How To Change Lightroom Backup Location

By | 25/08/2022

A lot of beginners in Lightroom fail to realize that Lightroom doesn’t really store your photos. You decide where you desire to keep your photos. Lightroom but stores information about your photographs in a itemize.

And then fifty-fifty though your images aren’t technically “inside” Lightroom, you still need to fill-in your Lightroom catalogs. This will ensure that whatever edits y’all’ve fabricated to your images are not lost.

Read on to find out more virtually how Lightroom functions and what you need to know to backup your Lightroom catalog.

Screenshot of Lightroom Catalog

How Lightroom Works

To effectively backup your Lightroom Itemize, you outset need to understand how Lightroom works.

The Lightroom Itemize functions as a database and references where your images are stored. Any information added to an paradigm gets stored with the epitome file. This could exist the edits or presets applied to the photo, stars, labels, metadata etc.

Lightroom backs upward your catalog, just not your photos or a preview of them.

Therefore, knowing how to fill-in upwardly your catalog is really important because if annihilation were to happen to your calculator, such every bit it getting stolen or information technology experiencing difficult bulldoze failure, yous’d accept to start from scratch.

Backing upwardly your photos and backing up your Lightroom catalogs are two divide processes and you should do both on a regular basis. Ideally, you should take 2 external backups and a backup in a deject-based program.

I employ Backblaze, which is very inexpensive and easy to use.

Professional photographers usually have a backup off-site as well, should a natural disaster, fire, or theft occur.


Should I Use One Lightroom Itemize or Multiple Catalogs?

A large factor in your backup process is your decision to use i Lightroom itemize or multiple ones.

There is a lot of debate on this one bespeak.

The benefit of having several Lightroom catalogs is that you tin can organize your photos in a manner that makes sense to you lot.

For case, you tin can have a catalog for your personal photos and another for your professional person photos. Or you can have dissimilar catalogs for dissimilar genres of work or unlike clients.

Too, if a catalog becomes corrupt, you lot won’t lose everything.

However, every bit long every bit you are backing up your Lightroom catalog, you tin can exist sure not to lose your edits. Backing up multiple catalogs can be dull and confusing, and take more than time than simply bankroll up ane catalog.

If you have 1 catalog, you can adapt your photos into Collections. Y’all don’t need to accept diverse catalogs, just for organization.

The pick is yours. Whatever you decide, brand sure that yous regularly fill-in your Lightroom catalog/due south.

Where Can I Detect My Lightroom Catalog?

To detect where your Lightroom catalog is currently stored, get to
>Catalog Settings.

Screenshot of Lightroom Catalog

This volition bring up a box with iii tabs:
General, File Treatment

You’ll find the location of your Lightroom itemize under
>Full general, by
>Location. If yous click on
>Show, it volition accept you to where the catalog is stored.

The backup of your itemize is stored in the aforementioned location every bit your Lightroom itemize, in a “Backups” folder.

In my instance, the catalog is stored on an external 4TB hard drive. This is where I shop all my files to avoid clogging up my computer with thousands of large RAW image files. I also keep other backups, on another external hard bulldoze and in a cloud-based system, for actress assurance.

Here I tin can too come across the itemize size, and the last time it was backed upwards and optimized.

Under this tab, you tin can also choose how often y’all want to backup the Lightroom catalog. In my case, I chose “Every time Lightroom exits”.

Screenshot of Lightroom Catalog

To find where any single image is located, go up to >Photo and choose
>Evidence in Finder (Mac)
>Testify in Explorer (Windows).

Screenshot of Lightroom Catalog

How to Backup Your Lightroom Catalog on Your Computer

To backup your Lightroom itemize, y’all’ll first need to set up how ofttimes you lot want to backup.

This can exist done in the
tab nether
>Catalog Settings.

How ofttimes you lot desire to backup is up to yous, but if y’all choose “in one case a week” notwithstanding you edit almost every 24-hour interval, you’ll lose everything from the fourth dimension of the last backup if your Lightroom itemize becomes corrupted.

Close-up photo of a laptop

How to Fill-in Lightroom Catalog to an External Drive

Ok, so you’re bankroll up your .lrcat file. Peachy! The affair is, by default, your Lightroom Catalog is beingness saved to your Pictures binder on your reckoner’s hard drive. As mentioned, your computer hard drive tin can fail, go damaged, or stolen.

So a copy of the itemize backup needs to be stored elsewhere.

You can do this by merely copying the .lrcat file to an external hard drive. The other method is to close Lightroom and do a Itemize backup.

Click on the
button by Backup folder in the Support Catalog dialog box. This will let you to navigate to an external drive or a deject organization. You can even save information technology in a Dropbox binder.

Screenshot of Lightroom Catalog

Common Lightroom Catalog Backup Questions

Practise I Demand to Backup the Lightroom Itemize?

It would exist best if you regularly backed up your Lightroom itemize. Some people opt to do this every calendar week, while others fill-in every time they exit Lightroom. The safest solution is to backup every time you use Lightroom. Just be sure to delete all but your final two backups, and then multiple, unnecessary backups don’t have space on your calculator.

How Do I Alter the Backup Location in Lightroom Catalog?

You lot can specify the backup location in the Back Up dialog box that pops upwards when you are exiting Lightroom. Simply click on the
button by
>Backup Folder
and navigate to the location you lot’d similar to backup the Lightroom catalog to.

How Do I Movement My Lightroom Catalog to an External Difficult Drive?

While in the
Library Module, observe the
console. If y’all right-click (Windows)/control+click (Mac) on the catalog folder, you’ll come across the selection
>Testify in Finder (Mac) or >Testify in Explorer (Windows).

Right-click on the folder and choose
>Re-create, and and then
it to the desired location.

Do this for every folder. One time you’re certain that the folders have been copied correctly, you tin delete the original folders on your internal hard drive.

Screenshot of Lightroom Catalog

Can I Delete One-time Lightroom Catalog Backups?

You should definitely delete all but your last two backups. Having multiple backups tin can get very confusing and also accept up unnecessary space on your hard drive. Having the two latest versions will give y’all the actress balls that yous’ll be able to restore your Lightroom catalog in case information technology becomes corrupt or otherwise damaged.


Lightroom is a very powerful program for organizing and managing your photos. Backing upwards your catalogs correctly and on a regular schedule will ensure that you lot’ll retain all your edits and organizational applications you made should something happen to your computer. So if you haven’t already been doing then, get-go backing up!