Lightroom: More options and worfkflow for the backup files

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  • Updated 7 years ago
  • (Edited)
I love the option to "make a second copy" during import, but it would be great if we had options to remove, rename or otherwise manage those backup files automatically from the Lightroom interface.

I'm tired of constantly having to manage my backup hard drive and Lightroom separately.
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Stephen Elliot

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Posted 7 years ago

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Brett N, Official Rep

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What kind of "automatic functions" are you looking for? Having Lightroom make decisions about deleting your files automatically (i.e. without your input) seems pretty scary.
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Rob Cole

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An obvious one would be an option to delete associated backup files when deleting files from Lightroom. If the system recycle bin seems like too feeble a net, Lightroom could move photo files to a Lightroom-managed deleted-files store. If the trimmings were also kept for a time, the whole delete operation could even be made undoable... - maybe overkill, but maybe not...

If one keeps 1/3 files on the average then 2/3 of the 2nd-copy backups are junk, unless they are independently managed, or deleted altogether after making a more formal photo file backup.

(your numbers may vary...)

So, one can either use a regular backup program or folder sync program to make "real" backups, then delete Lightroom's 2nd copy, or just let the 2nd-copy storage grow, forever full of junk...

But I think the more general issue is this:

Lightroom makes a 2nd copy upon import and then washes its hands. No support for subsequently pulling files from the 2nd copy if need be (or deleting older backup copies), and no real backup support of any kind, except for the catalog, but even that comes without its other half: "restore from backup".

Personally, I don't place backup functionality at top priority, since I know how to backup the old-fashioned way, but I often get lazy and become vulnerable.

I think a good "managed" backup *and restore* feature would probably not be wasted effort.

Note: one can tell what the name in the backup probably is (in case file renamed in Lightroom) by looking at the original filename in Lightroom. Still, it would be arduous to fetch a large set from a big unmanaged 2nd-copy backup store after renaming (or even when not renamed).

I can see this problem being solved as part of a complete backup/restore solution, or something more simple: like an option to delete 2nd-copy backup when deleting photos from Lightroom.

Final thoughts:
I understand the 2nd-copy backup was really just a way to have a 2nd copy of imported files so one can feel good about reformatting their card after import, and was never intended as a real backup. But, as it stands, it is one more thing the user has to remember to deal with and independently maintain... Maybe even a simple "delete 2nd copy after X days" option would serve to "maintain" the 2nd copies, and drive the point home that the user needs to develop his/her own true backup regimen.