Today’s Question: I wish to add and consolidate significant storage (new drives) to my Lightroom [Classic] catalog of folders and files. I have several hard drives that I want to consolidate into a pair of 6TB drives, including images and backups. The question is: Can this be done efficiently through the Lightroom folders panel? Or, should I do it with an external application like ChronoSync, and then reconfigure the Lightroom links?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The transfer and consolidation of your photo storage should be done within Lightroom Classic. The backup of the photo storage needs to be performed outside of Lightroom through the use of third-party software.
More Detail: Attempting to move and consolidate storage outside of Lightroom Classic and then reconnect the folders and photos that would then be in a different location than Lightroom expects them would be a daunting task. Instead, the transfer of your photos to a new storage device should be done within Lightroom Classic.
Before doing anything, I recommend backing up all of your photos and your Lightroom catalog, just to be on the safe side. Then you can start the process of migrating your storage.
After configuring the new hard drive for use (such as formatting it if necessary) you can add a folder to that drive from within Lightroom Classic so the drive will be visible within Lightroom. To create that new folder, click the plus symbol (+) to the right of the Folders heading on the left panel in the Library module and choose “Add Folder” from the popup menu. Navigate to the new hard drive, and click the New Folder button at the bottom-left of the dialog. Give the folder a name (such as “Photos”) and click the Create button, then click the Choose button.
At this point you will see the new folder under a heading for the new hard drive. You can then drag-and-drop folders from the previous storage location to the new storage location. I recommend doing this in relatively small batches, to make it easier to recover if there are any errors along the way.
After you’ve moved all of the photos and folders to the new consolidated storage, you’ll want to create a backup of the new hard drive. ChronoSync is one tool that makes it easy to backup an entire hard drive. I use a similar software tool called GoodSync, which you can learn more about here: