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How This Blog (and your comments) Changed My Lightroom Backup Strategy

In this blog post a few weeks back, I wrote about a question that I got quite a bit during my Lightroom 3 Live seminars. The question (so you don’t have to go back and read) was how many Lightroom backups do I save. You know, when you quit Lightroom you can set LR’s preferences to backup your catalog. By default it will do it every week or so, but you can tell it to backup every time you quit Lightroom if you want. Well, each time it backs up it saves a folder of your backup. If you’ve got a decent sized catalog, those folders can grow to take up quite a bit of space and I heard from a lot of people wondering how many of them they should save.

My answer to them was none. I simply backup my computer every night using Super Duper for Mac. So I not only have a backup of my computer, but also a backup of Lightroom’s catalog in the process.

After reading your comments, I’ve since changed my strategy though. See, when Lightroom backs up your catalog, it does an integrity check. Several people pointed out that they’ve had corruption problems with their catalog before. So theoretically, my backup plan could cause a problem. What if my catalog became corrupt? Then, that night I backed up to Super Duper. But instead, my backup now became the corrupt version? Now, it’s never actually happened to me. And I don’t personally know anyone who’s had a corrupt catalog either. But there were enough comments from people who’ve had a corrupt catalog that I thought it was worth giving some thought to.

My new strategy has changed slightly. I set Lightroom’s backup preference to once a week. Then I make sure I delete all prior backups (you don’t need ’em). I continue on with my usual backup plan of backing up to Super Duper every night. So now Lightroom’s working catalog is backed up, Lightroom’s backup catalog is backed up (with full integrity check so I know it’s not corrupt), and my entire Mac is backed up too.

As a side note, that’s why I love this blog. It often takes on a life of it’s own. The comments, questions, answers, etc… all have a huge part in feeding it and giving me plenty of things to think and talk about when it comes to Lightroom. And that all happens because of you. So… thank you 🙂