Lightroom Desktop: When specifying a storage location on a different drive the application still uses the C: drive for storage

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When I use the option to specify a different storage location than my C: drive (another drive that I use solely for storing media) Lightroom shows a bogus file path ' ""\Photos' and still shows that I have no space on the C: drive, despite me setting a different drive to store my photos.

This makes lightroom unusable on my setup.
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Tom George

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  • frustrated and bemused

Posted 2 years ago

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Andrew Silverman

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I have this same issue. (The file path shown is bogus, although originals are being stored correctly in the new specified location (on D:\Adobe\...), but the C: drive location is still the one shown in the space available bar, and is still used for what appears to be catalog and other data.  It should really be possible to move all of the local files to a desired location rather than having them be forced to live on C:, which in my case is an SSD with somewhat limited space availability.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Lightroom has a catalog file, previews and sometimes smart previews. These are stored by default in a folder inside your Pictures folder on the C drive. The 'storage location' you guys are talking about is probably the location of the imported images. That is something completely different, so you can have your catalog on the C drive and your images on the D drive.

You can store the catalog on the D drive as well if you want to, but you will have to do that manually. Here's how: Quit Lightroom. Open your Pictures folder and look for the Lightroom catalog folder. Copy that entire folder to the D drive. Open that folder on the D drive, locate the catalog file (it has the .lrcat extension) and double click it to launch Lightroom. Lightroom will now be using the catalog on the D drive. Just double check this in the Lightroom preferences, however. In the preferences you can say which catalog Lightroom should use; the most recent one (in which case all will be fine) or a specific one (in which case Lightroom may default back to the catalog on the C drive the next time it starts). Change this setting if necessary.

When all is well you can delete the catalog folder on the C drive.
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Andrew Silverman

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This may be true for Lightroom CC classic, but I'm talking about the new "cloud" version, which doesn't have any LRCAT file. There is a folder tree full of stuff including "profiles", "TemporaryEdits" and "User" stored in %appdata%\local\adobe\lightroom CC\data, with no LRCAT file that can be moved.  There appear to be analogous files in a subfolder with a lengthy hex number name by the names of "Managed", but it doesn't appear in any way clear that these can be moved to another location and have the app recognize that fact.
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Jim Wilde, Champion

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You cannot move that local library from the default location. You CAN have any locally stored originals on a different drive (but not a NAS), and there are tools available in the LRCC Preferences>Local Storage tab to help you manage the impact of that local library on the default disk drive. There's a certain amount of "required space" which varies depending on the number of synced images, but beyond that you can control how much additional space is used.
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Andrew Silverman

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Yeah, well, to the earlier point, my unmovable folder chews up around 20GB - it'd be nice to be able to put that somewhere user-specified.  It's a comment and an ask, not an indictment. :-)
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Donna Wetter

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Same problem:

C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Adobe\Lightroom CC\Data

Is growing too large for its location, need to move it..
Especially the proxys folder.


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I purchased a new SSD just for the catalog data, but I can't use it because it forces use of the "C" drive.  I can easily change where the library is stored, but the required use of the C drive for a lot of data means I can't use Lightroom CC.
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Scott Burbine

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I am adamant about this problem as well. I have 250 users with 256GB SSD C: drives which are loaded with architectural applications, and 500GB D drives which are intended for private data just like this. (Note: we programmatically move the Desktop, Documents, and Downloads to the D as well)

The C: drive is just not a good place for the ...previews and ...proxies folders.
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Erik Hammarlund

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I just bought lightroom CC and this is like some sort of sick joke.

I, too, have a 256 G boot drive WHICH IS ONLY FOR SYSTEM AND APPS as is the default setup for most competently-built PCs.  I don't really want to blow 30G of storage on my C drive for chrissake, not to mention the forced obligation to keep "smart previews" there as well. 

That CC is forging me to keep all y my smart previews and everything else on my C drive is head-shakingly idiotic.  Don't any of the Adobe designers work on a Windows box with more than one drive?  This is like a one-line setting somewhere, there's nothing advanced about being able to change a default folder.
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Same problem using Lightroom. No way to change the default storage location. It always is putting scratch files on C: even though the images are stored on my other drive. C: is full after 5-10 minutes of editing.
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Jan Thönniß

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Desktop: Why is there no possibility to change the cache location?.

In Lightroom CC, why can I choose the folder for the originals freely but not the cache location?