Lightroom Catalog and Preset Backup Plug-in

For a while now, I’ve had people ask if your presets were backed up with the Lightroom backup functionality. Well they’re not. But The Photo Geek has released a Lightroom catalog and preset backup plug-in that backs up your catalog and presets and templates and all that good stuff. After giving it a try, I’d consider it more of a power-user tool as its just a bit intimidating with all of the directories its asking for. Plus, to restore from its backup, you’d have to know where everything goes because you’ll manually have to restore everything. But its still cool and better then anything else currently available for backing up Lightroom. Check it out here.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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12 Comments

  1. Indeed this is a bit geeky but nonetheless once it’s set you can just let it do its thing ;-)

    As an alternative to setting up a plug-in, I can store all presets in a single folder on my local drive, and let my incremental/automated backup(s) via Chronosync or Syncback save them off each night, or as needed – same with catalogs.

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  2. I agree that backing up is a good thing but I have a mac and time machine. That seems like a much more simplistic solution. Is this plugin doing anything that time machine is not?

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  3. What a strange idea. Backing up key data, whether that be your Word documents, LR Catalog, presets or whatever should be part of everyone’s normal routine – preferably an automated one. Why would anyone want a programme that only backs up the catalog and presets?

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  4. @Steve: When doing a fresh install (on another machine) and want to use your own settings again.
    @Martin: I agree, but backing up your presets can be a hassle because of the many directories.
    It would be easier if Lightroom by default put all of it in one directory as Brandon said. I’m trying to do that too but I don’t want to mess up Lightroom’s configuration.

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  5. Thanks for the feedback everyone. If you have suggestions on how I can “de-intimidate” this plugin let me know. I understand that the first time you run it can be a bit daunting, but after that you can use the 1-Click menu option and you don’t even need to see it anymore.

    If you combine it with the accelerator keys (another post on the site) it becomes a simple habit. Weekly Lightroom catalog backup occurs, then as soon as Lightroom loads hit Alt + F, S, 1. Then your backups are finished and compressed. Works for me but hey, I’m a geek so YMMV. :-)

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  6. Neat program, but I have to agree with others in saying isn’t it easier just to use some backup software to save the Application Support folder, or source control software to share and merge the changes across multiple machines (e.g. a MacBook Pro for mobile work and a Mac Pro for the heavy duty stuff). I happen to use perforce for the latter since that’s what I’m used to from work, but I’m sure there are other viable options that provide more universal and robust solutions.

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  7. Useless, I have Time Machine

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  8. I too use TimeMachine (and SuperDuper!) but have another trick for IPTC presets.

    I send photos to four different agencies (but never the same photo to more than one). Which photo goes where depends on what I’m shooting. I have a small folder of four photos, one photo for each agency, in each of my LR catalogs. That photo has the caption template for that agency. When I start a new catalog, the first thing I do is import the four photo folder, open the IPTC preset window and save each one as a template. It has saved me a fair amount of time, but more importantly ensures that IPTC templates in every catalog (seven catalogs on two computers) are identical.

    jack

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  9. For some reason, the video of “installing presets” will not play at all, and I can’t remember how to install presets. Is there any way you can fix this? Thanks so much.

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  10. Hi Matt,

    2 questions here….

    1. What is your email address (or do you just like to have stuff posted here instead. I have a link to an HDR timelapse I’d like you to check out.

    2. Love the lightroom print template presets you did. Are you thinking of adding some more? THanks for all the free presets by the way!!!

    Michael S.
    Mike@Hylite.com

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  11. Matt,
    The video teaching how to install presets is down. Thank you for the free presets by the way!
    Joey

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  12. Yeah backuping the whole drive, where Lr is installed makes for me more sense, if my drive is screwed, I just plug in my external HD and Im ready to work again. What means you need to back up every day:-)

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