Lightroom Catalog over 4GB & Archiving

kbevphotokbevphoto Major grinsRegistered Users Posts: 109 Major grins

I'm curious how you all manage your LR catalog(s). I started getting an email saying that my catalog is over 4GB and therefore it would be compressing the catalog file. That sounds easy enough (I deleted 1:1 previews and stuff to stay on the smaller size, but.I think I'm firmly there now). I did wonder, given the alert, is there any downside to a huge catalog?

I'm well organized, so it doesn't slow my workflow down, but i like having my library in one place. It goes back to about 2007 and have a few hundred thought photos tagged, starred, color flaggaed etc.

I guess I'd really appreciate thoughts on:

1) Is there any "concern" about having such a large catalog file?

2) If so, how are you going about managing more than one catalog? When do you move to another one?

3) What am I missing?



  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,194 moderator
    edited February 28, 2017

    Unless you're seeing performance issues, there's no need to be concerned about LR itself. There may be a few external issues though. If you're on Windows, you will no longer be able to copy the catalog to a FAT file system, but you really should be using NTFS anyway, as it is more robust. A very large catalog could become burdensome to back up or sync, but that can also be true of having multiple catalogs. There are many good reasons to maintain a single catalog, so unless it's broken I wouldn't try to fix it.

  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,534 moderator

    I've been getting that notice for some time - I have over 140,000 images in my catalog which covers my images from ~ 2000 to 2017+ I keep reviewing my images trying to delete unwanted files - and I do delete them - but I seem to add faster than I delete, so I live with the possibility of using Stuffit sometime to expand my back up file. Hasn't happened yet though - knock on wood twice.

    I started years ago with a new catalog annually, but since LR 4, I much prefer having one single catalog now - even though it is a bit slower at loading and backing up. Not having to switch from catalog to catalog to do a search for images is worth having only one main catalog file for me

    Pathfinder -

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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