Catalog Location


Today’s Question: I have a desktop computer with an SSD drive for the operating system (that obviously contains the applications) and 4 hard drives, including one for my images, one for image back up, and one for Time Machine. Where should I have my Lightroom Classic catalog located, on the SSD drive or one of 4 hard drives, and why please? Thank you!

Tim’s Quick Answer: I recommend keeping your Lightroom Classic catalog on the fastest hard drive available, which in this case would be the SSD drive (assuming the other four drives are conventional drives).

More Detail: I suppose the most important consideration for where you store your Lightroom Classic catalog is having the catalog readily available when you are working in Lightroom. In general that would mean using an internal hard drive, for example, so that you don’t need to connect an external hard drive just to use Lightroom.

Also important, however, is performance. Keeping your Lightroom catalog on a fast hard drive will help ensure optimal performance in Lightroom. This is why, for example, I generally recommend keeping the catalog on an internal hard drive rather than an external hard drive.

When multiple internal hard drives are available, I recommend keeping the catalog on the fastest available drive. When you have a mixture of SSD and conventional hard drives, you will generally get the best performance from the SSD drive.

Of course, it is quite common for SSD drives to have considerably lower capacity than conventional hard drives, and so storage capacity can be an issue with SSD drives. For this reason, you may need (or want) to store your photos on a different hard drive than the drive being used to store your Lightroom catalog. The key is to keep the catalog on the fastest drive available, which can have a significant impact on overall performance in Lightroom.