Today’s Question: I have my Lightroom Classic catalog on an SSD [solid-state drive]. When I delete photos from the catalog and disk, does it free up cells on the SSD to allow other photo data to fill that space?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, with one caveat. When you delete photos from Lightroom Classic the files will initially go to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Macintosh). Once you empty that temporary holding area, the space will be freed up on the drive.
More Detail: When you remove photos from Lightroom Classic the default option is to remove them from the catalog but leave them on the hard drive. I don’t recommend this option, because it means you’ll have photos taking up space on your hard drive that you never know are actually there because they aren’t represented in your catalog.
Instead, I recommend choosing the “Delete from Disk” option in the confirmation dialog when you choose to remove photos from your catalog. This will delete the photos from the drive, in addition to removing them from the catalog.
Of course, when you delete files on Windows or Macintosh the space on the drive isn’t immediately made available. Instead, the files will be placed in the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Macintosh) so you can recover them if they were deleted accidentally. By default, deleted files will be permanently removed from these temporary holding areas after 30 days.
If you empty the Recycle Bin or Trash with the SSD connected, then the deleted files will be permanently deleted so that the space on the drive taken up by those files will be made available.