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4 - Backup the Catalog

You're already backing up your photographs—right?

If not, go to Backup Your Computer.

You also need to backup the Lightroom catalog.

If you don't, you're collections, ratings, labels, captions, keywords, and editing instruction, may become corrupted.

You should backup Lightroom every time you use the program.

Part 1 - Backup Every Time Lightroom Exits

Again—you should backup Lightroom every time you use the program.

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Catalog Preferences

Do the following.

1) Go to Edit > Catalog Settings (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings (Mac).

2) Click the General tab.

3) Look for the Backup section.

4) Look for the Back up catalog menu, and select Every time Lightroom exits.

Part 2 - The Location of the Backups

By default, when you install Lightroom, the program creates a folder called Lightroom.

This folder contains:

• The Lightroom catalog.

• Files related to the catalog.

• A folder called Backups for Lightroom backups.

You may want to purge the Backups folder of older backups periodically.

As a reminder, you can create a shortcut (Windows) or an alias (Mac) on your desktop that goes to the Backups folder.

Part 3 - Select Integrity & Optimize the Catalog

By default, Lightroom has selected these two options in the Backup window.

• The integrity of your catalog is tested before the backup.

• Your catalog is optimized after the backup.

Part 4 - Save to XMP File

Most Lightroom users can skip this section.

Your original photograph files are not altered by Lightroom.

The editing instructions are stored in Lightroom.

When you export an edited photograph from Lightroom, the program:

1) "Copies" the original photograph file.

2) Applies your editing instructions.

3) Creates a JPEG file.

Two Problems

The above works well until:

• You want to send the original photograph file, with its metadata and editing instructions, to someone else.

• Your Lightroom catalog becomes corrupted—as well as your backups of the catalog.

Solution

You can save the metadata and editing instructions to the photograph file.

With JPEG, TIFF, PSD, and DNG files, the metadata and editing instructions are embedded in the file.

When using a raw file from a camera manufacturer, the metadata and editing instructions are saved to a separate file.

This file is called a side car file, and has xmp as the file extension.

To save the editing instructions, do the following.

For One File

Go to Metadata > Save Metadata to File, or press Ctrl + s.

For All Files

1) Go to Edit > Catalog Settings (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings (Mac).

2) Click the Metadata tab.

3) Look for the Editing section.

4) Select Automatically write changes into XMP.