Elements: Organizer ProgramData -- Bad place for user data

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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The Elements Organizer Data -- the catalog -- is now storied in C:\ProgramData.  This is an  extremely bad idea.  First, some backup programs such as Carbonite will not back up this directory.  Also, As Microsoft puts it, “this folder is used for application data that is not user specific”  Granted the catalogs could be for all users on the system -- this directory is more common static entries.     Also in my case, I use a small C: drive for the OS and application not for data.    
Please give control back to where we can put our catalogs.
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W Cary Weatherhead

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jack Klaber

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You may have a point here, but there is a quite simple solution to your problem.
If you want to relocate your catalog to a different drive or simply to your documents location then create the following registry file that changes the location PSE looks for its catalog:
The PATH in the following key data is default: "C:\\ProgramData\\Adobe\\Elements Organizer\\Catalogs\\My Catalog\\" 
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Elements Organizer]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Elements Organizer\13.0]

To be on the safe side, make first a copy of your registry before merging the above keys into the registry (of course PSE should be closed). 
Before opening PSE, copy/move your catalog from the default location to your desired location.

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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The Elements Organizer Data -- the catalog -- is now storied in C:\ProgramData.  This is an  extremely bad idea. 
I beg to differ... which requires some explanations.
1 - The default location for catalog folders is in C:\ProgramData, an hidden folder.
2 - The catalog folders may be moved or copied where you want from your Windows Explorer (except on network drives). This does not change anything in the contents and the organizer can use any catalog folder you are pointing to. When you restore a catalog to a new computer, drive or partition, the catalog folder is moved there as well as the photo files folders tree. It's also very common to store the catalog folder and image folder tree to an external drive to share them between two computers.

So, you problem is solved by moving the catalog folder where you want using your Windows Explorer. Either you double click on the 'catalog.pseXXdb' sqlite database to open the organizer with the new catalog, or you use the catalog manager and browse to the new location of the folder.

Now, to decide if the present default location is a bad or a wise idea, you have to consider the 'pros' and 'cons'.
The organizer can't work without a catalog. It's a necessary component for the software.
You can have several catalogs. You can also  keep catalogs from older versions.
Where should a new  catalog be created by default, where should other catalogs be stored?

Elements, and especially the organizer part are 'consumer' products designed for normal users, not IT experts. Unfortunately it's no secret that the concept of catalogs is commonly misunderstood.
There has been 12 versions with that default choice since PSE6 chose the ProgramData default and hidden folder. My experience helping organizer users in the Elements forum tells me that the present choice has prevented thousands of catastrophes by hiding the catalog folders and preventing users from fiddling with the catalog contents (they do it in the backup folders which are not hidden). Of course, advanced users would need more info than the available manuals.

Note about Carbonite (or any Cloud or external) backup solution:

- You can and should include the catalog folder paths in your backups.
- Any backup solution should be tested before trusting the results. Cloud solutions require a lot of time to restore and test; many users don't do it. If they did with their Elements library and catalogs, they would find that the restored catalog and folders on a new drive or PC would result in all files being shown as 'disconnected' in the catalog. Only the built-in backup and restore process of the organizer can migrate while updating the connection to the new destination.

So, bad or wise, it depends on the user profile. Even advanced users may not have enough info about the specifics of the Organizer.