Lightroom Classic: Duplicate EVERYTHING on a different computer

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I'm currently setting up a brand new computer and I want to duplicate everything about my existing Lightroom Classic setup on the new computer, including customized panels (options turned off and things re-ordered), presets, watermarks, exports, EVERYTHING.

With the brilliance of Adobe and all the planners, I'm sure you must have some genius way to easily accomplish this, especially with all the development of cloud and sync and everything, there just must be an easy way to precisely and completely.
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Doug Berger

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Posted 4 months ago

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Andrew Rodney

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First, be sure to use the Save Presets with Catalog option so all that stuff gets saved in that location instead of deep in the system. Then basically clone the drive with the catalog, images, presets now there, previews from older to newer drive. 
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Doug Berger

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I need to use multiple catalogs in the course of a year, so I actually want stuff saved deep in the system so that every catalog I create will begin with everything.

Besides, a few months ago I had stuff disappear, and that was even with using the Save Presets with Catalog option, I had stuff vanish.
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Andrew Rodney

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Data does not vanish on it's own nor when users backup their data.
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Edmund Gall

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Start with the official help advice regarding LR Classic catalogs, and ensure you also click on the links there for similar advice for preferences & other files: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/lightroom-classic/kb/catalog-faq-lightroom.html

If you wish, you can also Google artilces written by others on the same topic - just check the dates of the articles in case they may be too old to include info for the latest versions of LR Classic.

If you need a better understanding of the files that support LR Classic (e.g. what's stored in the catalog, methods for exporting/importing those items out/in, versus what's stored outside of it), then I advise buying a good recently-published book or training course on the matter (e.g. creativeLIVE is currently providing updated training courses on the different LR applications plus Photoshop by experts such as Ben Willmore or Jared Platt)...

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Doug Berger

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Thank you for the wordy "no", they do not appear to have an easy, user-friendly way to do it.
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Edmund Gall

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You're welcome. It isn't 'one-button' user-friendly, but it's not difficult. You just have to do a little bit of reading &  work yourself. You can, of course, choose to wait for Adobe to give you a one-button migration solution (unikely in the short-term, but it would be welcomed), or do like others before you and just use the info provided on two pages of Adobe's help to craft a way to manually achieve what you want.

You might think what you want is widely desired, but from what you describe your case might be different to typical users. Most folks just want to know how to migrate settings from one computer to another or one version of LR to another on the same computer after upgrading: that is what Adobe's help page (given above) covers.

From what you've written above, though, you want to do that plus prepare a LR application environment template that includes what's in the catalog plus what's outside of it (including a template catalog, because you seem to operate a multi-catalog workflow). There are several things to consider if doing that: hence I've given you (or anyone else reading this) tips on where to start.

Good luck...
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Doug Berger

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I ALREADY read and researched, and that is why I asked the question of if there was an easier way.

As for "most folks just want to know how to migrate settings from one computer to another".. yeah, that's what I'm saying Adobe should make easier.

"... or one version of LR to another on the same computer after upgrading".. I'm sorry, having all the settings stay when upgrading on the same computer should not require user intervention... upgrades should preserve the prior settings and preferences, PERIOD.

While I had the referenced page already open on a tab before you made mention of it, THE point is this should not require users to seek help pages to perform.

I don't care whether it is "Sync workspace, presets, settings, watermarks, and preferences" or "export" them to then be imported into another version of the app.

The point you seem to have missed though is that the underlying point of my question and the suggestion is the underlying and fundamental belief that this functionality should NOT require users to resort to exactly the methods you're championing.

I already knew about all of your suggestions, your suggestions are the problem that resulted in my post/question/suggestion...  they are not the answer/solutions as you suggest, they are, in fact, THE PROBLEM.

Thank you for your time though, and hopefully you've unintentionally helped to illustrate the problem.
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Edmund Gall

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Hmm, speaking about "the problem", this thread reminds me of a meme I saw years ago: https://me.me/i/the-problem-is-not-the-problem-the-problem-is-your-12785089

I'm sorry, Doug. Glad to now know you've read the relevant help pages already, so I'm confident you have the matter in hand. From what you wrote elsewhere on the thread, it sounded like you were asking for help, but you're just asking for a better way. My mistake. Good luck again!..
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Doug Berger

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Copying the windows "hidden" folders seems to have properly transferred a fair bit of the into (I was waiting to do the work until after enough time for some responses to confirm there wasn't a "good" way.

I have found that some of the customization did not transfer though, especially in the left panel, stuff I had turned off/hidden was re-activated even after copying in my files from the other system into the new system.   I may find other things that didn't migrate, but that is what I have observed so far.

The point remains, I was hoping for a good, integrated system where things would not slip through the cracks, ideally using the sync features they are implementing, but as we've discussed in other threads, professional users just are not their priority anymore.. which is why so many photographers I know are moving to other products and followers are following them   I'll even be testing those other products in the coming months because we're not that important to Adobe anymore... even though I'd think having folks work space/preferences/settings be the same for folks desktops and laptops would useful to all users with more than one device... and far more useful than moving images through the cloud.
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Robert Somrak, Champion

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Adobe really needs to provide a way to backup/restore all the files associated with a Lightroom/Photoshop/ACR install.  

When I upgrade to a new version of macOS I usually do a clean install by reformat/reinstall.  For Lightroom I copy the user/library/application support/adobe/lightroom and camera raw folders and restore these folders after I have reinstalled Lightroom.  I also copy and restore the user/library/preferences/com.adobe.lightroomclassiccc7.plist file.  

This gets almost everything I think.  

If you are a Windows user you will have to figure out which directories you need.
(Edited)
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Doug Berger

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Yup, Windows 10 here.  

Your first sentence is matching the point of my post, after all this time, designers/programmers still lack this basic functionality and not only is that functionality lacking, they keep changing the underlying structures for how they deal with and where they hide the nuts and bolts, which makes doing these processes manually even harder and less reliable.
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Doug Berger

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I guess here is a part 2 question...

Say you have a normal LR Classic setup and then you click on storing presets with the catalog, does it move the information to the catalog or does it copy the into to the catalog so there is a copy in both places?

When using store presets in catalog, what things are still not stored there.

Of course, these questions illustrate why we don't need more "help" pages, we need the darn software to have obvious, easy-to-use options to do this sort of thing without needing to search and search and trial and error.

This is basic stuff... it should be easy to have the program work and look exactly the same on every device we use.
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Doug Berger

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I'm sorry you have trouble reading with comprehension...

I did not say my data vanished, I said that watermarks and other things disappeared when I let the Adobe software update Llghtroom.. the upgrade process lost those things.. and I worked with Adobe to manually put back everything that the upgrade lost.

I'm not going to accept "your" facts because they contract both my personal experience working with millions of photos and the repeated recommendations I've been given by the people writing the software.   I don't care what some rando on the Internet chooses to believe, especially when repeatedly demonstrating such a profound inability to comprehend that I was NOT asking anyone to tell me how to either save with catalog or how to find things in Windows system folders.. I already knew ALL of that...  what I was asking for was a BETTER way, if they had not already created one, for them to create one.

It is great if you sincerely thought you were being helpful... I'll even let you believe that you were...  but unfortunately, to really be helpful, you need to understand what the points actually are... don't be so eager to respond that the answers you're giving and points you're making are not even slightly helpful to what the post is all about.
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Doug Berger

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PS: Thank you for the reminder of why I LOATHE to use these forums.. this topic had NOTHING to do with you or your "facts", and not even your drive to try to feel like a winner on the Internet.     There is adequate explanation already present about what the topic IS ACTUALLY about, and you've more than adequately illustrated you have absolutely nothing helpful to add to my query.
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Andrew Rodney

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I'm sorry you haven't read what you actually wrote:
 a few months ago I had stuff disappear, and that was even with using the Save Presets with Catalog option, I had stuff vanish.
I'm sorry you think a simple task like duplicating your LR data takes a genius. It doesn't. Some here have tried unsuccessfully to assist you, but you seem to believe you have all the answers anyway. 

"Some people will never learn anything well, because they understand everything too soon." -Source Unknown

You're on your own now bud. Good luck, I think you may need it. 
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Doug Berger

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Yes, when I upgraded, I had stuff disappear, I had stuff vanish..  so I had to go and find them to add them back in and/or change settings/preferences etc to how I had them set prior to the software update.     I guess you should not have jumped to incorrect conclusions based on faulty assumptions there, bud.

I never said it takes a genius, but on Windows, even when Adobe does it, there are things that are often missed.

As for others tried unsuccessfully to assist me, you still seem completely oblivious that I was not asking for people to refer me to the process provided Adobe's help section... (I've used that many times and it is inadequate/unreliable.

I was asking about something DIFFERENT, that would duplicate EVERYTHING, because on Windows 10, neither storing with catalog nor copying the system files is successful at duplicating EVERYTHING., as I've already done that.. many times for many years, and it isn't good enough, and it isn't reliable enough.

Version after version, upgrade after upgrade, at least on Windows, their software has become more like easter egg hunts where you can look (and copy from) everywhere they tell you to look but everything isn't found because the person (programmers) hiding stuff forget where they hid some of them.

This has been especially problematic ever since they changed their file types for presets, plugins, and all that (a couple of years ago), and is exactly why if they do not have something specific to duplicate everything, they need to create something to do that... because the existing recommended procedures are not complete/do not work reliably... they may get it 95% right...  but it isn't 100% duplicate everything.

Now, it may work great for folks on Macs, but I'm not using a Mac so what is true on Macs does not help me in the slightest.... just like telling me to do what I've already done many times does not make it work any more reliably when it is proven to have things slip through the cracks.

Adobe knows it isn't perfect, so whether you choose to believe it or not does not matter except to be a PITA when apparently you don't even use Windows.
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Andrew Rodney

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I never said it takes a genius, but on Windows, even when Adobe does it, there are things that are often missed.
Yeah, you did. What you said (which again you didn't read as writing or afterwards).

I'm sure you must have some genius way to easily accomplish this

This has become CWOBaT (colossal waste of bandwidth and time); you don't even accept what you actually wrote! Enough said. 
(Edited)
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Doug,

Referencing:
"In terms of size.. I was advised by Adobe Lightroom team members to stick with smaller catalogs, so I really don't give a damn what your little links say."

Can you provide me with documentation of this so I can review this statement with the team members mentioned and the Lightroom support channels? This is not an Adobe position.

Image Count has very little impact on the performance of the catalog. I routinely work with customers whose catalog image count is in the millions. I have worked with customer catalogs of >7 & >10 Million in the past year who do not experience any adverse effects. You can still choose to use 'little' catalogs if that suits your workflow but that is not a recommendation nor a requirement. 

Lastly, I would also ask that you hit the link at the bottom of the forum "Terms" and review section 4. This thread could have been a little more civil.

Thank you. 
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Doug Berger

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Hi Rikk,

It is interesting that given all the above, these are the things you choose to focus on, which actually have nothing to do with the post/question/problem.

I looked through my email to see who made the recommendation to me, and I can't find it. (I'm not sure I'd even have it in email, let alone still have it years later)  I do know it was prior to the introduction of Creative Cloud, because my first using Lightroom beginning with Version 3, I did everything in a single catalog.  I stayed with that until I ran into performance problems and was told to try a new catalog to see if that changed the performance problems, which it did.  Is that a "recommendation", I don't know, but it is what I was told to try to avoid performance problems, and I DO see a difference in speed/performance whether I'm working with my 250,000+ catalogs versus 30,000 photo catalogs.

Maximum speed and reliability are what best serves my workflow.

As for being more civil, there is an old saying about not suffering fools gladly, and unfortunately, that is something I do not have a high tolerance for.

Lets put it this way... this was my topic/conversation/post... I'm not going anywhere, so if someone comes in and repeatedly acts like a *$@^%, and is insulting/rude and won't stop harassing, I'm not going to put up with it,  if you don't like that, I'd suggest dealing with the people who throw the first punch, not the person trying to block that person's punches to defend themselves.

When I updated months ago, the updated version no longer had 90% of my watermarks, the upgrade process lost them, they vanished from the new version, and ultimately I needed to work with support to do a deep file search to find where they vanished to so that I could reinstall them.  I do NOT deserve to be repeatedly attacked and insulted with false claims from some %$#^&@ saying I don't practice safe computing and don't backup data properly, when I'm talking about Adobe's installer having let things slip through the cracks.

You point me to the "Terms", I point you to the problems that Adobe keeps ignoring, and the problems that are the reason for the topic in the first place...

Perhaps could we focus on the topic??

Best of al, if people were to stick to the topic and not try to make it personal with attacks and insults, it would stay more civil.

Upgrades/Updates = stuff slips through the cracks
Save with catalog = stuff slips through cracks
Copying files from AppData = stuff slips through cracks

Could we PLEASE talk about creating a more reliable way to "duplicate everything" as the topic IS about, and stop wasting time with all the other "stuff" that does nothing to help fix the problem.
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Andrew Rodney

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You got the answer two days ago: clone the drive with the catalog, images, presets now there, previews from older to newer drive. 

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” -Warren Buffett