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Lightroom and picture folders.


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I'm used to keep my pictures divided in several folders on a big hard drive.

When I open Lightroom I select the folders and open the pictures.

What I've noticed is that if I attach the hard drive on another computer and open the same folders with another lightroom (same version but different machine) All the changes I've performed on the pictures are gone.

I suppose this happening because Lightroom save the pictures data on the resident computer.

Please, does somebody here knows if it is possible to make Lightroom save the photo data on the hard drive's single pictures folders as C1 does so as any machine I attach the drive on can read the photo changes?

Hope I've been clear with my rough English. Thank you for any help.

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I'm not an LR expert but I believe that you also need to store on your backup hard drive the lightroom catalog... not just the picture files. On the Mac its located in a directory called "lightroom" with an extension called ".lrcat"


You can have multiple catalogs with distinct names... for example if you do a big shoot with 1000 images you may wish to separate them as a unique catalog for convenience.


All of the instructions for "developing" a negative are in the catalog and not with the individual photos.

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I have a folder in the main image folder called lightroom. I store all lightroom data in there.


make sure the lightroom database is stored on the harddrive with your image, then plug it into the other computer and direct lightroom to open that catalog.


Press Command O to open catalog.


next time you insert the HD and open lightroom on the other computer it will remember the drive it used last time and the location of the catalog.


Lightroom geeks would probably describe it better, but it works.



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Hello Enrico,

Before moving the drive you need to 'sync' the changes you have made in Lightroom [on the first machine] back into the images files so that when you move the drive to the second machine the image files contain the updated metadata for the second machines copy of Lightroom to suck up from the files on import.

You should be able to find this in your manual or help menu. It is similar to syncing files before exporting the images out of Lightroom.

Hope this makes sense and helps.



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Enrico, I was about to add an answer but I see that the important facts have been mentioned.


Select all pictures and on a PC and Control+S will write all updated metadata to image files. Watch the progress in the bar (top left screen).


It is not a bad idea to make a copy of your LR catalogue on the big (images) hard drive and update it often. Then, when you move the external HD all data will be accessible. It calls for discipline to make backups regularly, but it is worth the effort.

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