Why You Should Let Lightroom Back Up Its Catalog

3 min read

Why You Should Let Lightroom Back Up Its Catalog

Do you have a Lightroom backup catalog? If you don't, then you should consider having one. And here is why... Imagine starting Lightroom only to get a dialog that says, "you can't access this catalog due to an unexpected error."

If you don't have a backup, your edits are gone with the winds. That means you'll be starting all the photo books you created, picking flags, and everything else from scratch. So you see why it is essential to have a Lightroom backup catalog. Here are things that can go wrong with your catalog:

●     Accident

This is a very prevalent issue. It occurs when you unintentionally delete photos stored in the catalog or accidentally change the settings of the catalog.

●     Bugs

Not every software is bug-free, even if you've done all the proper software tests. So, allowing Lightroom to backup its catalog is a safe thing to do to avoid any errors.

●     Catalog Corruption

Although this is not common, there are instances where hardware errors can corrupt your Lightroom catalog.

●     Hard Drive Failure

Hard drive failure is another regular instance in which you can lose data stored in the catalog. This happens when your hard drive gets plugged out accidentally. When this happens, you can only restore your catalog if you saved it correctly in another drive.

Best Practices for Backing Up

If you don't want to lose your edits, all you have to do is click "backup" when the “Back Up Catalog" prompt appears just before you quit Lightroom.

Some backup software only backs up the current version and overwrites the previous Lightroom backup catalog. While this is okay, what happens when you make a mistake or your catalog gets damaged, and you don't spot it immediately? That's where versioned backups come into play.

With versioned backups, you can quickly save multiple copies of your files and restore them from earlier versions. You can use the backup tool in Lightroom to do this automatically. It zips up the catalog's copy in a folder renamed using date and time of the backup, so you can identify it when needed.

To create a Lightroom backup catalog, do the following:

  • Close Lightroom. A "Back Up Catalog" dialog box will appear. Click the "Choose" button to select a backup catalog location. Ensure that the location is a different hard drive and not the location of your current working catalog. You can select an external hard drive or back up directly to a folder in your Dropbox.
  • Go to "Catalog Settings" and select the frequency of your backups. You can choose once a day, once a week, or once a month.
  • Check the "Test integrity before backing up" and "Optimize catalog after backing up" boxes.
  • Click the "Back up" button.

There you have it! You have now set up your Lightroom catalog to back up into a safe location. Now you have another Lightroom backup catalog to pull up if your working catalog gets corrupted or your hard drive fails!

Lightroom is a great program for organizing your photos. Backing up your catalogs properly and on a regular schedule will help protect your edits even when your computer. So if you haven’t started backing up, start now!

Also, If you have questions related to Lightroom backup catalog, feel free to reach out to us. We will be glad to help.