Video – Backing Up Lightroom

I was recently reading a question asked by some folks who were upgrading to Leopard (newest Mac OS) and they wanted to know how to back up Lightroom in case a catastrophe happened in the OS upgrade process. That sparked an idea that I’ve been wanting to cover for a while, and it affects both PC and Mac users. The topic is, “How do you back up Lightroom?” I mean, what do you do to make sure that if your computer decides to go bye-bye tomorrow, that you’re safe and can easily be back up and running with Lightroom (AND ALL of your photos AND ALL of the things that you’ve done to your photos). Personally, I’ve had about 3 laptop hard drive crashes in the last 5 or so years. Maybe I’m just hard on my laptops. Personally, I always thought it was OK to toss it across the room to a friend, but maybe I’m alone on that one ;) Anyway, that little question is what brought on this week’s video. I think you’ll find it’s actually way easier then you thought to keep Lightroom and all of its managed photos backed up and ready to restore whenever you need.

Click here to watch the video. (7 Mb)

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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9 Comments

  1. I back up my database each time I start Lightroom. Can I dump OLD back-up files? I have them since May when I started.

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  2. Instead of Ghost for the PC, I would strongly suggest using Acronis Trueimage, it’s a fantastic program. Better features, easy to use and twenty bucks cheaper.

    I stopped using Ghost when Symantec got involved, and with TrueImage, I’ve never looked back.

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  3. Just an additional general tip as I have heard several stories about backups gone wrong:

    If you are making a backup of your entire computer make sure to store incremental backups such that you have a backlog. Otherwise it could be dangerous to use “never” for the backup of the lightroom catalog as if it gets corrupted your backup software would just backup the corrupted catalog.

    I like to be safe so I always have a few (depending on the size) catalog backups on the local disk that are then backed up externally, then I have several alternatives if something goes wrong.

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  4. Please continue this video regarding backing up INSIDE Lightroom. Both the photos and the catalog-database.

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  5. blah,blah, this video will make you a backup monster, on the mac. How do you backup on demand in LR?

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  6. I have spent a fair amount trying to come up with a back up stratagem on my WinTel Vista system for my images (Lightroom 2). There are a few things that are bothering me. First of all I use an 500 Mb Intel raid 5 configuration for my “C” drive using 4 x 500 MB drives. If I take whole disk back using the “Copy My Hard Drive” option how will the output be written to a single 500 MB drive? Will this in effect be bootable as a single drive functioning without RAID capability? Next using a “files and folders” stratagem with compression what is happening to my images (a mixture of JPG NEF and CR2). Ideally I would like to find an incremental back up such as CronoSync from Econ Technologies (MAC only?)
    I have Norton Ghost 15 at present but not sure what is going on under the covers. Can anybody help with some suggestions?

    John Kiralfy

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  7. Good video, but i was just thinking the same thing u do with Super Duper, i do with Time Machine, it works the same. So why bother installing Super D. when Mac has Time Machine build in?!

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