoying thing is that if you want to find a very old photo you have to remember the HD (including the specific LRcat) so you can open that file and work with. It will make me very happy if something i have misunderstood here! Great video,my best regards from Greece.
Keith Bargemann (10 months ago)
This was extremely helpful while every other video on this totally misses the mark. Thank you...!!!
Morally Ambiguous (10 months ago)
absolutely splendid explanation and example :D GREAT JOB dude!
Jenny Reid (1 year ago)
I have a LR6 Catalogue  on my Laptop  &  a separate one on my PC. for LR Desktop version. Can I merge these two somehow, 2nd problem, as I bought into LR CC I also have a few in this catalogue on my PC, NOW I have upgraded to the New classic, but have stopped short of letting Classic convert my catalogue ,as I haven't a clue as to What I need to do with my fragmented system
Kimberly Paterson (1 year ago)
Very informative video and so easy!  Was able to get my catalogue moved and relocated without a hassle!!!
David Krahl (1 year ago)
How can I open a LR 5 Catalogue in LR CC? How would i do it since I just wanna use LR CC now and uninstall 5... Thank you
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
Just for you my friend. Check out this video and tell me if it answered your question. If you still have questions I'm here for you. https://youtu.be/0Zvyi-gaHuI
Amy Guest (1 year ago)
Super helpful video. Thanks for posting. Transferring the catalog (to my external hard drive) worked for me, but the catalog still appears in the original place on my mac. Is that ok. Lightroom is showing me that it is saving to the new spot on the external hard drive.
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
Sweeet! We love it when a plan comes together. Once you moved the catalog to the external hard drive, quite Lightroom and re-open it from the External Hard Drive. If all is well, you can remove the catalog from the original place on your mac. Unless you want it there as a backup. Otherwise, you should be good to go! Enjoy and thanks for commenting. We love helping people.
Seamus Gallagher (1 year ago)
I transferred the catalog but all the files are still also showing up on my internal hard drive. I am afraid to delete them
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
Can I ask you a question? Where are you located? I ask because if you are in the USA I might be able to help you faster with a quick phone call. Weird, I know right? YouTuber actually picking up the phone to help a random stranger? Damn skippy!!! That's how we roll here at PNU.
I am what I am (1 year ago)
A question: I've my original NEF only on an external HD (for example FOLDER A). I've installed for the first time Lr and with Lr I've modified the shoots I've choiced. in Lr I've created a catalog with all the photos only on the internal disk with also the NEF I've modified. Now I have to open only the modified shots in the catalog with Ps to do the final retouches and save as PSD (or TIFF with all the layers) to have a copy on my external HD but also on my catalog without overwriting the data (I need 3 file, the original NEF, the NEF modifed in Lr, the PSD or TIFF final image). I've only to copy the catalogue on my external HD and save the PSD ('save as') in the same FOLDER A where I've stored the original photos? thanks!
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
I'm not sure I understand the question exactly but want to help. It sounds like you have files on both an external hard drive as well as your computers internal hard drive and if so, your Lightroom catalog shows both hard drives as possible photo locations? Is this true? If so, when you move the Lightroom Catalog, you may need to relocate the missing files and relink them to the catalog. I hope I answered your question. It was a little tricky. If not, let me know and we will give it another try.
Peggy Lee (1 year ago)
very helpful, thanks!
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
Yahoooo! Thank you. Glad we could help.
ewimbley82 (1 year ago)
If we move the Lightroom catalog from our computer hard drive to an external hard drive, do we also need to move the main photos? When I import photos to my PC via Lightroom from my SD card, it automatically creates a folder in my Pictures folder on the PC.
Somersley (6 months ago)
If we *want to* will that affect anything? I'm 2 years late to your vid, but I still found it very helpful <3
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
+ewimbley82 you shouldn't need to move images unless you want to do so. The catalog will still point to the place where your images are now.
Tony Roberts (1 year ago)
By copying to the new location, did you delete the catalog at the old location?
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
This is a great question! If you confirm that the catalog is in two location (meaning, the place it was and now the new location) then it is up to you whether you want to keep both or not. Having a backup of your catalog is important. If you already have the catalog backed up to somewhere else and don't need the catalog in the place where it was before as well as the new place, then yes, you can go ahead and delete the original catalog. I know on a mac if you simply copy and paste, it doesn't actually move a file from one place to another, rather makes a copy so you end up with 2 files. This can be annoying. A trick for this is when you copy the file (Command-C) instead of pasting as normal (Command-V) I like to use and should have mentioned in this video to use Option-Command-V instead. This would have pasted and moved at the same time so you didn't end up with 2 files. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, though (smile). Hope this answered your question. If not let me know and we can take another stab at it.
Jeanna Rice (1 year ago)
Thank you for answering this so efficiently!!
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
You're very welcome!
Susan Newlin (1 year ago)
Sorry, this did not work for me. The catalogue is still in the same place as originally.
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
+Susan Newlin that makes me sad. If you would like, email me at [email protected] we can schedule an appointment to see if I can help you get it relocated.
Barndog (1 year ago)
Can I move the catalogs to MyCloud Mirror the same way?
Ryan Robinson (1 year ago)
Thanks for the question and the answer. I am going to take that advice and upload a additional backup to my external hard drive and run my catalog out of my cloud storage. Brilliant!
Photonerds University (1 year ago)
Yes, you can, in fact, my catalog is located on a Thunderbolt-G Drive and then backed up to another external Seagate hard drive. So no Lightroom catalogs live directly on my computer and it runs smoothly.
Paul Peters (1 year ago)
Great video, thanks for posting to help those of us who don't have the same stellar grasp of the subject matter as you. Now that I've watched this video and examined my own catalog / location, I have a question. When I follow the trail to my *.lrcat folder it has numerous files, some are even lrcat.zip and there are folders with what looks like older versions of the catalog because the folder is names Backup/2016-11-26 2117 or 2129 or 0922. Inside each of these folders is a file called: Mt-Douglas-2.lrcat.zip (Mt. Douglas is my catalog name). Can I send you a screen shot? Bottom line, I'd like to clean up this mess, create a new catalog and move everything to a clean work-space. I just need to know a little more about what I'm doing before I make a move.
Paul Peters (1 year ago)
With a little more research, I believe that I've answered my own question. In the midst of all the files in my Lightroom catalog backup folder, the *.lrdata files for previews and smart previews along with my *.lrcat file are the only ones I should really concern myself with in terms of files related to moving or creating a new catalog. I think.
Anna Jison (2 years ago)
Just the solution I need. Thank you for the easy to understand tutorial. I watched 3 videos before yours and this is the best. Great for nontechies like me.
Kara Danielsen (2 years ago)
Thank you so much Adam for the step by step instruction on how to move my catalog. Not only am I happy but my computer to is too. Thank you photo nerds
Photonerds University (2 years ago)
Any time Super Star, glad you found it helpful
Joe McEarchern (2 years ago)
That is super! Great tip. Thanks.
Photonerds University (2 years ago)
+Joe McEarchern thanks, appreciate that and glad you found it useful!

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