Moving my Lightroom Classic library to a different drive

sunny Limassol old harbour molos

My job takes me all over our beautiful city of Limassol.

Capturing properties like houses, apartments, offices and plots of land. It has become as often as every few days that I am out in my little red car scouring neighbourhoods for cheeky parking armed with my tripod, full-frame camera and occasionally the drone, too.

During each shoot, I might get back to the office and unload up to around 50 full-res, RAW photo files from the camera, and a handful more from the drone, also in RAW.

These files weigh in average at around 50mb each, meaning my trusty Macbook’s internal storage has to brace itself until I next get around to pruning out rejected photos – so, never – I try to avoid deleting photos if I can help it.

So up until just recently, this was my workflow. I had my 2023 photo library on my desktop PC, and the 2024 library on the MacBook I was given around the end of last year. Needless to say, I switched almost immediately to photo correction on the MacBook, meaning – yep, my libraries became split across two drives.

It was quite a simple workaround, actually. I basically re-imported all the photos from the desktop onto the MacBook. I think I lost metadata on all these photos this way, but I didn’t mind as they were outdated photos and had super simple edits on them anyway.

Everything totalled up to around 86gb of photos, with tons of metadata and Lightroom Classic edits. I’ve since decided to move everything onto a new 2TB external SSD, to lighten up the Macbook’s drive. So, now the fun begins!

Because of the way that Lightroom Classic works with catalogs and file references, moving photo files around involves quite the head scratch, and needs to be done carefully.

And that’s exactly what Todd Dominay helped me tackle with his article on how to safely move a Lightroom Classic catalog to a different drive. Thanks!