Dec 142016
 

Mac Users running Lightroom 6.8 or CC 2015.8: have you gone to back up your Lightroom catalog (like I tell you to!), and encountered this message that your catalog is larger than 4 GB, and that you’ll need a third party utility to extract it?

Your Lightroom Catalog Size is Larger than 4 GB

First, as of right now there is a bug – all Mac users are getting this message and most of you don’t have catalogs this large. (Update: this bug was fixed with 6.9 / CC 2015.9 – now you’ll only see the message if your catalog is indeed over 4 GB.) You can check the size of your catalog by going to Lightroom>Catalog Settings – it displays on the General tab:

Lightroom Catalog Settings - Catalog Size

This catalog has information/editing on just a few hundred photos, so it is only 11.54 MB.

Back to the 4 GB warning dialog: regardless of how big your catalog is, consider checking “Don’t Show Again”, and then hit “Continue”  and back up. (Remember, your Lightroom catalog contains all the work you have ever done on  all your photos – so if it becomes damaged and you don’t have a backup, you will most likely lose all that work!)

Here’s the scoop: with Lightroom 6 and CC 2015, Adobe started compressing catalog backups into zip files to make them smaller, and to speed up the backup process. However,  they didn’t do this for catalogs over 4 GB on Mac, since the default macOS unzip utility is unable to unzip files larger than 4 GB. Starting with Lightroom 6.8 / CC 2015.8, Lightroom now will compress these large 4+ GB catalogs, but if you someday encounter a catalog corruption and need to restore from a backup, you’ll need to use a free third party utility such as 7-zip or StuffItExpander to extract it from the zip file. If in doubt, just double-click on the zip file – if it doesn’t open or says that it is corrupted, you’ll need one of these utilities.  However, if you’re lucky and never have a catalog corruption issue, you’ll never need to do this!


Related Posts:

About Your Images and the Lightroom Catalog: The Library Analogy

I Would Cry If I Lost All the Work I Did Today: How to Back Up Your Lightroom Photo Library

 

 

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Jul 242011
 

I get emails from around the world  from people in panic-mode over Lightroom-related issues.  Some of these can be easily cured, but sadly, some are fatal.    I do consulting in-person and over the web and phone/Skype, so you can always contact me to help you work through your issues (sorry, yes, that was a blatant plug), but I thought I would recommend some preventative medicine first.  It is a chance for me to pull together some older posts that you might not otherwise come across.

Once you understand how Lightroom works you may think some of these are silly, but they are real misconceptions, and many real tears have been shed.  It is understandable, given that Lightroom works differently from other photo programs people have used. Continue reading »

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Apr 152010
 

(Updated 7/21/11)

A reader pointed out recently that I have never written a post on the topic of doing backups — both backing up your Lightroom catalog and your images.  I was surprised by this since I agree it is a very, very important topic.  I checked back through the archives, and  indeed, he was right.

Have you ever  thought (as I did today) that you would burst into tears or have to break open a bottle (before noon!) if you lost Lightroom work you did or images you captured?  If so, you are going too long between backups.

Let’s first go back to a public library analogy for Lightroom:  if the stacks of books burned down but the card or web catalog was saved, could the library function?  Could it function if the stacks were saved but the catalog was destroyed?  Of course the answer in both cases is no.  It is true that it would take less time, expense and effort to recover from the catalog destruction, but both are critical pieces to the functioning of the public library.  With Lightroom, your images are like the stacks of books and the Lightroom catalog is like the card catalog in the library.  When you think of backing up your photo library, you need to plan to back up both the images and the Lightroom catalog. Continue reading »

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Apr 122010
 

You may be using a lot more hard drive space with Lightroom than you need to be.  There are three major opportunity areas:  catalog backups, 1:1 previews, and deleting rejects.

Catalog Backups

My Lightroom catalog is about 500 MB.  (To see how large yours is, go to Edit>Catalog Settings on the PC, or Lightroom>Catalog Settings on the Mac.  The size is listed on the General tab.)  If I do a catalog backup once a week, that is 26 GB of catalog copies that I am adding to my hard drive every year.  If I do a backup every day, that is 182 GB per year!    It is important, therefore, to go in and clean out old backups.  I like to keep a few backups in case my catalog already had corruption issues during my most recent backups.  I keep one a day for a week, one a week for a month and  one a month for a year.

If you are not sure where your backup catalogs are, next time Lightroom prompts you to back up your catalog, note in the dialog where they are going.  In Finder or Windows Explorer, navigate to this folder.  You will see a folder for each date — delete these date folders. Continue reading »

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