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More LR Help with New Computer

Sorry to beat the dead horse: I bought a new computer, installed LR, have shot three events, everything is great. I took the old computer, with a lot of LR photos and large catalog, hooked it up wirelessly to our home router, made a "network" with the two computers, and have a "shared" folder.

My question is on how to best suck in some of the event/personal photos and their corresponding LR develop settings to the new computer. Obviously I would have to send over the RAW files. But then what? How do I take the LR catalog and settings for these, and bring them over to the new computer, so I can work on some that were never really finished? Do I transfer the LR stuff, and then the photos so it can "populate". How then does LR know the difference between the catalogs, can you give them unique names?

Anyone who responds, I hate to say it, but I would need a step-by-step instruction list.

This is mostly for personal photos from vacations that I never really got to finish developing.

Thanks - Dave


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited May 2017

    If you can navigate to 'My Pictures'/Lightroom you may have a 'backup' folder or see the Lightroom 4/5/6 (whatever version) Catalog Previews.lrdata folder.

    I would drag that onto the new computer, but make sure you think about if you are overwriting anything.

    I have my LR do a 'Backup' each time I close hence the folders you see in my 'Backups'.

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  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Trev - If I drag that catalog to the new computer, does it "merge" with what I have in the new LR install, or does it become a separate catalog with a unique name?
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Therein lies the conundrum, if you drag an item of same name as an existing one, it would overwrite, presumably.

    But if you see my Backup Folders, you see the date I did it, but it puts a 24 hour time stamp on the end thereby giving a different name even if I did a backup a hundred times on same day.

    How about you put a new folder inside there, call it say 'New Install', but then drag your lrcat file into that, then if you double click that file it should open up LR to that specific Catalog with the files you wanted.

    However, you may have a problem with 'missing files' if it cannot link to the original file, so you may have to re-import them, I just don't know.

    Maybe that link Groomsphoto gave above could help, I was only presuming you could bring in the Catalog/Backup that way, then only this morning I remembered if you don't have the original files in the same place they become 'missing files' so a re-import would have to be the way.

  • The most easy way would be to fire up LR on the old machine, select within its catalog the directories to drag over and select Catalog->Export as new catalog. ( I do not have a running english LR available at the moment, but you should find the menu items even if they are called a bit differently).


    a) Copy the Pictures(!) from the old machine to the new one into their new respective directories (the directory structure should not change, however, old dir\Sub\sub1 = new dir\Sub\sub1), then

    b) New LR: catalog->Import from catalog to drag the exported settings from above into your new library, then

    c) Point new LR from its explorer window to one of the copied pics and let it "find" the others (therefore, the directory structure should not change).

    Hopefully, your directories are sorted so that there is no conflict on the new machine...


  • I just did a chek on the english menues. Its
    File->Export as Catalog
    File->Import from another catalog
    Library->Find all missing Photos
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Nicely done Michael, since I don't bother too much with LR apart from just very basic adjustments and do rest in Photoshop I have never delved too deeply into that side of things so that should help Dave. :)
  • dbrunodbruno Member
    Thank you, everyone. I will be trying all of it this week, my next jobs are Friday and Sunday, so I will have some free time.

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