Today’s Question: When you update Lightroom Classic [to a new version that requires an update to the catalog], will your default catalog automatically switch [to the newly updated catalog]?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, if you have set a specific catalog as the default catalog in Lightroom Classic and then need to update that catalog for a new version of Lightroom Classic, the default catalog will also update to the newly updated catalog.
More Detail: This is actually a question that was asked during one of the live online sessions of my recent online workshop focused on organizing photos in Lightroom Classic. I was stumped at the time, as I don’t recall how this had been handled with earlier updates.
However, I tested Lightroom Classic and found that the default catalog setting will indeed get updated. So, for example, let’s assume you had set your catalog as the default catalog in Lightroom Classic 10. When you upgrade to Lightroom Classic 11, that catalog would need to be updated, including getting a new filename. After that update, the newly updated catalog would be set as your new default catalog as well.
By the way, I strongly recommend setting your primary (and hopefully only) Lightroom Classic catalog as the default catalog that will be loaded every time you launch Lightroom Classic. You can find this option in the Default section of the General tab of the Preferences dialog in Lightroom Classic. Selecting your primary catalog as the default catalog will ensure you’re always using the correct catalog when you launch Lightroom Classic, even if you had previously opened a different catalog for some reason.