Storage and Backup Planning


Today’s Question: All my photos are on an external drive, and I was interested in having a copy on my internal hard drive. I use GoodSync at your recommendation and sync to another external drive, but since I have plenty of storage on my iMac, I thought it would be a good idea to have another backup. Is there a reason you would recommend that I use the internal drive as my main Lightroom Classic repository instead of my main external drive? I have the catalog on my external drive as well. If I do switch to the internal drive as my main storage, I would still want to keep my 2 external hard drives in sync as backups.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Since you have more than enough storage on your internal drive, I would suggest that you put your catalog and photos on that internal drive to maximize performance with Lightroom Classic. You could then use both external hard drives for backup. The only reason to keep the photos and catalog on the external hard drive would be if you needed to be able to switch between computers while still working with your photos in Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: As noted in yesterday’s Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter, you can migrate your photos from an external hard drive to an internal hard drive, which will improve overall performance to some extent in Lightroom Classic. Having the catalog on the internal hard drive will generally have an even more significant impact on performance.

After you have migrated your photos and catalog to the internal hard drive, be sure that you’re only using the catalog on the internal hard drive moving forward. You can then transition to using the external hard drives as backup drives.

In the context of GoodSync (, you would be then creating a backup job that would back up the primary folder containing your photos on the internal hard drive to either the external hard drive itself or a folder on an external hard drive designated for that backup. Two similar backup jobs could be created so you would be able to back up your photos from the internal hard drive to each of the two external hard drives.

It also isn’t a bad idea to add an offsite backup to the mix, such as through a cloud-based backup solution. The service I use and recommend is Backblaze, which you can learn about here: