HOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD BACK UP YOUR LIGHTROOM CATALOGS


*Disclaimer: This is not about how to fix your corrupted lightroom catalogs.

So you are in your bedroom feeling contented after a long day of editing your lightroom images and suddenly you are greeted with this

A series of very unfortunate events have inspired me to do this entry. Now if you are a complacent person like me and clicks on the “skip this time” button whenever lightroom prompts you to back up your catalog, we are both living very dangerously.

Couple months ago I experienced firsthand why being complacent when it comes to backing up lightroom catalogs is not very wise. 

While trying to be organized and transferring all my photography stuff onto an external hard drive storing only my photography work, I accidentally deleted my lightroom catalog.

Now before you come telling me: “But Ryan you can just recover it from your trash!” 

Well I emptied it before realising I deleted my catalog by accident.

*Small tip, always check what’s in your trash before permanently deleting everything in your trash.

I done messed up for real

Now for those of you who are not familiar with lightroom, a lightroom catalog does not store your images but only information that you have altered to an image. In other words, I still had all my images but the edits that I have already done are all GONE. All my hypebeast, agameoftones, heatercentral feature edits were all lost. 

Well it’s true that since I edited them I can always go back and edit it the same way as before, but it will never be the same exact edit anymore ☹

I researched extensively online on data recovery and tried whatever software that were available, but to no avail I could not recover the full lightroom catalog. Well to be fair I did have a super old backup of my catalog so not all was lost. 

From that point on I swore to myself that I would ALWAYS click on the backup button whenever I got the prompt from lightroom. But still that wasn’t enough…

Yesterday I was going through my lightroom catalog just like any normal day but the unforeseeable happened. My lightroom catalog crashed on me. 

Luckily this time I had a more recent backup than the previous time I lost my catalog.However, I still lost one week’s worth of edits as my lightroom backup prompt only comes up once a week.

So I’m going to be showing you guys how you can control when to back up your lightroom catalog.

This tutorial is for those of you that are using a Mac but the process is very similar on windows/linux etc.

Click on the Lightroom tab at the top of your window and go down to catalog settings

After which you will be greeted by this window

Under the backup tab, select however frequent you want lightroom to prompt you on backing up your catalog

For me after having lost my catalog twice, I have become a little more paranoid and chose to have lightroom prompt me every time I exit lightroom. 

I hope this lesson comes in handy and may you never have to go through what I went through.

Happy shooting and editing, I’ll see you in the next one!