Don’t Use Default Backup Location


Today’s Question: I’ve noticed that Lightroom Classic is putting the backup in a folder where my catalog is stored. Is it OK to leave the backups there? If not, how can I change the backup location.

Tim’s Quick Answer: I do not recommend keeping catalog backups in the same location as the Lightroom Classic catalog unless you are making sure to back up the hard drive containing your catalog to a different storage device. You can change the location in the dialog that appears when you are prompted to back up your catalog.

More Detail: One of the important features of a good backup workflow is that the backup copy of the original data should not be stored on the same storage device as the original. Ideally, a backup copy is even stored at a separate physical location altogether.

By default, Lightroom Classic stores catalog backups in a folder called “Backups” within the folder that contains your catalog files. If that hard drive is not also backed up, a failure of that hard drive would cause you to lose the original catalog files as well as all backup copies.

If you back up your catalog to a different hard drive than the catalog is stored on, a failure of one drive would only cause you to lose the catalog or the backup copies, but not both.

Of course, if you’re backing up the hard drive that contains your catalog, then there is less of an issue with storing the backup copies on the same drive. However, I recommend that you still configure Lightroom Classic to put the backup copies on a different drive. Doing so ensures that the backup copy of the catalog is immediately stored on a different drive from the catalog, even if you are also regularly backing up the hard drive that contains the catalog.

When you are prompted to back up your Lightroom Classic catalog you’ll find a Choose button to the right of the Backup Folder label. You can click that button to select the location where you want backup copies of the catalog to be stored.