Lightroom: How to Restore a Catalog

category: Lightroom • 1 min read

Your precious Lightroom catalog is corrupted beyond any repair. Lightroom gave up on it. But you were very careful and backed up your catalog every time you were exiting Lightoom. Now’s the time to restore from the backup.

  1. Lightroom does not backup the catalog! (Don’t panic yet, it only copies it somewhere else)
  2. Lightroom copies your current catalog to a directory called Backups in your existing catalog directory.
  3. Each time Lightroom creates a “backup”, inside the Backups directory, Lightroom creates a directory with the date and time: i.e. 2015-02-02 0915 (2-Feb-2015 9:15am), where Lightroom copies the catalog (the “backup”).
  4. Copy the file inside the directory. The file has the catalog name followed by: .lrcat to replace your existing corrupted.

Lightroom Backup Directories

Lightroom Backup Directories

Alternatively, you can just double click on the .lrcat file to open the catalog in Lightroom.