Today’s Question: I just started your course, “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom” [Classic]. I bought a new Mac that I’d like to start using for Lightroom. Should I clean up my Lightroom mess on my old Mac first, before migrating to a new Mac? Also, do you have instructions on how to move Lightroom from one Mac to another? I am using external drives to store my photos and Lightroom catalog.
Tim’s Quick Answer: Since you have your photos and Lightroom Classic catalog stored on external hard drives, you can migrate directly to your new computer. After installing the latest version of Lightroom Classic on your new computer, you can connect the external drives and open your catalog to get started.
More Detail: Normally I might recommend getting things cleaned up with your existing configuration before making the move to a new computer. The idea is to try to avoid changes that might lead to confusion and new problems until after cleaning up your Lightroom Classic catalog.
In this case, however, since your photos and Lightroom catalog are already on external hard drives, the transition can be made quite easily. The first step, of course, is to get Lightroom Classic installed on the new computer. Then you can connect your external hard drives to the new computer, and open your Lightroom Classic catalog from the external hard drive.
For Macintosh users, at this point everything will be working normally in Lightroom Classic just as it had been on your old computer. For Windows users, however, there may be an additional step. That’s because on Windows the drive letter designations for hard drives are not always maintained when you switch computers or even connect drives in a different order.
On Macintosh the volume label is used, which is basically the name for the drive. That won’t change when connecting to a different computer, so Lightroom won’t be confused. For Windows users, if the drive letters for the external hard drives don’t get assigned with the same drive letters from the old computer, you would need to go into Disk Management and assign the drive letters used on the old computer to the drives when attached to the new computer.
Note that if you also have a mess to clean up in Lightroom, you can get a 50% discount of my “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom Classic” course if you use this link to get started: