Lightroom Classic: Moving catalog to an external hard drive - How to do it?

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • (Edited)
I’m considering Moving my LR Classic catalog from my MBPro to an external hard drive - How should I do it? I have a catalog file and I also see a library file in a separate directory!Do I need to move them both ?Do I need to create same folders on the target Ext. HD ?The Catalog file is in my LR folder under the pictures folder and the library file is in the pictures root folder . Is this library file the one contains the standard previews ?Thanks
Photo of Hanani

Hanani

  • 35 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 7 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 7535 Posts
  • 1725 Reply Likes
The library file in the screen capture above has nothing to do with Lightroom Classic, It is the Lightroom Desktop catalog and associated files. At some point you must have tried out Lightroom Desktop and this is the file from that instance. 

Victoria writes a good moving catalog guide: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/how-move-lightroom-to-new-computer/
Photo of Hanani

Hanani

  • 35 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks so much Rikk
Photo of Tom Mickow

Tom Mickow

  • 514 Posts
  • 210 Reply Likes
Your catalog & previews are stored in one location.  The actual image files can be in one or multiple different locations, depending on your workflow, storage options, etc.

You can do whatever you'd like with the images themselves, but I'd highly recommend leaving the catalog & previews on your MBPro.  You'll get much better performance that way.

To move just the image files to another location, I'd have a look at Victoria Bampton's post here -  
How do I move only my photos to another hard drive, leaving the catalog where it is?
Photo of Hanani

Hanani

  • 35 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks for info and thanks for sharing your thought about the right workflow !!!! Thanks
Photo of Andrew Rodney

Andrew Rodney

  • 1007 Posts
  • 217 Reply Likes
Just copy the folder and library files, double click on the library: done.
Photo of Hanani

Hanani

  • 35 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Will try this on the morning! Thanks Andrew
Photo of Laura Shoe

Laura Shoe, Champion

  • 144 Posts
  • 91 Reply Likes
And if you prefer a video tutorial, here's one on how to move your LR Classic catalog.
Photo of Hanani

Hanani

  • 35 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Dear Laura thanks soooo much your video presentation was excellent!!! I watched 3 more videos. Your delivery is great and so very helpful you really made things much simpler! Thanks
Photo of Richard Hix

Richard Hix

  • 32 Posts
  • 5 Reply Likes
Biggest consideration, in my mind, is what happens when you eventually need a second external hard drive?  Then you'd need both hard drives plugged in so you could access the LR catalog on one drive while you access the photos on the second (or more).

Photo of Hanani

Hanani

  • 35 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Appreciate your comments Richard . After reading all the comments here I will leave the Catalog on the MBP. Reading all the comments gave me a great insight into the LR Classic world.

Thanks again,

Hanani