Temporary Catalog Collections


Today’s Question: I followed your advice of creating a full backup of my catalog and photos with the “Export as Catalog” command in Lightroom Classic. But now I have a “Previous Export as Catalog” item in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module. I don’t need that group, so is it safe to delete and if so how can I do that?

Tim’s Quick Answer: It is indeed completely safe to delete that temporary collection found in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module. To do so simply right-click on the collection and choose “Remove this Temporary Collection” from the popup.

More Detail: When you perform certain tasks, such as exporting photos to a new catalog using the “Export as Catalog” command, a temporary collection will be created that contains those images. This collection is found in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module, rather than the Collections section where you can create your own collections. Another example would be the “Missing Photographs” created if you use the Library > Find All Missing Photos command and there are actually missing photos in your catalog.

Some of the collections in the Catalog section are permanent, meaning they can’t be removed. This includes the “All Photographs” collection and the “Quick Collection”, for example. Other collections in the Catalog section can be removed, such as the “Previous Export as Catalog” collection that contains all photos from the last time you used the “Export as Catalog” command.

If you’ve never used the “Export as Catalog” command, then you won’t see this collection in the Catalog section. But if you have used this command, you can most certainly remove the “Previous Export as Catalog” collection, or any other temporary collections.

For any collections in the Catalog section that you don’t feel you need, you can right click on them to see if a popup appears with the “Remove this Temporary Collection” command on the popup menu. If so, you can choose that command to remove the temporary collection.

Note that I demonstrated how to export a backup copy of your entire Lightroom Classic catalog along with a backup copy of all photos with that catalog during my recent GreyLearning Ultimate Event focused on “Backing Up Your Photos”. This topic was covered in the presentation on “Lightroom Classic Catalog Backup”. Recordings of all presentations from that event are available, and you can find all the details here: