It’s “Back-up Your Lightroom Catalog” Monday!

Today’s the day! It’s July 2nd and we’re going into this next half of the year knowing that we started it right by backing up our Lightroom catalog and we’ll all be sleeping better tonight night for it.

While the process of backing up your catalog is easy, first you might want to know why you need to backup your Lightroom catalog and then how to do it, step-by-step. So, first read this:

Are You Backing Up Your Lightroom Catalog?

After reading that, you might ask, “Where should that backup be stored?” So, read this:

Are You Backing Up Your Lightroom Catalog To The Right Place?

OK, that’s the plan โ€” stop what you’re doing; backup that catalog, and start this week off like a boss!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great backed-up feelin’ Monday! ๐Ÿ™‚



P.S. Come to my Lightroom seminar in Raleigh, Lansing, or Washington DC
This month (well, in just a few days), I’ll be in Raleigh (July 11th), Lansing (July 13th), and Washington DC on August 17th. Come on out and spend the day with me learning all the cool stuff in Lightroom Classic.ย

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at

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  1. I don’t use LR backups.
    I have two years Time Machine backups and I sleep well.

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  2. If you have a corrupted catalog and sync with other computers, doe that affect them as well?

    Post a Reply
    • Can you say more about what you mean? Are you talking about a Lightroom Classic catalog that is stored in a Dropbox folder, or are you talking about syncing a Classic catalog with Lightroom CC, something else?

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  3. Of course, if youโ€™re running a proper backup schedule for your whole computer, then backing up your LR catalogue isnโ€™t necessary and just takes up space.
    My users folder (containing my LR catalogue) is backed up to an external hard drive at 6am every day. My entire hard drive similarly backs up once a month.

    Post a Reply
    • I disagree. I have encountered people who simply rely on a full system backup, but then have their catalog become corrupt but still works. That corrupted catalog is then backed up, and when it fails they have nothing to fall back on because their backup copy has the same problem. Running Lightroom’s catalog backup also runs an integrity check on the catalog at that time, which can give you a heads up if there is a problem before it is too late. This way you have an archive of recent backup catalogs to fall back on.

      I’ve also encountered people who inflicted accidental injury on their catalog (such as deleting a saved book), and were grateful to have an easy access backup of the catalog from before that accident happened.

      There is no good reason to not employ the automated catalog backup function. The small bit of space taken by the compressed backup copies is a tiny price to pay for all the good reasons to have it (and by all means, do have a full system backup too).

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  4. I still encounter people who have absolutely no back up in place, and if they are coming to me at that point, it is too late. ๐Ÿ™

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