Backup your Lightroom Photos More Efficiently

Lightroom is a photo organizer tool from Adobe, with excellent workflow and a highly attractive user interface.

Lightroom remains amongst the most sought after software programs in this category worldwide. Face Recognition, lens-based corrections, healing brush, high-quality image conversion, easy online sharing, panorama creation are some of its distinct features.


As a Lightroom user, your data can be scattered all over the hard disk due to it’s sheer volume and your habit of saving data at random locations without keeping it organized. It is highly critical to organize your data and create a backup to guard against any accidental loss of data.


Benefits of Creating Regular Backups

Backing up your Adobe Lightroom photos on a regular basis has the following advantages:

  • Regularly backing up your photos and other data saves it from accidental loss
  • Quickly restore your image files in case of an application crash, system crash, power outage, computer breakdown, virus infection, human error, hard drive failure due to bad disk sectors, and other unpredictable and other unforeseen circumstances


Where to Create the Backup?

  • You may store the backups anywhere – such as another partition of the primary hard disk, secondary hard disk, external hard disk, a USB drive, a DVD ROM, a secured cloud Internet server
  • You may also create additional copies of the backups for enhanced security


How to Create the Backup?

  • You should use the automated backup feature in Adobe Lightroom (Recommended)
  • If the need arises, you can also use third party backup solutions – either free or paid, which support synchronization of your data on both ends – the original photo files and backups


Default Lightroom Backup Directory

Are you wondering where will Lightroom store all those backups you’ve created? Here’s the default backup directory:

  • C:\Users\User_Name\Pictures\Lightroom\Catalog Name\Backups


Default Backup Name Format

Lightroom stores each backup by adding the year-month-date-time info in a 24-hour clock based format → YYYY-MM-DD-HMS


Scheduling Automatic Backups Upon Application Exit

Adobe Lightroom comes with an awesome feature that supports automatically backing up your photos when once you close the application. It also tests the integrity of the backup files and then compresses and optimizes the catalog to take lesser space. The steps to schedule the backups are given below:

  1. Open Adobe Lightroom CC.
  2. Click the Edit menu on the menu bar.
  3. Select Catalog Settings.
  4. It opens a new dialog named Catalog Settings.
  5. It has three tabs namely General, File Handling and Metadata.
  6. Click the General tab.
  7. In the Backup Catalog drop-down box, select the When Lightroom next exits option.
  8. Save the changes and close the dialog.
  9. Exit Lightroom.


Restoring the Backups

Restoring backed-up information is easy and fun. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Click the File menu on the menu bar, select Open catalog.
  2. You will be prompted to choose the location of the saved backup file.
  3. Browse your Lightroom backup folder:
    C:\Users\User_Name\Pictures\Lightroom\Catalog Name\Backups
  4. Select a backup file you want to restore, and click Open.


Shrink Lightroom Backups & Reclaim Lost Storage Space

You may occasionally run into the insufficient hard disk space issue as local photo backups occupy GBs worth of storage space. Delete all old backups to reclaim a significant amount of the hard drive and ensure adequate space for new backups.

  1. Go to the File Explorer.
  2. Open the Lightroom default backup directory mentioned earlier (bullet point # 3 of the Restoring the Backups heading).
  3. Click the View tab and then click on the Sort by icon.
  4. In the drop down box, select the Date option.
  5. Your backups have now been rearranged. You can identify and delete the older ones.