Lightroom: Moving Catalog To External USB Drive

category: Lightroom • 1 min read

Q: How can I move my Lightroom catalog to an external USB drive.

I want to access the external drive either from my desktop computer or from my laptop.

  1. With Lightroom closed on the desktop computer, move your catalog catalog_name.lrcat file and the catalog previews.lrdata folder to the USB external drive. They must be in the same folder, just like it is on your desktop computer.
  2. With Lightroom still closed, double click on your catalog catalog_name.lrcat file. It will open Lightroom with your catalog.
  3. In Lightroom, from the Edit Menu Edit > Preferences > General tab and select your catalog or select Load most recent catalog
  4. Close Lightroom. Switch to the laptop and do the same steps on the laptop.

Lightroom: When starting use this catalog

Lightroom: When starting use this catalog

As you can see from the screen capture, I’m running the photos and the Lightroom catalog on the network, the Y drive.

  1. This is not recommended by Adobe.
  2. This only works with Windows and doesn’t work with Mac.
  3. See for the detailed, aka techies, instructions.