Merging to a Single Catalog


Today’s Question: I have 10 catalogs in Lightroom Classic. Can I get them all in one catalog?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can indeed merge multiple catalogs into a single primary catalog, so that the primary catalog becomes your only catalog for managing photos with Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: The basic concept of merging catalogs in Lightroom Classic is relatively straightforward. You start by opening the catalog that you want to have as your primary (or only) catalog in Lightroom Classic. Then go to the menu and choose File > Import from Another Catalog.

In the dialog that appears you can navigate to the location where the other catalog is located and select it for import. I recommend using the option to add the photos where they are currently stored, rather than copying the photos as part of this process. You can then move photos and folders as needed after you have merged your catalogs.

Of course, it is possible that some of your catalogs may be from an older version of Lightroom Classic, in which case those catalogs will need to be upgraded first. You can upgrade an outdated catalog by simply opening it with the current version of Lightroom Classic and following the prompts. I also recommend making sure that the catalogs you intend to merge are in good condition, such as ideally not having any missing photos, before you merge into a primary catalog.

I cover the process of merging catalogs, as well as cleaning up a variety of other organizational and workflow issues, in my comprehensive course on “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom Classic”. You can get more information about this course on the GreyLearning website here: