Backing Up Keywords


Today’s Question: Over the years I have developed a very strong keyword system, with many levels of nested keywords. When I am doing backups of the Lightroom Classic catalog, does the keyword file also get backed up?

Tim’s Quick Answer: When you back up the Lightroom Classic catalog the keywords are included as part of that backup. However, you may prefer to periodically create a discrete backup of just your keyword structure in addition to the catalog backup.

More Detail: While a backup of your Lightroom Classic catalog will include all the metadata assigned to your photos in the context of the catalog, that catalog backup still depends upon Lightroom Classic. In other words, the only way to make use of a backup catalog is to open that catalog with Lightroom Classic.

If you’d like to preserve your keyword structure beyond the scope of Lightroom Classic, and also make it possible to import those keywords into another catalog at any time, you can export your keywords from Lightroom Classic.

In Lightroom Classic you can go to the Library module and then from the menu choose Metadata > Export Keywords. In the dialog that appears navigate to the location where you would like to save your keyword backup, give the backup a name, and click the Save button.

The exported keywords will be stored in a text file that preserves all keywords represented by your Lightroom Classic catalog, including keyword hierarchies. You can later import that keyword list into a Lightroom Classic catalog with the Metadata > Import Keywords command on the menu.