Today’s Question: I use Apple’s Time Machine to do backups and also the Lightroom default [catalog backup]. This seems excessive for sure and the files are not small. Do you see any benefit to this process as it is? Should I just cancel the Lightroom backup?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I don’t recommend discontinuing the Lightroom Classic catalog backups, in large part because part of that process includes an option to check for errors and optimize the catalog. However, it is a good idea to delete redundant backup copies of your catalog.
More Detail: I certainly understand not wanting to have multiple backup copies of your Lightroom Classic catalog consuming additional hard drive space. However, I still recommend making use of the catalog backup feature in Lightroom, even if you are also backing up the catalog through other means.
That said, it most certainly makes sense to delete at least some of the older backups of your Lightroom catalog, since those backup files can consume considerable storage space especially if you allow a large number of backups to accumulate.
By default Lightroom stores the catalog backups in a “Backups” folder in the same folder where your actual catalog files are stored. You can also select a different backup location in the dialog where you configure the backup before it is started. In any event, you can periodically go to that folder and delete redundant copies of the catalog backups.
My approach is generally to retain several recent backups, as well as an older copy of the backup that I can use to recover from just in case there is some sort of corruption issue with my catalog. And I do recommend keeping the options to check the catalog for errors and optimize the catalog enabled as part of the backup process, since to me these features represent a key advantage of making use of the built-in catalog backup feature in Lightroom Classic.