Lightroom Classic: Sharing a library/external disk drive between PC and Mac?

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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Hello!

I know Lightroom's Library can't work on a network. My main LR Library and photos are on a Win 7 PC external USB drive. I would like to be able to work or share this on a Mac Sierra. Both have the latest LR Classic.

I know there are issues with Drive Formats?

Any tips on how the External Drive should be formatted. Are the Presets, Library compatible on both systems?

My main objective would be to have the older MAC as a separate back-up of my photos and LR Catalog.

Thanks

I do understand I may need to add software on either or both computers to be able to Read/Write the external drive.
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Maxi Claudio

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Posted 2 months ago

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Carlos Cardona

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If I understood Victoria Bampton’s reply to another post, you CAN use the LR library on a network, Dropbox! This would solve your issue? Otherwise if you purchase enough storage you could put all photos online and use the LR CC app on both platforms. The Mac CAN read exFat or FAT32 volumes, so that can work on both platforms.
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Roelof Moorlag

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I’m using An external harddrive formatted as ExFat for this
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john beardsworth

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I use Tuxera on the Mac which allows me to leave the external hard drive in NTFS format.
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Maxi Claudio

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I'll try that, thanks.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Disk formatting is not really the problem. As others have said, there are enough options. The biggest nuicance is that Windows uses drive letters, and MacOS uses disk names. That means that Lightroom will show all images as ‘missing’ each time you switch between systems using a shared catalog, so you’ll have to reconnect your top image folder each time. There is an option to avoid this: place the catalog on the external disk too, and keep the images in a folder hierarchy inside the catalog folder. People report mixed success with this approach, however.
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john beardsworth

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I think any "mixed success" results from not knowing what they were doing. I find it's rock-solid to "keep the images in a folder hierarchy inside the catalog a parent folder", making it a simple one-step operation to correct the missing folder hierarchy.

Disc formatting is the key, whatever option you choose.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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With 'mixed success' I refered to not having to reconnect your top folder each time, by placing it inside the catalog folder. I do that on my Macs with different disk names, and that works perfectly. Some people have reported it also works when switching between Mac and Windows. but other say it does not work for them.

Of course it's not really a big deal to have to 'reconnect' one single top folder each time.