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Performing a better catalog backup

From: Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth

Video: Performing a better catalog backup

Now that we know a little bit about the basics of backing up our catalogs, here what I want to do is share with you a few tips, which will help you more effectively back up your catalog files. All right! Let's go ahead and navigate to our Lightroom pulldown menu and select Catalog Settings. In our Catalog Settings dialog, I want to make sure you have this option turned on, Backup your catalog every time Lightroom exits. And with this option turned on, it gives us a bit of confidence, like we are effectively backing up our catalog all the time, every time we exit Lightroom.

Performing a better catalog backup

Now that we know a little bit about the basics of backing up our catalogs, here what I want to do is share with you a few tips, which will help you more effectively back up your catalog files. All right! Let's go ahead and navigate to our Lightroom pulldown menu and select Catalog Settings. In our Catalog Settings dialog, I want to make sure you have this option turned on, Backup your catalog every time Lightroom exits. And with this option turned on, it gives us a bit of confidence, like we are effectively backing up our catalog all the time, every time we exit Lightroom.

Yet, the problem is, is that we're saving this backup catalog really in the wrong location. In this dialog, you can see the location where a catalog lives. It's in my Pictures folder by default. That's a great spot for the main catalog. Let's go ahead and click Show in order to open up that folder. Well, here you can see I have the main catalog, and then in a subfolder, I have all of my backup catalogs. The problem with this strategy here is pretty obvious, isn't it? If I accidentally cleaned out this folder or deleted this folder or perhaps if this hard drive crashed, well I would lose not only my main catalog but also all of my backup catalogs.

In other words, it's like we've put all of our eggs in one basket, and when it comes to backup strategies, that just isn't a very good idea. So how do we fix this? Let's go ahead and close this dialog. What we want to do is change the location where we're going to save these backups. To do that, in Lightroom, you can go ahead and quit Lightroom. You can do that by navigating to the pulldown menu and selecting Quit. This then gives us the ability to save this backup. And this line here is perhaps one of the most important steps that you can take when it comes to effectively backing up your catalog, because this line tells us where this catalog is being saved.

It's been saved to my Pictures folder; not a very good idea. I want this to be on another hard drive, in a different location. In order to choose that you simply click on the Choose button. Here what I'm going to do is navigate to an external hard drive. I have a hard drive which I've named Backup Drive. On this drive, I've created a subfolder. The folder is called Lightroom-Catalog-Backup. I'll click on that folder here, and then click Choose. In this way, what I'm doing is saving my main catalog on my internal hard drive.

Then that backup catalog or all of those backup catalogs, they're saved on another external device. So here, all that I need to do now to back this up is to simply click Backup and it will check the integrity, optimize that catalog, and then back that up. Well next, what I want to do is open up that drive in order to look at those files. So I'll go ahead and open up the folder now, which is Lightroom Catalog, and here you can see I have the backup file on a different hard drive than my main catalog. And by separating these two locations, it just makes this more stable.

Now another strategy that you might want to take when it comes to backing up your catalogs is to using software to automatically back up those catalog files. If you're on a Mac, you could use time machine or you could use other software that you can set up to automatically back up particular files. I want to show you a resource web site where you can find some information about this type of software. The web site is titled dpbestflow.org and if you go to the Resources section and then click on Links, it will take you to this page.

Well, here on the Links page, there is a section for Software. You can use these programs say like SyncBack or ChronoSync or the other ones listed there, and you can use them to automatically back up files from particular folders, and you can set this up, so that it happens on a regular basis at a particular time on specific days. By using software like this, again it just ensures that you're backing everything up. Well, whatever your strategy, most importantly what I recommend that you do is that you at least save your catalog files on a separate hard drive than your main catalog.

That way you can have your main catalog in one place, and you can have your backup files in a completely different location.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth
Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth

37 video lessons · 8448 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 11m 25s
    1. Understanding why digital asset management matters to Lightroom
      2m 35s
    2. Exploring hard drive options: RAID versus JBOD
      3m 59s
    3. Hard drive recommendations
      4m 51s
  3. 30m 46s
    1. What are catalogs and why do they matter?
      5m 33s
    2. Where are my catalog files?
      2m 6s
    3. Importing images into a catalog
      3m 22s
    4. Where are my images?
      1m 59s
    5. Making folder and image changes
      5m 3s
    6. Keeping your catalog current by synchronizing folders
      4m 36s
    7. Comparing catalogs, collections, and folders
      4m 43s
    8. Upgrading legacy catalogs
      3m 24s
  4. 13m 36s
    1. Exploring catalog backup defaults
      5m 2s
    2. Performing a better catalog backup
      4m 6s
    3. Optimizing catalogs
      1m 51s
    4. Deleting old catalogs
      2m 37s
  5. 17m 13s
    1. Exporting catalogs
      6m 38s
    2. Understanding how to work with multiple catalogs
      3m 26s
    3. Merging multiple catalogs
      7m 9s
  6. 13m 29s
    1. Consolidating catalogs
      3m 54s
    2. Relinking multiple images
      3m 7s
    3. Solving catalog conflicts with new hard drives
      3m 30s
    4. Dealing with computer crashes and locked catalogs
      1m 15s
    5. Restoring from a backup catalog
      1m 43s
  7. 42m 36s
    1. Introducing raw and DNG processing
      5m 21s
    2. Understanding how Lightroom saves raw adjustments
      4m 33s
    3. Saving adjustments to raw files
      4m 55s
    4. Saving adjustments to DNG, TIFF, PSD, and JPEG files
      3m 17s
    5. Working with catalogs and virtual copies
      4m 18s
    6. Converting to DNG: the Embed Fast Load Data option and lossless compression
      5m 12s
    7. Archiving a photo as a DNG with lossy compression
      5m 31s
    8. Working with CMYK files in Lightroom
      3m 8s
    9. Making changes to CMYK files
      6m 21s
  8. 1m 32s
    1. Using dpbestflow.org as a resource
      52s
    2. Looking at helpful demo files
      40s
  9. 27s
    1. Adios
      27s

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