What needs to be backed up?

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271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
Hi All,

Aprt from the obvious raw files/images, what other files need to be backed up for Lr Classic? If I’m right it’s the catalog, but I have also read you need to back up previews?
Below are some images of the Lr folder that I can see on my Mac and just wanted some clarification of what files need to be backed up & if there are any other files I need to search for?

Many thanks :)

9A3A5E56-AB05-4DCE-906B-E692FA98A536.jpeg 4B2C8BE1-78F1-4B37-AEB1-40F2C967F017.jpeg
 
Messages
5,061
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
Sadly, LR is a bit of a mess when it comes to backups.

You don't need to backup .previews They are basically the mini jpegs that LR shows you on the desktop. If they don't exist, LR builds them from the raw file so you might experience a bit of a delay opening a photo that doesn't have a preview. If you want to avoid this, then obviously you can backup your .previews, but I don't bother.

You do need to back up...

Your photos
Your catalogue (the file with the .lrcat extension)

Also, there is a bunch of other stuff, and this isn't all of it, that isn't stored with catalogues. Things that are LR settings across catalogues, like Develop Presets, Export Presets, Print Templates, Label Sets, etc etc. It's the sort of stuff that you curse is missing when you restore from backup. That is stored [on Windows] in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\. You'll need to find that as it will have a bunch of folders inside. Mine has these...

htwtrhthrw.GIF

Then, if you have any lens profiles, camera profiles, custom raw profiles, or any purchased develop templates, these may have their own curve profiles which are stored in Adobe Camera Raw C:\Users\Usernam\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw

1598358438774.png

I tend to backup all of AppData as a belts & braces approach because other programs store settings info in there. Sadly, on a Mac, I can't help you find them but I'm sure Google can.

One of the better features for Adobe would be for the "backup" button in Options to allow you to both backup and restore your custom settings (as well as your photos).
 
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OP
J
Messages
271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
Sadly, LR is a bit of a mess when it comes to backups.

You don't need to backup .previews They are basically the mini jpegs that LR shows you on the desktop. If they don't exist, LR builds them from the raw file so you might experience a bit of a delay opening a photo that doesn't have a preview. If you want to avoid this, then obviously you can backup your .previews, but I don't bother.

You do need to back up...

Your photos
Your catalogue (the file with the .lrcat extension)

Also, there is a bunch of other stuff, and this isn't all of it, that isn't stored with catalogues. Things that are LR settings across catalogues, like Develop Presets, Export Presets, Print Templates, Label Sets, etc etc. It's the sort of stuff that you curse is missing when you restore from backup. That is stored [on Windows] in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\. You'll need to find that as it will have a bunch of folders inside. Mine has these...

View attachment 290783

Then, if you have any lens profiles, camera profiles, custom raw profiles, or any purchased develop templates, these may have their own curve profiles which are stored in Adobe Camera Raw C:\Users\Usernam\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw

View attachment 290784

I tend to backup all of AppData as a belts & braces approach because other programs store settings info in there. Sadly, on a Mac, I can't help you find them but I'm sure Google can.

One of the better features for Adobe would be for the "backup" button in Options to allow you to both backup and restore your custom settings (as well as your photos).
Hi Ian, Thank you very much for this, very much appreciated.

I will use you screenshots, as a guide to try find the files on my iMac, but I think you right, I need to spend some time with google, to see what/where Lr saves certain things within the Mac filing system.

Again though thank you for your help though, as your advice give me some idea of things I should be looking to back up :)
 
Messages
5,061
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
I will use you screenshots, as a guide to try find the files on my iMac,
Bear in mind if you don't use presets etc, or are prepared to rebuild them again, you don't need to worry. I use (for example) keyword sets to streamline my keywording workflow, and Print Presets to print on different types & sizes of paper. Both would be a royal pain to do over, but things like Export Presets would just take a minute. I also have a custom raw profile I built for my X-T1 IR converted camera and an import preset to apply it whenever I import files from that camera. The raw profile would be a pain to rebuild, but the import preset would just take a sec.
 
OP
J
Messages
271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
Bear in mind if you don't use presets etc, or are prepared to rebuild them again, you don't need to worry. I use (for example) keyword sets to streamline my keywording workflow, and Print Presets to print on different types & sizes of paper. Both would be a royal pain to do over, but things like Export Presets would just take a minute. I also have a custom raw profile I built for my X-T1 IR converted camera and an import preset to apply it whenever I import files from that camera. The raw profile would be a pain to rebuild, but the import preset would just take a sec.
Thank you for this extra tips, very much appreciated again :)

Thank you.
 
Messages
2,086
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
The only thing I backup is the original raw file from my camera.
If I've got that, I can always go back and re-edit it.

I've frequently re-edited images and I've usually liked the newer version better.
Tastes change, and I believe most images could benefit from re-editing.
 
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OP
J
Messages
271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
The only thing I backup is the original raw file from my camera.
If I've got that, I cam always go back and re-edit it.

I've frequently re-edited images and I've usually liked the newer version better.
Tastes change, and I believe most images could benefit from re-editing.
Hi Brian, thank you for this, very much appreciated :)
 
Messages
392
Name
David
Edit My Images
No
It is much simpler in practice. Assuming LR is installed on your C: drive or equivalent surely you just back up the entire drive but not just for LR but for everything else on that drive as well. For data which you may well store elsewhere you need to back up the catalogue which LR will do automatically if you set in the preferences. There is no need to separately save previews as these can be be created on the fly as needed. The previews are not necessarily JPEG's or based on the JPEG but are created by rendering the Raw file. This would normally happen on import and I use standard previews so are full screen size. It is also sensible to ensure that the LR Preferences file is backed up.

Dave
 
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1,738
Name
paul rogers
Edit My Images
Yes
I back them up to external drive also there places that give you X amount of file storage for a small charge google Amazon ( if you a prime member ) Flickr pro upload a full size image it there for as long as you keep your account etc
 
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2,148
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Just buy an external HDD ( or use the cloud) get a good backup program and back up the whole computer on a regular basis, it's a lot easier and safer.
I use Acronis on a weekly basis to an external HDD but there are others if you don't want to pay.
 
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4,903
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
Yes
Take a look at this article.

PS, the lightroomqueen is one of the best lightroom resources on the net

In brief, she suggests:-
  • Catalog
  • Catalog Backups
  • Photos
  • Presets & Templates
  • Settings shared with Camera Raw – Default Settings, Point Curves, Custom Camera & Lens Profiles
  • Plug-ins you’ve installed
  • Your Lightroom Serial Number
  • Your Preferences
 
OP
J
Messages
271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
Just buy an external HDD ( or use the cloud) get a good backup program and back up the whole computer on a regular basis, it's a lot easier and safer.
I use Acronis on a weekly basis to an external HDD but there are others if you don't want to pay.
Hi Chris,

Thank you for this yesterday & today I have been having a look into this idea as your right that does sound the easiest way, but one question arose today... My internal drive will be where my programs catalog & Lr files will be, however my raw files are going to be on an external hdd (always attached to the iMac) so with this in mind, when I plug another HDD into the Mac say once I have done a set of processing, can the software like this (I have been looking at one called SuperDuper!) be set to backup the internal drive (files/catalog etc..)AND the raw attached external hdd with the raw files, all onto the one hdd I plug in?


Many Thanks :)
 
Messages
2,148
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Hi Chris,

Thank you for this yesterday & today I have been having a look into this idea as your right that does sound the easiest way, but one question arose today... My internal drive will be where my programs catalog & Lr files will be, however my raw files are going to be on an external hdd (always attached to the iMac) so with this in mind, when I plug another HDD into the Mac say once I have done a set of processing, can the software like this (I have been looking at one called SuperDuper!) be set to backup the internal drive (files/catalog etc..)AND the raw attached external hdd with the raw files, all onto the one hdd I plug in?


Many Thanks :)
I don,t know about superduper but Acronis ,the one I use,will back up whatever is plugged into the computer,provided of course you tell it to
 
OP
J
Messages
271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
I don,t know about superduper but Acronis ,the one I use,will back up whatever is plugged into the computer,provided of course you tell it to
Thank you, it sound as though this may be the best thing to do then, use the software to do a full back up of both drives being used to one single back up drive + another.
 
Messages
4,903
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
Yes
Hi. One issue with backing up the whole drive is you are backing up a lot of inconsequential files (e.g cache files, previews, etc) that may change frequently.
This means that the majority of your backup drive will be versions of these files, limiting space for your important files.
 
OP
J
Messages
271
Name
Joe
Edit My Images
Yes
Hi. One issue with backing up the whole drive is you are backing up a lot of inconsequential files (e.g cache files, previews, etc) that may change frequently.
This means that the majority of your backup drive will be versions of these files, limiting space for your important files.
This is very true actually and really I want my back up to be important files only. Thanks for this, it has given me though of something I hadn’t considered :)
 
Messages
2,148
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Hi. One issue with backing up the whole drive is you are backing up a lot of inconsequential files (e.g cache files, previews, etc) that may change frequently.
This means that the majority of your backup drive will be versions of these files, limiting space for your important files.
That is correct if you are doing sequential back ups (but even then if you have a decent back up program you can only back up changed files) or keeping all your old back ups.
if you only keep two and overwrite the oldest then provided you have enough space to start with you should be OK.
Doing it once a week and overwriting the last back up is OK for most folk.
 
Messages
392
Name
David
Edit My Images
No
Hi. One issue with backing up the whole drive is you are backing up a lot of inconsequential files (e.g cache files, previews, etc) that may change frequently.
This means that the majority of your backup drive will be versions of these files, limiting space for your important files.
I back up my entire C: Drive because I back up the image which means if it fails Acronis will restore. Having had failures with the C: drive for drive failures or software problems, it is a quick way of restoring a working computer. The storage space is inconsequential particularly compared to my data disk. I back up to a NAS which has at least 6TB capacity. I am more selective about backing up data. For instance, I back up my Outlook pst file daily as I have no wish to lose emails. I tend to keep them for years so my .pst file is 3 G Bytes. I do delete some stuff from time to time. I back up Raw files directly to my NAS when I import to LR and other image files and documents regularly. I also have another 3 Gb USB drive with key stuff backed which I keep in a fire resistant safe. The arrangement is not perfect and the back ups to the NAS are automatic so I do not need to be involved other than occasionally spot checking to ensure it is still happening. Some of these back ups will be incremental (i.e. it just updates changes). I use a combination of Acronis and Bull Guard and can certainly recommend Acronis. It is when you need to restore a backup when it really matters and Acronis has never let me down.

Dave
 
Messages
4,903
Name
Phil
Edit My Images
Yes
That is correct if you are doing sequential back ups (but even then if you have a decent back up program you can only back up changed files) or keeping all your old back ups.
if you only keep two and overwrite the oldest then provided you have enough space to start with you should be OK.
Doing it once a week and overwriting the last back up is OK for most folk.
As long as you don’t need to revert to an older version of a file or you find a file has become corrupted!
 
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