Using the Fastest Drive when Editing

Adobe Lightroom ClassicAdobe Photoshop

Since I’m always looking for ways to make image editing faster, I will typically store the files that I’m currently working with on my internal drive (which happens to be a speedy little solid state drive). However, this drive is much too small to hold all of my images so when I’m finished editing the project, I will move them to my external storage drives (which are slower) to make room for the “new” work in progress.

Adobe Lightroom Classic, Adobe Photoshop

Posted on 12-17-2013


  • By Daria Ratliff - 6:50 AM on December 17, 2013  

    Great tip! I’ve been doing the same as well for a while now and it really works wonder for me!

  • By Heather - 7:03 AM on December 17, 2013  

    In what format do you save them on your external hard drive?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:16 AM on December 17, 2013  

      I convert my raw files to DNG.

  • By JL Garcia - 7:14 AM on December 17, 2013  

    I hear in some of your Adobe TV videos that you use only one catalog for all your work. I’m curios to know about how you manage to work in part of your images in a local drive an then store it in an external drive using only one catalog.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:17 AM on December 17, 2013  

      JL, you can import images on as many drives as you want into a single catalog.

  • By Donncha O Caoimh - 7:55 AM on December 17, 2013  

    Do you use a separate catalogue for your newest project while editing and then merge it with your archive of images after moving or just move the images and let Lightroom find them again? Is there much of a speed up if you have 1:1 previews and the catalogue on your fastest disk already?

    My workflow doesn’t suit this type of work as I generally dive into my archive at random to work on an image or two as the mood (or time) suits me.

  • By Anders Dahl Tollestrup - 8:52 AM on December 17, 2013  

    And with the new feature in Lightroom 5: Smart Previews these “external” images is still accessible even if you’re disconnected from the external drive. See, that’s a killer feature 🙂

  • By Jim Steele - 10:51 AM on December 17, 2013  

    “too”, not “to”

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:19 AM on December 17, 2013  

      Thanks Jim!

  • By David Press - 12:04 PM on December 17, 2013  

    But how? Surely after you move them then LR won’t be able to find them as the links will be broken?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 12:16 PM on December 17, 2013  

      If you move them from within Lightroom the links will not be broken. If you can’t see the drive in the Folder panel, you can either import something from that drive into LR so that it recognizes it, or click on the plus icon on the Folder panel in the Library module and choose Create Folder (maybe name it Archive or Finished Jobs or something). Then move your images into that folder from within LR. This video might be helpful as well:

  • By Dan - 1:37 PM on December 17, 2013  

    I keep work in progress and finished work in files within “My Documents” on an internal drive. I then back up “My Documents” daily, which obviously includes all graphic files and any changes within them.

    Is there any way to make a file within “My documents” appear prominently like a drive in Lightroom? (I’d like to avoid going to “F” Drive, then “My Documents”, then “Pictures”, then “My Work”, etc. Is there a way to have “My Work” instantly available in Lightroom without a subfolder trawl?

    If not, can this be considered please for a future improvement?

    Thanks, Dan

  • By sb - 6:56 AM on December 26, 2013  

    Not sure exactly what your asking, do you mean a folder in mydocs as a drive? Are the files removed each night so you have to import again? If you are importing, make a shortcut on your desktop referencing your file location, then import as you open LR.