PSE 19: Getting two Pictures folders with PSE 19 restore on Windows 10

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PSE 19: Getting two Pictures folders with PSE 19 restore on Windows 10. I recently upgraded from PSE 17 to PSE 19. I keep PSE 19 on my desktop as primary. To update my laptop, I becakup my desktop catalog to my laptop and restore that catalog. Under PSE 17, My Catalog was in C:Program Data/Adobe/Elements Organizer/Catalogs, and my photos were in D:xxxx Libraries/Pictures. After trying to restore the PSE 19 backup, the restored photos are now in D:xxxx Libraries/Pictures/xxxx Libraries/Pictures. So my original photos are in the upper level "Pictures" and the restored photos are in the lower level "Pictures." How do I get PSE 19 to replace the higher level photos as part of the restore, so I don't have two sets of photo folders? I chose "Pictures" from the restore menu dropdown as the folder to restore to, and the menu changed that to "D:xxxx Libraries/Pictures." The new My Catalog is now under the higher level Pictures folder. I don't really care where that ends up, although I don't understand why it's not put into Program Data like it was in PSE 17. Thanks for any help!.
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Holly Azevedo

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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To be clear, PSE version 17 is called PSE 2019, but that does not matter in your case.
When you backup your library, the complete path for the folder tree under the root folder is kept. When you restore to a custom location, that complete folder tree is restored under the destination custom folder, hence the duuplication of the path.
When you restore a backup to a custom location, the catalog folder itself is not restored in the default (hidden) location, it's restored just under the destination folder, so that is also normal.
You can use the catalog manager to move the catalog folder back to the default location. You can also simply use the explorer to move it where you want. Moving a catalog folder does not change its contents.

If I understand well, you don't have any duplicate media files, but you have a needlessly complicated folders paths. You could try to use the drag and drop function of the left folders panel to move the second 'Pictures' level just under the root folder of D:
Anyway, you still have your backup and you could restore by stating the root folder of D: as the custom destination if anything goes wrong.
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Holly Azevedo

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Hello, Michael -- I wasn't clear, because I do have duplicate media files (a full set under each of the Pictures folders, the top level was already there, the lower level was what the restore created). When I opened PSE 2019, it only recognized the newly created folders as being in the catalog. I knew I couldn't just drag and drop to the upper level. Thank you for your information on restores and what happens, and that I can just point to D: as the custom location (which I now see would have avoided the duplicate folders).

New info: After I wrote this note, I found the phone number to call for support. After a long wait, I did get a technician. While he could not solve the duplicate folder issue, what he did tell me is that I don't need to do a restore and backup when I go from my desktop to my laptop. Because all of my Pictures folder structure is identical, all I need to do is copy "My Catalog" from my desktop to my laptop, and PSE would be able to use that version (I'd have to make sure it was in the right location, of course).
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Because all of my Pictures folder structure is identical, all I need to do is copy "My Catalog" from my desktop to my laptop, and PSE would be able to use that version (I'd have to make sure it was in the right location, of course).

´╗┐You can copy or move the catalog folder, you can't simply copy the media files folder tree (the library). If you do that, all your files will show as 'missing' or 'disconnected' for a good reason: the location of the files is stored by to pieces of info: the 'path' and the drive internal serial number. Then you would have to reconnect all your media files from the 'reconnect' process, which is far for being as easy as in Lightroom.

It's not the first time you get totally wrong answers from the Elements help desk.

There are so many instances of identical issues because people believe they have to copy the folder tree before the restore, which creates the duplication you are seeing. From the beginning, nearly twenty years ago, the backup and restore process of Elements did take care of restoring both the catalog (database) and the library (media folder tree) while keeping the links in the catalog. Unfortunately, it seems that advanced computer users are more prone than beginners to think they are smarter than the recommended procedure.
My advice is always to avoid using the default Windows 'Pictures' folder. Create your own master folder (ie My Photos) just under the root drive. That will make backups more straightforward, and that will be necessary some day when you'll have to migrate to a new computer.

My advice to drag and drop the 'Pictures' folder would have worked if there had been no duplication to begin with.
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Holly Azevedo

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Again, thanks so much, Michael, there's always another piece of information we need to know! Creating a master folder for photos sounds like a great idea -- I will do that.