Lightroom catalog pc to mac

Lightroom works by using catalogs that contain processing info related to the images in your Lightroom library. As a result, you will want to take your Lightroom catalog along with you to the new computer. But how do you do that? Follow these steps and you will be able to pick up right where you left off with your old machine. Copy the Lightroom 5 Catalog. You can then see the file path where your catalog is stored on your computer. Now, copy that file to a USB drive. Copy your Lightroom 5 Catalog Previews.

You will find these files in the same location as your catalog file from Step 1. This is an optional step because Lightroom will automatically build preview files when you import your old catalog onto a new machine. Note that Lightroom will not automatically build Smart Preview files though.

Depending on how many images are in your library, these files could range from hundreds of megabytes to several gigabytes in size. Now that you have your catalog and optionally preview files on thumb drive or external hard drive, connect that drive to your new computer and place them in the same file path as you found them on the old computer.

Alternatively, you can put them in a custom location if you have a reason for doing so. Assuming you have your actual photos from your Lightroom library on an external drive, transferring those photos is as simple as connecting the external drive to the new computer. It the photos are on an internal drive of the old computer, you will need to perform a file transfer to an external hard drive or physically remove the hard drive and install it in the new computer. Once you have copied the catalog and preview files to the new computer and connected your hard drive containing the photos from your library or otherwise transferred them to the new computer , you can open the catalog in Lightroom.

You should have all your images with your edits intact on your new computer. It is a fairly painless process. If you opted to not transfer your preview files, just go find a place to chill for a little while so Lightroom can build your preview files on your new computer. Otherwise, you should be up and running.

Do you have a preferred system for syncing your library across multiple computers?

How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer – A Step by Step Guide

For example I have a desktop pc with windows 7 and a laptop with windows 8 but if I work on photos on both machines it would be redundant to have to reedit a photo on say the desktop after having already done that on the laptop or vice versa. Currently I am using an external hard drive and swap it between the two computers. Short of having a network drive this sort of works as it is can go out the door with the laptop if I need it to.

But I am still looking for other options.

How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

I have just brought an iMac and installed Lightroom 5. Irdata etc and a folder containing all images etc. Is it possible to copy and merge these different versions of Lightroom? Can someone explain, very simply, how this is achieved. Many thanks. As such a LR catalogue on one system can be easily read by the other. Another is that LR never touches your original images unless you specifically tell it to do so, so your files are safe.

Now, you have two issues here. First, back up both your images and your existing catalogue. Second, copy the image files, the LR catalogue and related files to your new computer. Once the conversion is complete you can keep or delete the secondary LR4 catalogue as you wish. Now, as mentioned in the article above, when you move your images to a different drive LR May not know where to find them and you have to relink them. For example, on my computer I keep all of my images in the Pictures folder, then there are subfolders for each camera, and within those subfolders for year and month.

Keep doing this until your top most folder of images is in the list. If they need to be re-linked, the folder Pictures using the above example will have a? In LR4 and previous it was a? Go figure. Click on the? This will open Mac Finder and you can navigate to the folder location. However, you can configure it to a different frequency. But, it is highly recommended that you use a different location from your master drive where the catalog resides.

The logic here is that if your master drive fails, you will have a backup that is intact on another drive. In the 12 years that I have used Lightroom, I have never had any issues with catalog files so I am not very paranoid in this regard. When I complete the migration process and everything looks good, I create the first backup on a new computer and this is more than enough for me.

Plus, I always have a few versions of the catalog backup saved on my Backblaze cloud. Moving the Lightroom Catalog to a new location is a serious undertaking and can be a disastrous experience if done wrong.

Step 1: Figure Out Where Your Lightroom Catalog Lives on Your PC

But, if you follow the outlined steps, the process will be painless and can be completed in no time at all! Viktor, thanks so much for this very informative and timely article! I just bought a new PC and this is just what I needed. Thank-you so much!


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This is the best content for moving the library and setting up Lightroom on a new computer. Up-to-date, thorough, and exceptionally well-written. Great article, thank you! I have one directory that contains all my photos, as well as the Lightroom folder with the catalog. My old computer had one hard drive C: and the folder was probably under Users.

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My new computer has two hard drives and I copied the directory to the root of the D: drive. Or do I have to rename D: as C: or do some other exotic thing? It all worked great thanks to your help, I am up and running. You suggested LR will run faster if the Catalog is on the smaller solid-state drive C:. I have been using Lightroom 5 on an old iMac. Is the LR5 catalogue compatible with LR Classic as it is, or are there any additional steps to the procedural steps that you have provided in your guide.

The Lightroom will convert your old Catalog to a new format. It is fully automated. But I recommend making a copy of the old catalog anyway. Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. Find Lightroom replacement by taking the Quiz. Free black and white Lightroom presets. Best Lightroom export settings for print. How to use masking in Lightroom Classic cc.


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  4. Thank you so much! This tutorial helped me a lot to move my Lightroom do another computer. In my case, this folder was called Lightroom and existed in the "Photos 3" F hard disc drive. Make sure it is highlighted. Next thing is to export the entire data. As you can see at the bottom left of the picture on the right, you have a button called "Export".

    If you hold down the Alt key, this button turns to "Export catalog". While on "Export catalog", click on it. A window opens within Lightroom see next picture on the right. Make sure you only tick 2 of the 3 boxes look at picture again and click save.

    How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer

    Now Lightroom will start saving the entire data and this might take a while, depending on the size of your data, time for a drink. Once everything has been successfully saved on the external hard drive, transfer this "Lightroom" folder into your mac, at the same place where you can find your other folders music, downloads, pictures, documents and so on.

    This will also take a while. After all data has been successfully transferred into mac, do the following:.


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    4. Open Lightroom on your mac assuming it is already installed and make sure you are in Library. This time we need to click on the "Import" button picture on the right. Now, via Lightroom application, go and find that folder called "Lightroom". In there you will see 3 folders. That's it. Lightroom will now start importing your entire data it will take a while and as soon as it has finished, everything will be exactly as it was on your PC.