by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (5)


August 17, 2012

A while ago I posted how to create an incremental Backup of your Lightroom catalog:

• To create a backup of your Lightroom catalog, select Catalog Settings > General.  In the Backup area, select how often Lightroom should create an backup of your catalog. (Remember, this is only creating a backup of the Lightroom catalog – NOT your images.) 

• You might also want to change the location of the backup catalog. When prompted to backup (depending on the schedule you set above), select a secondary drive (if possible) so that if the primary drive fails, you will still have your backups on the secondary drive.

I wanted to take a moment to add that this incremental catalog backup was designed so that if the most current catalog is harmed in some way (becomes corrupted, is accidently deleted, etc.), you can go back in time to the most recent backup (ideally losing little or no work). The incremental backups were not designed for catastrophic failures (floods, fire, theft etc.). So please, adopt a backup system that works for you that includes multiple copies of the most recent catalog (as well as your images) on multiple drives – ideally in multiple locations.

Note: I have multiple LaCie RAID drives that I backup routinely using Intego Backup Manager software (which comes with the drive). I keep multiple copies of my entire image library at home as well as at work. Obviously there is a wide range of backup strategies: I encourage you to find one that meets your needs.


  • By Pieter Huizinga - 5:53 AM on August 17, 2012  

    Allow me to point out that it also is good practice to clear your catalog backup directory from time to time. Otherwise your disk will fill up with backups rapidly.

    There is a setting in LR Catalog settings > General for how long to keep catalog backups. But for some reason that doesn’t clear the older backups in my setup. Oh well.

  • By jackie littletaylor - 5:53 AM on August 17, 2012  

    when I left Iraq after 5 yrs I had 2 back ups beside my laptop I put the back ups different places in my luggage sure enough when I got back to the states one of the back ups was damaged

  • By Gregg Mack - 1:44 PM on August 17, 2012  

    It would be very nice to know how to restore one’s catalog from one of these backups.

  • By Phil - 1:19 PM on November 25, 2012  

    I keep getting “Choose a different backup folder”. And I also get Unable to back up the “Lightroom 2 Catalog”, when I have the integrity. It says I should check folders permission or available space (I have lots of HD space). Do you have a suggestion.