by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (27)


April 11, 2012

When you upgrade from Lightroom to Lightroom 4, be sure to upgrade your catalog. The first 2 minutes of this video will show you how.


  • By Boris - 3:36 AM on April 24, 2012  

    The bad thing on the LR4 upgrade is that you have to manually:
    1. upgrade your catalog
    2. upgrade your presets
    3. upgrade your photos
    4. update/regenerate your preview cache (as the images changed)

    You have to do this manually and if you have huge collection of photos, it will take you some time. There is the possibility that you will just upgrade the first 2 points, but then you keep wondering why and wtf etc… So Adobe could maybe improve the process and do whatever is needed as set of transactions on the background…

  • By Jane - 8:21 AM on July 9, 2012  

    Thanks for this useful info. I am about to upgrade from LR 2 to 4, is there anything different that I should be aware of to ensure a smooth transition?
    Thank you.

  • By Carol - 9:36 AM on August 2, 2012  

    I’m afraid I have really screwed things up! When upgrading from LR3 to LR4, things did not go smoothly. I have watched every video from you and David Marx and had some communications about having to upgrade my LR3 catalog first, which I thought I followed correctly, and then I downloaded newly shot photos into LR4 catalog and was able to see and adjust them. But I still was getting the ? symbol over many of the images in my folders. So I tried importing the LR3 catalog again, and again. I’m now up to LR4-6 catalog and still getting ?s on many images. Then I tried creating a new Master Catalog and it can’t see any images in any of my folders at all. Some Collections are there, but no images are displayed.

    I do understand the concept of Catalogs. I do get the difference between Importing Photos and Importing Catalogs. Somehow my computer doesn’t get something and quite frankly, this upgrade to LR4 could have been created much more easily. Why didn’t it go through automatically???

    I do use Windows 7 with 16MB RAM. The one idiosyncrasy that I have is that the Lightroom catalogs are kept in my C drive, a solid state drive not big enough to keep everything, so my actual folders with the actual photo files are kept in hard drive E with 2TB of space. Backups are kept on a separate external hard drive.

    Please help or tell me where to go or who I can call. Right now, I can’t use Lightroom at all because it can’t find any of my images in any catalog!!!

  • By ryan - 7:45 AM on August 11, 2012  

    Hi, when I upgraded my catalog from lr3 to 4.1, all previously set flags in my collections went missing, though the star ratings and color labels where preserved. Is there a way to get the flags to migrate as well?

    I also realized that the flags in the library folders themselves are preserved, its just the ones in the collections that are missing. Any help appreciated

    • By Julieanne Kost - 5:42 PM on August 13, 2012  

      Ryan, There is a great thread on this topic here:

      Basically, Adobe has decided to make all flags global because some users were confused by local flags in collections. If you scroll about half way down the thread, you will see that Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață has posted a tip (via Victoria Bampton) that will help you recover them.

  • By Rory - 9:44 AM on August 16, 2012  

    Upon uograding My LR3 catalogue to LR4 all my colour labels disappeared. Any ideas whats going on?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:20 AM on August 28, 2012  

      I’m not aware of that issue, but I would post the issue to either of these forums to see if other customers are experiencing the same problem and if so, if they have found a solution.

      • By Mardis - 6:48 PM on September 11, 2012  

        I had the same thing happen. Also, when I went to “Set Color Label” under the Photo menu in LR4, the names that I had previously assigned to the different colors in LR3 had reverted back to default names of Red, Yellow, Green, etc.

  • By Aina - 2:37 AM on August 17, 2012  

    How much does it cost to upgrade from lightroom 3 to lightroom 4?

  • By Tina Ravitz - 8:44 AM on August 20, 2012  

    I am upgrading from LR3 to 4. I have done what you advise in the first few minutes of this video, but the catalog name is now Lightroom 3 catalog current-2 rather than Lightroom 4. The -2 is to distinguish it from the prior LR catalog, I believe. Should I just rename this catalog to LR 4 somewhere?
    Thanks for your help with a minor “itch.”

  • By Stacie - 4:18 PM on September 9, 2012  

    When I open LR 3 catalogues in new upgraded 4, the new widow SAYS LR 4 and the new BOOK and MAP tabs are there, but all the old LR 3 buttons ( recovery instead of highlights) in develop module return ( brightness button is there again) when an image is chosen to work on. Now it is some weird hybrid.


    • By Julieanne Kost - 5:40 PM on September 10, 2012  

      The options that you will see in the basic panel are specific to the process version. When you see the older sliders, you are in the older process version. You can change this by clicking the exclamation point in the lower left of the image preview area in the develop module.

  • By Xiomi - 10:25 AM on September 23, 2012  

    My computer went to the “doctor” but everything is on it’s place. When opened LR 4 said I needed to upgrade from LR 3, wich I did following your video. But now, all the work done in LR4 is in LR3. Meaning= I can’t see my photos in LR4 but can in LR3. Now all the keyword listing, presets, photos.. everything is lost in LR4. What can I do to recover all that?
    Photos I imported before from LR4 are where they used to be, but opens with LR3. Why is this?
    Thanks a lot for your help!!!

    • By Xiomi - 11:27 AM on September 23, 2012  

      Oh, and there is a Lightroom 4 Catalog, Lightroom Beta Catalog and a Lightroom 3 Catalog. Thanks again.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:45 AM on September 24, 2012  

      Xiomi, I would post the issue to either of these forums to see if other customers are experiencing the same problem and if so, if they have found a solution.

  • By Micheline Williams - 9:19 AM on September 27, 2012  

    I downloaded lightroom4 2 months ago and my photos all went lightroom4 but I continued to use lightroom 3 for editing.
    How do I now combine all the new work to lightroom 4 and not duplicate everything?

  • By Lensgurl214 - 1:12 PM on February 21, 2013  

    I want to upgrade from LR3 TO LR4. But after reading all the issues people are having I’m I am just a lettle nervies. Because I am not a very “Techey” person at all!! I’ll watch your video and see what happens.

  • By Janice - 12:50 PM on March 16, 2013  

    I need to import the catalogue from lightroom 2 into lightroom 4 (I skipped lightrrom 3). I backed up the catalogue onto an external hard drive before getting a new PC. I have followed the instructions in the video/tutorial but just get the error message “Lightroom cannot use (that) catalogue because it is not writeable and cannot be opened”. Please help.

  • By marc steingrand - 10:00 AM on July 15, 2013  

    i just wondering on an upgrade question , i have lightroom 3 installed because i a running win 97 but my computer will be upgraded to win 7 meaning everthing will be formated and newly installed thats the point where i wnat to move to lightroom 4 ,
    the question is what to do.
    i backupded as requested from within lightroom, anything elese to do?

    remember i do not have any old version any more..


  • By marc steingrand - 7:26 AM on July 16, 2013  

    thanks i saved all files and backups as you meantioned in you video, my question is know the new pc will have lightroom 4 on it so how to upgrade the backup and liberay etc to the new version?