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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 how one can transfer Lightroom to a brand new laptop 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 totally different corners of my laptop.

Let me clarify.

I hold my Lightroom set up with the grasp catalog, configuration recordsdata, and previews on my main SSD (strong state drive) onerous drive. This can be very quick however comparatively small at solely 500 GB. Which means that I can not retailer my total 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 recordsdata and the assets I don’t use regularly.

I deal with the method of migrating Lightroom to a brand new laptop as a multistep course of the place I tackle the totally 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 laptop will be damaged down into 8 steps, two of that are elective.

  • Step 1 – Install Lightroom
  • Step 2 – Switch the Photograph Library to a brand new laptop
  • Step 3 – Transfer Lightroom Catalog from outdated laptop
  • Step 4 – Port Configuration and Settings
  • Step 5 – Re-link the lacking folders
  • Step 6 – Migrate Lightroom Preset Library
  • Step 7 – Deliver Preview Information (elective step)
  • Step 8 – Deliver Catalog Backups (elective step)

Once you tackle 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 Artistic Cloud software in your new laptop.

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

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Install Creative Cloud app

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

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

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: Install Lightroom

As you in all probability know, Artistic Cloud permits you to set up Lightroom on two totally 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 Artistic Cloud net portal (Plans & Fee tab) and disconnect certainly one of your installations.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: deactivate old installation

TIP: Just remember to don’t disconnect the pc from which you might be presently 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 technique 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 in the course of the migration.

Step 2: Migrate Your Photograph Library

Earlier than you begin shifting your picture library to a brand new laptop, make sure that it’s properly organized.

Move lightroom catalog to new computer: One folder Organization

This organizational model makes it extremely easy to again up your images. It additionally makes it simple to maneuver your total library from one location to a different.

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

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

TIP: Be sure that to prepare your library from inside Lightroom utilizing the Folders Panel within the Library Module. In case you use Explorer (Win) or Finder (Mac) to maneuver your picture recordsdata round, Lightroom will be unable to trace these adjustments.

Conform your photo library into a one-directory structure.

As soon as your library is so as, use an exterior onerous drive to repeat your total library to your new laptop.

Step 3: Migrate the Lightroom Catalog

The following step is to maneuver the catalog file to a brand new laptop. The Lightroom Catalog is a database the place the applying shops details about the images and their group.

It’s not at all times simple to find a catalog file as a result of, generally, it’s buried deep inside your laptop’s set up folders. Luckily, Lightroom gives us with a shortcut to an lively catalog location.

The best way 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 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 laptop.

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 below the Lightroom Settings listing.

The listing comprises an enormous quantity of knowledge 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 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.

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 have to copy the whole Lightroom Settings folder to a brand new laptop and place them in a brand new catalog folder.

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

When you’ve gotten accomplished the 4 earlier steps, you might be able to launch your imported Lightroom Catalog on a brand new laptop.

The possibility that the file construction in your new machine is an identical to your outdated one may be very slim. Which means that Lightroom gained’t be capable to discover your images as a result of they’re saved in a distinct location.

Once you see a query mark subsequent to a folder contained in the Lightroom Library module, which means it has no concept the place to search out them and that it is advisable 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 don’t have to do that for each folder. All it’s important to do is right-click on the prime of the father or mother 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 areas.

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 onerous drive shouldn’t be at all times apparent. 

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

However in case you change the Lightroom settings and test 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 will be saved somewhere else in your onerous drive. Typically, particular person presets from the identical group (assortment) will be saved in numerous areas. It doesn’t have an effect on your workflow while you use preset-based enhancing however will trigger a headache when it is advisable migrate your total preset library to a different laptop.

Right here is my answer.

Use the brand new Lightroom performance ‘Export Group’ to export the whole preset group. Lightroom collects presets, even when they’re situated in numerous areas, 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 distinct laptop, all of the presets from the identical group shall be saved in a single location.

It’s an effective way to wash up your preset group.

Step 7: Migrate Previews (Optionally available 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 authentic preview recordsdata to a brand new laptop, however I by no means do.

In Lightroom Preferences, you’ll be able to 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 take advantage of the 30-day choice. 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 feature very properly. Over a interval of months, the preview folder dimension grows uncontrolled and I’ve to manually delete the previews to get better helpful disk house.

The migration course of offers me a chance 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 would like 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 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 laptop.

Step 8: Transfer Catalog Backups (Optionally available Step)

Lightroom has built-in performance to again up the catalog recordsdata in case the grasp catalog is corrupt. That is essential as a result of the catalog recordsdata comprise years of collected data. In case you lose it, it will likely be a catastrophe.

In my case, the backup course of is ready to a weekly schedule. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to configure it to a distinct 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 beneficial that you just use a distinct location out of your grasp drive the place the catalog resides. The logic right here is that in case your grasp drive fails, you’ll 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 beneficial, it isn’t essential.

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 all the pieces appears to be like good, I create the primary backup on a brand new laptop, which is greater than sufficient for me. Plus, I at all times have a couple 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 laptop has a distinct working system?

No worries in case your new laptop has a distinct 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’ll be able to simply transfer them with none points.

Simply keep in mind, the Artistic Cloud app and Lightroom set up are usually not common. It’s worthwhile to set up them based mostly on whether or not your laptop is a Mac or PC. After that, you’ll be able to transfer your images, catalog, and settings with none issues

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

You initially want an web connection to put in the Artistic Cloud and Lightroom purposes from the Adobe web site. Nonetheless, as soon as put in, you’ll be able to transfer your current Lightroom catalog, images, and settings to the brand new laptop while not having a continuing web connection.

How do I transfer my images to the brand new laptop with out shedding any edits?

To maneuver your images to a brand new laptop with out shedding any edits, make sure that to know 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 photographs, utilizing the identical file names.

To protect your edits, switch your outdated Lightroom Catalog and the total picture library, together with the unique picture recordsdata and any related XMP recordsdata, to the brand new laptop. This ensures that every one edits are maintained while you open Lightroom on the brand new laptop.

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

Shifting the Lightroom Catalog to a brand new location is a critical enterprise and could be a disastrous expertise if achieved unsuitable. However in case you observe the outlined steps, the method shall be painless and will be accomplished very quickly in any respect!

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