Workflow with Two Computers


Today’s Question: I am using Lightroom Classic. I have a Windows laptop and a Windows desktop. I load new photos to the laptop, and sync to the desktop once a while to keep all photos. How can I use both computers at the same time, without having to sync them every time I finished using one?

Tim’s Quick Answer: If you want to be able to work with Lightroom Classic on two (or more) computers, I highly recommend keeping both your catalog and your photos on an external hard drive.

More Detail: While there are various approaches you could use to work with the same Lightroom Classic catalog on more than one computer, in my view the best approach is to keep the catalog and photos on an external hard drive.

Lightroom Classic does not support storing the catalog on a network. It is technically possible to use a cloud-based storage service such as Dropbox for the catalog, but I do not recommend this approach due to the risk of the catalog getting out of sync.

By keeping your Lightroom Classic catalog on the same external hard drive as your photos, you can very easily switch between computers by moving the hard drive to the computer you want to use. You can then open the Lightroom Classic catalog directly from the external hard drive on the computer you are currently working from.

You’ll just need to make sure that the drive letter (for Windows) or volume label (for Macintosh) assigned to the external hard drive is the same on both computers, so that the path to your photos will remain the same as well.

You can copy the entire folder containing your Lightroom Classic catalog to the external hard drive that contains your photos, and then open that catalog directly from either computer.