Today’s Question: In your opinion what is the best strategy for backing up Lightroom Classic images while keeping image edits?
Tim’s Quick Answer: I recommend using a synchronization approach to backing up your photos, and using the built-in backup feature in Lightroom Classic to backup the catalog.
More Detail: One of the most important attributes of a good backup strategy is that the backup copy of your data needs to be stored on a separate storage device from the originals. This helps protect against the loss of data due to a failure of the storage device.
By default the Lightroom Classic backup saves a copy of your catalog in a “Backups” folder within the same folder where your original catalog is stored. Therefore, I recommend either changing the location in the dialog for the catalog backup, or making sure you are using another backup to copy the catalog (and the Backups folder) to another device.
For example, if the catalog is on the internal hard drive on your computer, and you keep the catalog backups on the same drive, you’ll want to be sure you are also backing up your internal hard drive through other software. This, of course, is something you should be doing regardless.
It is important to keep in mind that the backup feature in Lightroom Classic does not backup your photos. Backing up the catalog is important, because the catalog contains the information about your photos. But it is important to also backup the photos themselves.
For backing up photos I recommend a synchronization approach, so that the backup storage is a perfect match of the master photo storage. This makes it much easier to recover from a hard drive failure or other issue that causes a loss of photos.
I use GoodSync as my synchronization backup solution, which you can learn more about here:
In addition, I created a video course that demonstrates my workflow for backing up my photos with GoodSync, which you can find on the GreyLearning website here: