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Video Tutorial: Learn How to Upgrade to Lightroom Classic 7

How to Upgrade to Lightroom Classic 7Lightroom Classic 7.0 is here! Upgrading is usually a quick and smooth process, but it helps if you’re prepared for it not to be. Watch my video tutorial below for complete instructions on how to upgrade to Lightroom Classic 7, as well as how to rename your catalog, and what to delete and uninstall.

For best quality, after hitting Play click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right of the video and choose 720/HD.

Video Contents

00:23 Should I clean up Lightroom before or after upgrading?
00:42 Understand where your previous version Lightroom catalog is and what the file name is
01:29 Download and install the Creative Cloud application
02:19 Install Lightroom Classic 7
03:03 “Lightroom Catalog was not found” message
04:05 If Lightroom Classic 7 is empty when it opens (or if only a subset of your files are there)
04:47 Lightroom Catalog Upgrade dialog
05:37 What you should see after opening it
05:56 Process version (lightning bolt in histogram panel)
07:26 Rename your catalog and previews files
08:43 Delete old catalogs
09:30 Uninstall the old program / which program is which (Adobe Lightroom, Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC, etc)
10:38 Mac: adding the program to your dock

2017-12-04T20:09:57+00:00October 18th, 2017|17 Comments


  1. Carl Brauer October 18, 2017 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Excellent! You are the best.

    • Laura Shoe October 18, 2017 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Carl!

  2. James Wall October 23, 2017 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    Your video made the upgrade from LR CC 6 to LR CC Classic (7) quite easy. You do great work, and it is much appreciated!

    I watched the video through, then using a dual monitor setup ran it on one monitor a second time while installing it using another monitor. I got a clean install first time! Using a dual monitor setup is also very helpful in going through your videos as I can pause your video while I try out the lesson using the other monitor.

    I have noticed in LR CC C7 (somebody put the person [or AI?] in marketing who did the naming out of our misery) that while it loads initially faster that it seems moving from image to image in Develop mode is much slower. Also seems like the auto for exposure in Develop Basic has been tweaked to increase the auto exposure more stops. Some may like that, I tend to like darker, more saturated images — but of course, not too much in my Goldilocks world.

  3. Kaye Wykoff October 26, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    The video was very informative and I also got a clean install the first time. Thank you. I have another catalog (pictures for the insurance adjuster of our flooded house after Hurricane Harvey!) on an external hard drive. How do I update that 2nd catalog to LR Classic? Eventually I will export the ‘Harvey’ catalog into my main catalog, but for now need to keep them separate. Thank you.

    • Laura Shoe October 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      No it doesn’t, Kaye. Select those photos and go to File>Export as a Catalog.

  4. William Halsey October 27, 2017 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I am unable to find the catalogue in Lightroom CC under the edit menu. Where else might it be

    • Laura Shoe October 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      I was turned around, William. It is Edit>Catalog Settings in Lightroom 6/CC 2015/Classic.

  5. Kathryn MacDonald October 29, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks for these excellent videos.
    Unfortunately, I unknowingly upgraded to this new version of LR without knowing the ramifications or having watched your video beforehand. I am finding these very helpful.

    Since I did not make note of where my lightroom catalogue resides prior to making this upgrade, I am uncertain which version to direct LR Classic to and where. Can you advise on how to determine my newest, full catalogue at this point so I point LR Classic to that one after the fact?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Laura Shoe October 30, 2017 at 10:30 am - Reply

      I’d look for the largest .lrcat file, Kathryn, outside of your Backups folder and with a recent Date Modified.

  6. dave November 9, 2017 at 6:45 am - Reply

    I noticed that the catalog created by the new Lightroom Classic is much much smaller than my old CC2015 catalog, even though they both contain the same photos. What does Classic do during the conversion? could whatever it is “optimizing” be responsible for the drastic decrease in performance that Lighton Classic exhibits?

    • Laura Shoe November 9, 2017 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Classic 7 compresses the History portion of the catalog, Dave, so that the catalog loads faster when you start Lightroom. This wouldn’t be responsible for the decrease in performance. Try turning sync off and restarting. If working with sync off doesn’t help, post on this Adobe Lightroom forum for Lightroom problems, feedback and ideas.

      • James Wall November 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm - Reply

        I noticed the decreased performance as well so contacted Adobe. They recommended moving “Camera Raw Cache Settings” (under Edit/Preferences/Performance tab) to 50GB. I did that and found it worked after a program re-boot but deteriorated again. Solution seems to be that as performance degrades to a point you are annoyed to reboot LR Classic. Not optimal.

  7. Carmen Sisson December 24, 2017 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    I was afraid to upgrade, but your tutorial gave me the courage to bite the bullet and try it. Thank you so much. The process went smoothly, and all is well.

    • Laura Shoe December 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Carmen – I’m happy to hear that it went well!

  8. Deborah February 27, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Hello Laura,
    Thank you so much for this incredibly informative video. Unfortunately, I was told that Lightroom 3 wouldn’t sync well with Classic and I should open a new catalog. But I believe from your answer to a previous question that I can go back and direct LR Classic to a recent backup of LR 3. But since Classic already has a name, will that be a problem? I’m worried about making a mess.

    • Laura Shoe March 6, 2018 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Definitely upgrade your LR 3 catalog, Deborah. It will most likely name it “old name-2”, but you can change this afterwards. I believe in the video I show how to change it.

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