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Catalog not recognized

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Lightroom Version
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  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
My catalog and images are on a separate hard drive. I just moved the drive back to my original computer. When I open LR it says "Click Import to begin." As I recall in the past when I attached the drive, and opened LR my images were all there. Is selecting "Import" the right way to get my catalog into LR?

I am beginning a project on a tight deadline so in case there are problems its not a good time to move up to Big Sur or Monterery. However I should move up to one of them, right?

Thank you.
 
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If you move your catalog to another drive, then Lightroom does not know that you did that so it can't find the catalog anymore. What happened next is that it created a new catalog and that is what you see (but you do not want that). Double click on the catalog file that you moved to let Lightroom know where it is. You only need to do this once; Lightroom should remember the location now (but do check that in the preferences). You can now delete that new catalog that Lightroom created. It will be in your Pictures folder in a Lightroom subfolder.
 
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Thank you. I didn't move my catalog to a new drive. I moved the computer and the hard drive with the catalog to a new location. Then I reconnected the hard drive to the computer, opened LR and found the screen with instruction to Import. So under these conditions, do I follow your instructions? Thank you.
 
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Thank you. I didn't move my catalog to a new drive. I moved the computer and the hard drive with the catalog to a new location. Then I reconnected the hard drive to the computer, opened LR and found the screen with instruction to Import. So under these conditions, do I follow your instructions? Thank you.
Yes. The effect is the same, so the solution is also the same.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
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Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Double click on the catalog file that you moved to let Lightroom know where it is. You only need to do this once; Lightroom should remember the location now (but do check that in the preferences). You can now delete that new catalog that Lightroom created. It will be in your Pictures folder in a Lightroom subfolder.

When you say "double click on the catalog file that I moved - where do I click on that catalog file? When LR is open, in Library mode, there is nothing to click on. Should I do that from the Import screen? I have had difficult problems in the past so I know I'm being very detailed in my questions, however I don't want to cause another big problem. Thanks.
 
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With lightroom closed, Use Finder or File Manage to navigate to the folder containing your catalog. The catalog is a file ending with a file extension of ".lrcat". You may need to change an option in Finder or File Manager to show file extensions. That is the file to double click on.
 
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