Lightroom catalogue moved to ehd to clear space

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New Member
Sep 15, 2016
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Hi All,

I have moved my lightroom catalogue to an external hard drive to clear 500 gig from my computer. However after the successful move the data is still showing in my storage in the mac. How do I clear this data from my computer please? Many thanks ! :)
Did you only move the catalog, or also the images? If you only moved the catalog, just double click on the catalog file (the .lrcat file) inside the folder, to make Lightroom start with that catalog. From now on, Lightroom knows that it should use this one and so you can start it in the usual way again.

If you also moved the images (probably, because the catalog folder isn't 500 GB), you will have to 'reconnect' those too. In Lightroom, right-click (ctrl-click) on the top most folder and choose 'Update Folder Location' from the pop-up menu. If you already deleted the images from the old place, you will see question marks on the folder names to show that Lightroom can't find them anymore. In that case, the menu will be called 'Find Missing Folder'. Navigate to the folder on the EHD and select it. Done. You may have to do this for several folders if you don't have one single top folder.
Hi Johan, Thank you for your help. I have moved the folders to the ehd from within Lightroom. All folders are visible and no problem there. However My Mac hasn't recognised that they are now located on the ehd hence moving them to an ehd hasn't solved my space/ storage problem on the actual computer. Hoping this makes sense!
So if I understand you correctly, you now have duplicate folders? One set of folders on the EHD (and shown in Lightroom), and another set (the old one) on the internal disk? Check this carefully, but if that is really the case and Lightroom points correctly to the folders on the EHD, then you can simply trash the ones on the internal disk.
HI Johan, there is no folder on the internal disk as I moved the folder in Lightroom, which then also moves it on the internal disk. In my pictures folder on my mac the 2015 and 2016 Folders are no longer there they are now located on the EHD. This is why I am confused as the MAC drive doesn't indicate the files have been moved as it is telling me in the specs "about your mac/ storage" that the computer still has 500 gig of photos.. which clearly the files have been moved to the EHD. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this! Thanks again!


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Can you first turn on 'Library - Show Photos in Subfolders'? Right now, your screenshot shows two image folders on your EHD, but the image count is zero...

"About this mac/ storage" only shows you the total for images, but that doesn't say much as long as you don't know what images these are. Perhaps you can do a search on file extension? So open the HD and type '.jpg' (or the extension of your raw files) to see how many photos the Mac still has on the internal disk, what their names are and where they are located. Perhaps that will tell you something about where that 500 GB comes from.

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I have turned on show photos in subfolders and also dne a search for extensions. It shows that the image files are on the EHD. Also looking at library total photographgs are over 17000. It seems my MAC hasn't recognised that the 500gig of pictures has been moved to an external drive. This is very confusing!


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Have you ever restarted your Mac since you moved the images? That may be the reason why the information isn't updated yet.

If you did restart and you still see 500 GB of images on your internal disk, do a search of your internal hard disk (not the entire mac!) for .NEF files. Maybe you have a backup folder somewhere (the 'secondary copy' option when you import images).

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It may be worth getting something like DaisyDisk and use it to analyse / understand what is taking up most of your storage.

DaisyDisk, the most popular disk analyzer for Mac

As Johan suggesst, you may find a folder used for backups.

I recently found 15 GB on my C drive (Windows) because I was helping someone using a shared Google drive, who added 15Gb of images to the drive.

You may have other such services, such as Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, etc which may have been used for various long forgotten projects, but have a bunch of files still there. They usually default to your system drive.
Thanks will try that- gnits- those files are hiding somewhere! Will let you know the update. Thanks again for your assistance!
Problem solved with Disk Inventory X - a free alternative to DaisyDisk.
Thank you all for your invaluable help! :)
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