Studying tips on how to transfer Lightroom to a brand new pc may sound like a scary proposition to many photographers. However, since we modify 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 elements scattered throughout completely different corners of my pc.
Let me clarify.
I hold my Lightroom set up with the grasp catalog, configuration information, and previews on my main SSD (stable state drive) onerous drive. This can be very quick however comparatively small at solely 500 GB. Which means that I can not retailer my complete picture library (a complete of 5 TB) subsequent to my grasp catalog.
I’ve a traditional onerous drive (8 TB) devoted to my picture library.
Lastly, I hold my Lightroom catalog backups on a separate onerous drive the place I retailer all my archived information and the sources I don’t use frequently.
I deal with the method of migrating Lightroom to a brand new pc as a multistep course of the place I handle the completely different elements of the Lightroom setup individually.
Find out how to Transfer Lightroom to a New Laptop
The method of migrating Lightroom to a brand new pc may be damaged down into seven steps, two of that are non-obligatory.
- Step 1 – Set up Lightroom
- Step 2 – Switch the Picture 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 – Carry Preview Information (non-obligatory)
- Step 7 – Carry Catalog Backups (non-obligatory)
Whenever you handle every element individually, the entire course of turns into very logical and uncomplicated.
Step 1: Set up Lightroom
Earlier than putting in Lightroom, you should set up the Artistic Cloud utility in your new pc.
After putting in the Artistic Cloud app, you should authenticate it utilizing your Artistic Cloud credentials.
Subsequent, deploy Lightroom by triggering the set up from the Artistic Cloud app.
As you most likely know, Artistic Cloud permits you to set up Lightroom on two completely different computer systems (Mac and PC). When you have already put in and activated Lightroom on two computer systems, you should go to the Artistic Cloud net portal (Plans & Merchandise tab) and disconnect considered one of your installations.
TIP: Just remember to don’t disconnect the pc from which you’re at present performing the migration. You will have to entry it a number of occasions all through the migration course of.
In my case, I’ve Lightroom activated on my desktop and on my journey laptop computer. Once I begin the migration course of, I deactivate my laptop computer set up in order that I can use Lightroom on my previous and new computer systems in the course of the migration.
Step 2: Migrate Your Picture Library
Earlier than you begin shifting your picture library to a brand new pc, be sure that it’s properly organized.
This organizational type makes it extremely easy to again up your images. It additionally makes it straightforward to maneuver your complete library from one location to a different.
You’ll have issue managing your library in case your images are scattered throughout completely different drives and directories.
Earlier than beginning the migration, I strongly advocate you conform your picture library to a one-directory construction.
TIP: Be certain that to prepare your library from inside Lightroom utilizing the Folders Panel within the Library Module. In the event you use Explorer (Win) or Finder (Mac) to maneuver your picture information round, Lightroom won’t be able to trace these adjustments.
As soon as your library is so as, use an exterior onerous drive to repeat your complete library to your new pc.
Step 3: Migrate the Lightroom Catalog
The following step is to maneuver the catalog file to a brand new pc. The Lightroom Catalog is a database the place the appliance shops details about the images and their group.
It’s not all the time straightforward to find a catalog file as a result of, generally, it’s buried deep inside your pc’s set up folders. Happily, Lightroom supplies us with a shortcut to an energetic catalog location.
Find out how to Discover Lightroom Catalog Location
Listed below 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 may take you to the listing the place the Lightroom catalog resides.
The Lightroom catalog has an .lrcat extension.
You will have to repeat the catalog file to your new pc.
I extremely advocate that you simply hold your catalog file in your quickest drive, ideally on a solid-state drive (SSD).
Step 4: Copy Configuration, Settings, and Presets
Lightroom combines all of the settings, configuration information, and presets below the Lightroom Settings listing.
The listing comprises an enormous quantity of data associated to your Lightroom Catalog. It shops all of the develop presets, import and export presets, metadata presets, key phrase units, and so forth. If you don’t import all of the configuration data to your new set up, it may take weeks and even months to recreate it. Importing the listing is a necessary step of the migrating course of.
Relying in your preferences, the Lightroom Settings listing may be positioned within the catalog listing or within the Lightroom set up folder.
In my case, I exploit one catalog group and like to retailer all my configuration information and presets subsequent to my catalog file. This helps me localize all catalog associated knowledge in a single location, nevertheless it additionally signifies that the settings and presets can’t be shared throughout a number of catalogs.
You should copy the whole Lightroom Settings folder to a brand new pc and place them in a brand new catalog folder or a brand new Lightroom set up listing.
Step 5: Re-link the New Catalog with the Picture Library
When you will have accomplished the 4 earlier steps, you’re able to launch your imported Lightroom Catalog on a brand new pc.
The prospect that the file construction in your new machine is similar to your previous one may be very slim. Which means that Lightroom gained’t have the ability to discover your images as a result of they’re saved in a special location.
Whenever you see a query mark subsequent to a folder contained in the Lightroom Library module, because of this it has no thought the place to seek out them and that you must re-link the lacking folders to level them to a brand new picture location.
The excellent news is that you simply would not 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 picture library in Step 2. Lightroom will do the remaining by mapping all of the folders to their new places.
Step 6: Migrate Previews (Non-obligatory)
I do know that many photographers copy their unique preview information to a brand new pc, however I by no means do.
In Lightroom Preferences, you may specify how lengthy you wish to hold full-size previews earlier than they’re discarded. Due to the restricted disk house on my main SSD drive, I exploit the 30-day possibility. Which means that if I don’t use a specific picture for longer than 30 days, Lightroom discards its preview. However, I discover that Lightroom doesn’t handle this selection very properly. Over a interval of months, the preview folder dimension grows uncontrolled and I’ve to manually delete the previews to get well worthwhile disk house.
The migration course of provides me a chance to begin the preview era course of from scratch with out importing any pointless information.
When I’m completed with the migration, I can start recreating preview information as I would like them through the use of the handbook technique in Library Module.
TIP: Mix Steps 3, 4 and 5 into one
SinceLightroom shops the Catalog, Settings andPreviews contained in the catalog folder, it is sensible to mix steps 3, 4 and 5 right into a single transfer by copying the whole catalog folder with all its content material to a brand new pc.
Step 7: Transfer Catalog Backups (Non-obligatory)
Lightroom has built-in performance to again up the catalog information in case the grasp catalog is corrupt. That is crucial as a result of the catalog information include years of amassed data. In the event you lose it, will probably be a catastrophe.
In my case, the backup course of is ready to a weekly schedule. Nevertheless, you may configure it to a special frequency.
By default, Lightroom shops catalog backup information contained in the Catalog folder.
However, it’s extremely really helpful that you simply 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.
Whereas importing backup information to a brand new set up is really helpful, it’s not crucial.
Within the 12 years that I’ve used Lightroom, I’ve by no means had any points with catalog information so I’m not very paranoid on this regard.
Once I full the migration course of and all the pieces appears good, I create the primary backup on a brand new pc, which is greater than sufficient for me. Plus, I all the time have a couple of variations of the catalog backup saved on my Backblaze cloud.
Replace: Migrating Lightroom Preset Library
After Adobe modified the format of Lightroom presets in 2018 from .lrtemplate to .xmp, the placement of preset information on a pc onerous drive shouldn’t be all the time apparent.
Since XMP presets are shared between Lightroom and Photoshop, by default, presets are imported to Adobe Artistic RAW (ACR) utility. It is sensible as a result of the presets may be accessed by Lightroom and Photoshop from a single location.
However in the event you change the Lightroom settings and test the field Retailer presets with this catalog (what I do), the imported presets will likely be saved subsequent to the Lightroom catalog.
What it means is that Lightroom presets may be saved elsewhere in your onerous drive. Generally, particular person presets from the identical group may be saved in varied places. It doesn’t have an effect on your workflow while you use preset-based modifying however will trigger a headache when you must migrate your complete preset library to a different pc.
Right here is my resolution.
Use the brand new Lightroom performance ‘Export Group’ to export the whole preset group. Lightroom collects presets, even when they’re positioned in varied places, and zip them into one single file.
Whenever you import them to Lightroom on a special pc, all of the presets from the identical group will likely be saved in a single location.
It’s an effective way to scrub up your preset group.
Find out how to Transfer Lightroom to a New Laptop | Conclusion
Shifting the Lightroom Catalog to a brand new location is a critical endeavor and is usually a disastrous expertise if performed incorrect. However in the event you comply with the outlined steps, the method will likely be painless and may be accomplished very quickly in any respect!