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The best way to Transfer Lightroom to a New Laptop – A Step by Step Information • PhotoTraces

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

Studying the right way to transfer Lightroom to a brand new pc would possibly sound like a scary proposition to many photographers. However, since we alter computer systems each three to 5 years, it’s unavoidable. That’s the reason I deal with it as a part of my images workflow.

First, I don’t deal with my Lightroom setup as a monolith set up; it’s extra like a multi-piece entity with its components scattered throughout completely different corners of my pc.

Let me clarify.

I hold my Lightroom set up with the grasp catalog, configuration recordsdata, and previews on my major SSD (strong state drive) exhausting drive. This can be very quick however comparatively small at solely 500 GB. Which means that I can’t retailer my whole photograph library (a complete of 5 TB) subsequent to my grasp catalog.

I’ve a traditional exhausting drive (8 TB) devoted to my photograph library.

Lastly, I hold my Lightroom catalog backups on a separate exhausting drive the place I retailer all my archived recordsdata and the assets I don’t use regularly.

I deal with the method of migrating Lightroom to a brand new pc as a multistep course of the place I deal with the completely different components of the Lightroom setup individually.

The best way to Transfer Lightroom to a New Laptop

The method of migrating Lightroom to a brand new pc might be damaged down into 8 steps, two of that are non-obligatory.

  • Step 1 – Install Lightroom
  • Step 2 – Switch the Photograph Library to a brand new pc
  • Step 3 – Transfer Lightroom Catalog from previous pc
  • Step 4 – Port Configuration and Settings
  • Step 5 – Re-link the lacking folders
  • Step 6 – Migrate Lightroom Preset Library
  • Step 7 – Convey Preview Recordsdata (non-obligatory step)
  • Step 8 – Convey Catalog Backups (non-obligatory step)

Once you deal with every part individually, the entire course of turns into very logical and uncomplicated.

Step 1: Set up Lightroom

Earlier than putting in Lightroom, you have to set up the Inventive Cloud utility in your new pc.

Login to your Adobe Inventive Cloud account utilizing internet browser, obtain and set up the Inventive Cloud app.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Install Creative Cloud app

After putting in the Inventive Cloud app, launch the desktop Inventive Cloud utility and navigate to All Apps part.

Subsequent, deploy Lightroom Basic by hitting the Set up button from the Inventive Cloud app.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Install Lightroom

As you in all probability know, Inventive Cloud permits you to set up Lightroom on two completely different computer systems (Mac and PC). You probably have already put in and activated Lightroom on two computer systems, you have to go to the Inventive Cloud internet portal (Plans & Cost tab) and disconnect considered one of your installations.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: deactivate old installation

TIP: Just be sure you don’t disconnect the pc from which you might be at the moment performing the migration. You’ll need to entry it a number of occasions all through the migration course of.

In my case, I’ve Lightroom activated on my PC desktop and on my Mac laptop computer (I’m in means of switching from PC to Mac). Once I begin the migration course of, I deactivate my PC Desktop set up in order that I can use Lightroom on my Mac and new computer systems through the migration.

Step 2: Migrate Your Photograph Library

Earlier than you begin transferring your photograph library to a brand new pc, be sure that it’s nicely organized.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: One folder Organization

This organizational type makes it extremely easy to again up your photographs. It additionally makes it simple to maneuver your whole library from one location to a different.

You’ll have issue managing your library in case your photographs are scattered throughout completely different drives and directories.

Earlier than beginning the migration, I strongly advocate you conform your photograph library to a one-directory construction.

TIP: Make sure that to prepare your library from inside Lightroom utilizing the Folders Panel within the Library Module. For those who use Explorer (Win) or Finder (Mac) to maneuver your picture recordsdata round, Lightroom won’t be able to trace these modifications.

Conform your photo library into a one-directory structure.

As soon as your library is so as, use an exterior exhausting drive to repeat your whole library to your new pc.

Step 3: Migrate the Lightroom Catalog

The subsequent step is to maneuver the catalog file to a brand new pc. The Lightroom Catalog is a database the place the applying shops details about the photographs and their group.

It isn’t at all times simple to find a catalog file as a result of, generally, it’s buried deep inside your pc’s set up folders. Fortuitously, Lightroom supplies us with a shortcut to an lively catalog location.

The best way to Discover Lightroom Catalog Location

Listed here are the steps to pinpoint the Lightroom catalog location:

From the highest menu, choose EDIT (Lightroom on Mac)  > Catalog Settings… Go to the Basic tab and click on the SHOW button. This can take you to the listing the place the Lightroom catalog resides.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer - Step 3: Migrate the Lightroom Catalog

The Lightroom catalog has an .lrcat extension.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Locating Catalog File
Lightroom Catalog on PC
How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer – A Step by Step Guide 1
Lightroom Catalog on Mac

You’ll need to repeat the catalog file to your new pc.

I extremely advocate that you just hold your catalog file in your quickest drive, ideally on a solid-state drive (SSD).

Step 4: Copy Configuration Settings

Lightroom combines all of the settings, configuration recordsdata, and presets beneath the Lightroom Settings listing.

The listing incorporates an enormous quantity of data associated to your Lightroom Catalog.  It shops import and export presets, metadata presets, key phrase units, and so forth. If you don’t import all of the configuration info to your new set up, it might probably take weeks and even months to recreate it. Importing the listing is an important step of the migrating course of.

In my case, I take advantage of one catalog group and all my configuration recordsdata are situated subsequent to my catalog file.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Lightroom Settings
Lightroom Settings on PC
How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer – A Step by Step Guide 2
Lightroom Settings on Mac

You could copy your entire Lightroom Settings folder to a brand new pc and place them in a brand new catalog folder.

Step 5: Re-link the New Catalog with the Photograph Library

When you could have accomplished the 4 earlier steps, you might be able to launch your imported Lightroom Catalog on a brand new pc.

The possibility that the file construction in your new machine is similar to your previous one could be very slim. Which means that Lightroom received’t be capable of discover your photographs as a result of they’re saved in a special location.

Once you see a query mark subsequent to a folder contained in the Lightroom Library module, because of this it has no concept the place to seek out them and that you should re-link the lacking folders to level them to a brand new picture location.

Step 6: Re-link the New Catalog with the Photo Library

The excellent news is that you just wouldn’t have to do that for each folder. All you must do is right-click on the high of the mum or dad folder and level to the brand new location the place you positioned the photograph library in Step 2. Lightroom will do the remaining by mapping all of the folders to their new places.

Step 6: Migrating Lightroom Preset Library

After Adobe modified the format of Lightroom presets in 2018 from .lrtemplate to .xmp, the situation of develop preset recordsdata on a pc exhausting drive just isn’t at all times apparent. 

Since XMP presets are shared between Lightroom and Photoshop, by default, presets are imported to Adobe Inventive RAW (ACR) utility. It is smart as a result of the presets might be accessed by Lightroom and Photoshop from a single location.

However when you change the Lightroom settings and verify the field Retailer presets with this catalog (what I do), the imported presets shall be saved subsequent to the Lightroom catalog.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Setting Catalog Location
I take advantage of se the Location checkbox in Lightroom Preferences to retailer Lightroom Settings within the Catalog Folder.

What it means is that Lightroom presets might be saved elsewhere in your exhausting drive. Typically, particular person presets from the identical group (assortment) might be saved in numerous places. It doesn’t have an effect on your workflow once you use preset-based enhancing however will trigger a headache when you should migrate your whole preset library to a different pc.

Right here is my resolution.

Use the brand new Lightroom performance ‘Export Group’ to export your entire preset group. Lightroom collects presets, even when they’re situated in numerous places, and zip them into one single file.

How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer – A Step by Step Guide 3

Once you import them to Lightroom on a special pc, all of the presets from the identical group shall be saved in a single location.

It’s a good way to scrub up your preset group.

Step 7: Migrate Previews (Elective Step)

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Migrate Preview
Lightroom Previews on PC
How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer – A Step by Step Guide 4
Lightroom Previews on Mac

I do know that many photographers copy their unique preview recordsdata to a brand new pc, however I by no means do.

In Lightroom Preferences, you may specify how lengthy you need to hold full-size previews earlier than they’re discarded. Due to the restricted disk house on my major SSD drive, I take advantage of the 30-day choice. Which means that if I don’t use a selected picture for longer than 30 days, Lightroom discards its preview.

However, I discover that Lightroom doesn’t handle this feature very nicely. Over a interval of months, the preview folder measurement grows uncontrolled and I’ve to manually delete the previews to get better priceless disk house.

The migration course of offers me a possibility to start out the preview era course of from scratch with out importing any pointless recordsdata.

When I’m completed with the migration, I can start recreating preview recordsdata as I want them by utilizing the guide methodology in Library Module.

TIP: Mix Steps 3, 4 and 5 into one motion

Since Lightroom shops the Catalog, Settings and Previews contained in the catalog folder, it is smart to mix steps 3, 4 and 5 right into a single transfer by copying your entire catalog folder with all its content material to a brand new pc.

Step 8: Transfer Catalog Backups (Elective Step)

Lightroom has built-in performance to again up the catalog recordsdata in case the grasp catalog is corrupt. That is important as a result of the catalog recordsdata include years of collected info. For those who lose it, will probably be a catastrophe.

In my case, the backup course of is about to a weekly schedule. Nevertheless, you may configure it to a special frequency.

By default, Lightroom shops catalog backup recordsdata contained in the Catalog folder.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Lightroom Backups
Lightroom Backups on PC
How to Move Lightroom to a New Computer – A Step by Step Guide 5
Lightroom Backups on Mac

However, it’s extremely really useful that you just use a special location out of your grasp drive the place the catalog resides. The logic right here is that in case your grasp drive fails, you should have an intact backup on one other drive.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Catalog Backup Settings

Whereas importing backup recordsdata to a brand new set up is really useful, it isn’t important.

Within the 12 years that I’ve used Lightroom, I’ve by no means had any points with catalog recordsdata so I’m not very paranoid on this regard.

Once I full the migration course of and every little thing seems good, I create the primary backup on a brand new pc, which is greater than sufficient for me. Plus, I at all times have a number of variations of the catalog backup saved on my Backblaze cloud.

FAQ: The best way to Transfer Lightroom to a New Laptop

What if my new pc has a special working system?

No worries in case your new pc has a special system, like switching from Home windows to Mac. I did it earlier than, and it’s not a giant deal. The settings in Lightroom (catalog, presets and configuration recordsdata) work easily on each programs, so you may simply transfer them with none points.

Simply bear in mind, the Inventive Cloud app and Lightroom set up should not common. You should set up them based mostly on whether or not your pc is a Mac or PC. After that, you may transfer your photographs, catalog, and settings with none issues

Is it potential to maneuver Lightroom to a brand new pc with out an web connection?

You initially want an web connection to put in the Inventive Cloud and Lightroom functions from the Adobe web site. Nevertheless, as soon as put in, you may transfer your current Lightroom catalog, photographs, and settings to the brand new pc without having a relentless web connection.

How do I transfer my photographs to the brand new pc with out dropping any edits?

To maneuver your photographs to a brand new pc with out dropping any edits, be sure that to grasp the place your edits are saved. Relying in your Lightroom settings, edits are both saved within the Lightroom Catalog or as XMP recordsdata subsequent to particular person pictures, utilizing the identical file names.

To protect your edits, switch your previous Lightroom Catalog and the whole photograph library, together with the unique picture recordsdata and any related XMP recordsdata, to the brand new pc. This ensures that every one edits are maintained once you open Lightroom on the brand new pc.

The best way to Transfer Lightroom to a New Laptop | Conclusion

Transferring the Lightroom Catalog to a brand new location is a severe endeavor and generally is a disastrous expertise if performed mistaken. However when you observe the outlined steps, the method shall be painless and might be accomplished very quickly in any respect!

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