When was the last time you backed up your Lightroom catalog?

If it’s been a while, well today’s the day —  Friday, May 3rd, 2019 — it’s “Back up your Lightroom catalog day.” That way, you know you’re ready for summer because you started it right by backing up your Lightroom catalog and you’ll be sleeping better tonight night because of 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:

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

OK, that’s the plan — stop what you’re doing; backup that catalog, and roll into Cinco de Mayo como un jefe 🙂

We interrupt this post for a “Proud Dad” moment
Tomorrow my son Jordan graduates with two degrees from the University of Alabama (#rolltide) and Kalebra, his little sister, and I just could not be prouder or more excited for him. If tomorrow afternoon at some point you hear some distant noise that sounds like a dad cheering his head off, well, that would be me. I’m so proud of my boy!!! 🙂

Have a great feeling’ backed-up weekend! 🙂


P.S. Next week I’ll be in Indianapolis on Tuesday and Minneapolis on Thursday with my new full-day seminar, “The Ultimate Photography Crash Course.” Come on out and spend the day with me — we’re going to have a packed house — don’t miss out!



  1. J. Paul Moore 13 May, 2019 at 10:02 Reply

    I have been using Lightroom since the first Beta and backing up my catalog on a regular basis. I must admit that it is still confusing to me and at one point I lost a lot of my catalog due to me not fully understanding it. It is my hope that Adobe will make this easier to understand in the future…..or is it just me?

    • Rob Sylvan 5 May, 2019 at 19:26 Reply

      Apparently this is a “test” Adobe is conducting. Here’s their FAQ on it:

      Q: I see Creative Cloud Photography Plan (20GB) is not available on What is happening?

      “From time to time, we run tests on which cover a range of items, including plan options that may or may not be presented to all visitors to We are currently running a number of tests in the US.”

      Q: Is this plan still available for purchase?

      “Yes, the plan is still available for purchase from Adobe during this test. Contact support to purchase:”

      Q: Does this mean that (Product name: Lightroom Classic/ Photoshop/Lightroom CC) is no longer available?

      “This test has no impact on the availability of any desktop application.Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, and Photoshop desktop apps all continue to be available.”

      Q: Will Creative Cloud Photography Plan (20GB) be available into the future?

      “We don’t comment on future products or plans.”

      • Hawkeye Dave 10 May, 2019 at 10:43 Reply

        I wonder if Adobe is getting ready to push all new subscribers into the$19.99 1TB cloud plan, possibly grandfathering 20GB subscribers for a while. It appears that they want to sell the cloud-based solution. The cloud storage option may be ok as long asone’s photos aren’t more than 1TB; beyond that storage at Adobe gets pricey & I don’t see raw file sizes getting any smaller in our immediate future.

        I actually like how On1 does it, customer can buy the software outright, or for a few dollars more you join their “plus” program & get all the upgrades and enhancements they push out along the way (but still own the software license). But On1 is much more limited in their mobile apps and offers no cloud backup.

  2. marc labro 4 May, 2019 at 23:23 Reply

    Congratulation Scott 🙂

    I backup my catalog the way you advised us.

    But my main worry is the other files (presets,brushes, configuration files,…) in case of crash, changing pc,…

    How to backup the lightroom environment to be able to restore it quickly.
    For instance, since the lrtemplates have been moved to camera raw folder (but old lightroom preset folder is still there,… !) it is difficult to identify the folders to backups.

    Are some tools to make it automatic ?

    NOTE :
    i woud be interested by a tuto explaining how to use pen pressure in lightroom, xp-pen or wacom.

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