Time To Combine All Your Lightroom Classic Catalogs Into Just One
It’s a new year, and time to get your Lightroom life organized (that was one of New Year’s resolutions for 2022, right?). One thing you can do to make your Lightroom life so much easier is to combine all your existing Lightroom catalogs into just one catalog, where you can find everything without searching through different catalogs and having to restart Lightroom and all that stuff (this is just for Classic users – the cloud version already uses just one catalog for all your images).
So, let’s start this year off right by making your Lightroom life easier, faster, simpler, and more fun by moving to a “one catalog life.” Here’s how (it’s really easy, and will take way less time than you’d think):
STEP ONE: You can pick one existing catalog and combine your others into it, or you might want to simply start with a brand new, empty, fresh catalog, and then import all your other catalogs into this shiny clean new one. I’ll cover both in this post, but if you’re going the “start with a fresh new catalog route,” go under the File menu and choose New Catalog (as shown above). If you’re going to stick with an existing catalog, and just add other catalogs to it, you can skip this STEP ONE, and just open the catalog you want to be your main catalog, and then follow the next steps below.
STEP TWO: Go under the File menu again, but this time choose “Import from Another Catalog.” Now go find your other Lightroom catalogs and one by one, add them to this catalog using that “Import from Another Catalog” command.
STEP THREE: Each time you choose to import a catalog, it brings up a window (shown above) asking if you want all that stuff from that catalog imported (all your collections and such), and if for some reason you don’t, uncheck any checkboxes next to collections you don’t want to be imported (this list is worth looking at for a sec – this is an excellent time to do some housekeeping and not import Collections you just don’t care about having in Lightroom any longer). If you turn on the “Show Preview” checkbox (as I have here) and you click on any collection, it will show you thumbnails of what’s inside that collection (as seen here).
That’s all there is to it. In just a few minutes (less time than you’d think), all your catalogs are combined into one single catalog, and your Lightroom life just got a whole lot easier, faster, and more organized. It’s a big step and one totally worth taking, and a perfect way to kick off 2022. 🙂
Have a great Monday everybody! 🙂
[…] happy, fulfilling LIghtroom life. By the way – if you’re not working with just one catalog – here’s how to combine all your catalog into just one. You know the […]
[…] fulfilling LIghtroom life. By the way – if you’re not working with just one catalog – here’s how to combine all your catalog into just one. You know the […]
When I go to File Import from another catalogue, the old catalogues are greyed out. Any help out there?
Look for the file with the .lrcat file extension. That will be the only file type you can select. All others will be grayed out.
What if the libraries are on different devices? (i.e. laptop and desktop). I don’t want to move to the cloud version, and my understanding is that each device needs its own library.
Yes, I did that about 5 years ago. Original LR could not handle large libraries. Now it works as well on my 460,000 image library as on smaller ones. The advantage of one Big Library is that I no longer to think WTH the image I want is. They are all together. If i can’t find it, it means I didn’t not keyword well when going along. I then spend a couple hours improving keywords for finding images, then get “back to work” once that is improved.
That’s so true – you’re enjoying the benefit of everything being in one place. 🙂