Lightroom Tips

The Truth about Backups Follow Up

First, don’t forget to scroll down for today’s “Worth-a-click” post. Next, Tuesday’s “Truth about LR Backups” post generated a lot of comments. I’m not going to do a long follow up because there’s just so many differing opinions. After it’s all said and done, I still stand by my backup strategy. However many disagreed and I think it’s worth reading through the comments to see what folks have to say. I read a lot of good comments on how other people backup and even learned a few things (and I absolutely knew I would when I wrote that post). What I did want to do is at least mention all the various backup software that was talked about in the comments, so you didn’t have to dig through to find it. So here goes:

• Acronis True Image (probably the most popular of all of them)
• DriveImage XML
• Personal Backup X5
• CarbonCopyCloner
• ChronoSync
• SyncBack
• Carbonite
• GoodSync
• Microsofts Windows LiveSync



  1. Hannu 28 April, 2009 at 04:55 Reply


    How about Memeo?
    That comes with many external hard drives. I have used that and it works. 🙂
    Any idea about differences between e.g. Memeo and Syncback.

    I like the idea of Memeo doing “on-line” sync so your files are always synchronized. Acronis and many other are doing scheduled backups. So in worst case you miss the schedule or your pc crashes in the worst moment.

  2. Anita Dennis 24 April, 2009 at 16:10 Reply

    Hi Matt—Good article, as always. Just one clarification: In the original piece you wrote, “There used to be some concerns that Time Machine wouldn’t back up your catalog correctly but I haven’t seen any issues with this. I’ve tested it out and restoring the catalog works just fine.” Time Machine may be a great way to back up data, but customers should be aware that Adobe recommends against running Time Machine while Lightroom is in use. For more info, see Thanks.

  3. Guido 21 April, 2009 at 03:13 Reply

    Hey Matt, good job!
    I like my backup strategy: I set lightroom to backup my catalog everyday on two external drives raid setted (WD mirror edition 500Gb); on the same set of disks I backup automatically the photos via SyncToy. In this way, I have everytime two copy of my catalog and photos saved.

  4. Marcy 12 April, 2009 at 18:17 Reply

    Interesting. I’ve had it set up to backup every day, forgetting that I already have Carbonite running so it’s not really necessary, and has actually been a bit of a pain since the b/u process takes a little while…

    I do love the internet backup option, btw, and suggest anyone considering it to look at all the diff online options (and there are a lot- Carbonite, Mozy, BackBlaze, etc…). All have slightly different settings, advantages, etc that fit different needs. But I love knowing that anything on my laptop is automatically backed up “off-site” without me having to do anything.

  5. Jose 10 April, 2009 at 01:46 Reply

    Guys, for me SUPER DUPER is the best of the best. I don’t have to worry about anything and it works perfectly all the time. I have to external drives and everyone has a back up with this gorgoeous app.

  6. Dilip Barman 10 April, 2009 at 01:30 Reply

    By far the best, in terms of cost, service, and functionality, online backup in my experience is mozy – cheaper than carbonite.

    is my referral code – sign up to get free 2GB and then pay if you wish for unlimited backup. In my workflow classes, I encourage folks to have multiple external hard drives, and ideally to store one off-site.

  7. Jonathan 9 April, 2009 at 14:11 Reply

    Matt – Great article as always. I have been using and I love it. I have to mention it and I recommend it to everyone I know. I love that fact that it automatically backs up my LR catalog without me having to do anything.

    I sleep better at night now!!

  8. Jim Stamates 9 April, 2009 at 12:04 Reply

    Hey Matt, I do the same backup system as you but I ran into a small problem the other day on location. I was downloading images on my MBP when LR crashed and wouldn’t recover. I should have a memory stick for stuff like that.(I made a new cat. and downloaded my shoot on location but I didn’t have keywords, presets, etc.) Now I’m going to do 1 LR backup on my MBP just before I leave for a shoot.

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