Lightroom Classic CC: All my collections from my previous version are gone

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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I downloaded Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. I had all my photos in collections. None of these collections from my prior version of Lighroom transfered to the new Lightroom version. Is there an easy way to transfer these collections to the new program. I can no longer access my prior Lightroom program.
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Kenneth Harper

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Posted 12 months ago

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Rick Spaulding, Champion

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Is it possible you are talking about Lightroom CC and not Lightroom Classic CC?
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Kenneth Harper

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I loaded Classic CC and it deleted the CC2015 version I had been working with. 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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If you really installed Lightroom Classic, then there are two possibilities:
1: You did not open and convert your previous Lightroom 6/CC2015 catalog, but let Lightroom Classic create a brand new catalog.
2: You opened and converted an old LR6/CC2015 catalog rather than the most recent one.
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Kenneth Harper

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After loading Classic CC it deleted my Lightroom 6/CC2015 I had been using. So I had no access to my latest 6/CC2015 version. I assumed wrongly that Classic would load my previous catalog from 6/CC2015. Can I now convert my 6/CC2015 cataloge to use with Classic? Thanks very much for your feedback. It's been frustrating... Ken
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Jao van de Lagemaat

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You should be able to point Lightroom Classic 2018 at your old 2015 catalog and have it convert.
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Jeanette Hill

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Mine are gone too, and I am talking that I downloaded Lightroom Classic CC.  My Collections have just disappeared.....so now what?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Are all of your images in the catalog? Or are they all missing?
(Edited)
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Jeanette Hill

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All the photos are in the catalog under individual folders.  This is a Travel Catalog and each trip is under a separate folder.  I do have another catalog for other photos and when I upgraded to Lightroom Classic I did have the other folder open.  The Collections for that folder did come over.  

One other thing that might help you to help me....I originally had one catalog with Collections.  Then I created a second catalog called Travel Photos.  However, when I created that second Travel Catalog the Collections did not come over.    I did not do anything about that problem.  In the meantime, I added two or three new folders to the Travel Catalog and created Collections.  However, as stated in my original problem, those newly created Collections did not come over when I updated.    

Hope this was not too confusing....I located a whole bunch of Travel lcrat. files on my hard drive, but I hesitate doing anything with them, as I might send them to la la land and never find them again.  
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Michel DELFELD

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Very interesting! I do not understand how certain of you are having such troubles.

My way of working is the following:

Al my pictures are organised in different specific folders.
When I create a catalog, I DO NOT change the pictures from original folder to an other one.
I just create a catalogs using preview of the original pictures.
ALL my LR catalogs are placed in the same folder. However, the pictures may be elsewhere in different folders.
In the LR preference, I choose that "LR ask me which catalog to open at the start"
So, when I open LR and I get a list (with the places) of my different catalogs.

NOW How do I do the changing of LR version: like from LRCC V6 to LR CLASSIC CC
I open LR CLASSIC CC,
I get a list of my different old and new LR catalogs mixed together.
Clicking  on one of the old catalogs generate a reaction from LR CLASSIC CC.
LR CLASSIC CC tel me that he has to modify the catalog in view to generate an upgrade that is readable by LR CLASSIC CC. LR ask me if I want to do it.
Rem: LR has just to generate a new catalog, pictures are NOT AT ALL placed elsewhere or even modified.
After this new catalog generation, LR enter in the app and give you access to all functions.
When reopening LR CLASSIC CC, you will a see the new generated catalog (with a 2 as suffix) and the old one as well.
Redo this process for all catalogs you have.
DO NOT DESTROY IMMEDIATELY the OLD CATALOGS! For one or an other reason, it could that the new catalog generation has been badly done. Deletion could be done later on.

This the procedure I am using since LR V2 with no one problem.....
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Using several catalogs instead of one has many disadvantages and few -if any- advantages. The disadvantages are that you cannot search through multiple catalogs, you lose overview, you may end up with the same image in two catalogs and so two versions, and it can be confusing to find the correct catalog if you need to find an image. The advantages are... I don't really know any advantages, except perhaps for wedding photographers, who could create a separate catalog for each client.
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Michel DELFELD

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Completely right Johan. This is what I do! But in view to not be to complicate I didn't detailed why I have different folders.

This said, to be complete here is my consideration regarding this point!

- One catalog for all (mine and customers) RAW images being in the RAW folder (specific HDD 8Tb) 
- One catalog for all my TIFF images being in the TIFF folder (specific HDD 8Tb)
- One catalog for al Video images being in the VIDEO folder (specific HDD 8Tb)
- One catalog for all TIFF images made for my customers (specific HDD 6Tb)

Total: 4 different catalogs. 

I must add that at each picture import I change the picture name as the following: AAAAMMDD-original image suffix.
In the RAW folder images are classified by taken date while in the TIFF folder images are classified by countries.
I don't use a lot the LR development functions. I use an other one that is to my opinion better than LR. This software is perfectly connected with Lr by the use of plugins. 
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Jeanette Hill

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Michael...your advice really helped restore my catalogs/collections. I am soooo grateful for your help.

Jeanette Hill.
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Michel DELFELD

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With pleasure Jeanette,

It occurs that some time you have problems with a LR catalog you should need to make a back step to preceding catalog.

Never forget that LR is doing catalog Backup. The frequency depend on what is your choice in the catalog preference. At the level of "General" you will see a last line where you may change the backup frequency.

More on that you also may change the place (within HDD and folders) of these backup.
To do so, you have to change the backup frequency to "at the next stop of LR" . The effect is that when closing LR, a new screen is shown. Within this new screen you may change (2nd line) the place where you should like to record you catalog backup. 

If you do so, you will be highly secure.

Based on these consideration, going from one LR version to an new version is less risqué. Because: 
1 - your "real" pictures are stored else where on a HDD and you have more catalog backups you should be able to use in case of bad conversion...
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Clint StLaurent

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Same problem.  I have a drive specific for Lightroom.  Not multiple catalogs.  I did the same upgrade.  Classic says it needed to upgrade my catalog.  I let it.  All my photos are here.  It even still shows "Last import 169 photos" - But all my collections (People, events, holidays) are gone.  Hundreds of man-hours of organization just POOF.

When I tried opening one of the backups... Same lack of organization collections.  I think that 2018 just can't read the 2015 format correctly.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Has this only just happened Clint? You were on CC 2015 until today?

If an engineer doesn't bounce onto this thread, you're welcome to send me the last backup and I'll see if I can reproduce it here. (Feel free to Google me to confirm who I am, then use www.wetransfer.com to send to uploads@lightroomqueen.com!) If I can reproduce it, I can bounce it on to the right person.