• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom 6 questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom 6 - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. When you upgrade to subscription, there's also a Lightroom Classic version available.

Move LR photos and their dev settings from a PC external drive to a Mac external drive

XavierB

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
17
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I used to work my photos with LR on a PC and have a couple of years' worth of photo archives in and external drive. Now I'm using a Mac and a new drive formatted for Mac, obviously, but the issue is that on the Mac I can neither work the old photos (as a Mac can't write on a PC-formatted drive) nor can I move the photos inside LR from one drive to the other (for the same reason: moving means writing over the previous data). So I'm afraid I'm stuck in a tight corner and have no idea how to retrieve all my previous photos so that I can have them in one place where I can now work them without losing the custom developer settings I had already worked on. When I switched from the PC to the Mac I obviously exported the entire catalog on one machine and imported it in the other but that's as far as I've gotten, I'm afraid. I would be very thankful for anyone who could advise me on this issue!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,064
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
If you have the PC still and the catalog on the PC, you can create a portable package inside a folder In that you need your PC LR Catalog , your LR Catalog Previews folder a folder named "Lightroom Settings" and a folder containing ALL of the sub folders that contain master image files. Copy all of your Lightroom Presets folders to the folder named "Lightroom Settings". It will look something like this:
Lightroom (folder)
.....Lightroom Catalog (file)
.....Lightroom Catalog Presets (folder)
.....Lightroom Settings (folder)
..........Lightroom Presets (folders)
.....Pictures (folder_
..........Images (folders)

Once in this form, you can copy the Lightroom (folder) and all of its content to a volume that you can read and write in MacOS.
Once the LR catalog file is in an HFS+ file system, you can open the LR catalog and everything will be available on the Mac as it used to be on the PC. If you set your preferences to check the box "Store Presets with catalog" then the next time you open your moved LR catalog file, LR will find your presets in the "Lightroom Settings" folder

If this package is on an EHD that is formatted exFAT, you can attach the drive to either Windows or MacOS.
 

XavierB

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
17
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
If you have the PC still and the catalog on the PC, you can create a portable package inside a folder In that you need your PC LR Catalog , your LR Catalog Previews folder a folder named "Lightroom Settings" and a folder containing ALL of the sub folders that contain master image files. Copy all of your Lightroom Presets folders to the folder named "Lightroom Settings". It will look something like this:
Lightroom (folder)
.....Lightroom Catalog (file)
.....Lightroom Catalog Presets (folder)
.....Lightroom Settings (folder)
..........Lightroom Presets (folders)
.....Pictures (folder_
..........Images (folders)

Once in this form, you can copy the Lightroom (folder) and all of its content to a volume that you can read and write in MacOS.
Once the LR catalog file is in an HFS+ file system, you can open the LR catalog and everything will be available on the Mac as it used to be on the PC. If you set your preferences to check the box "Store Presets with catalog" then the next time you open your moved LR catalog file, LR will find your presets in the "Lightroom Settings" folder

If this package is on an EHD that is formatted exFAT, you can attach the drive to either Windows or MacOS.

Hello, Cletus, and thanks a lot for your reply! The catalog I had already copied to the new computer and am now working from it. The presets and settings I had also successfully copied to the new computer. As well as the previews. Basically, everything is already there in the new computer. When I open LR with the PC external drive connected, the old photos are there under the PC drive, I can see them, the custom developer configurations I had worked on, I can even continue working on the photos (because these changes are now saved into the new catalog that is in the Mac). Basically, the only thing I can't do is have my photos inside my Mac external drive. Do you think that if I were to manually copy the individual folders (I have them by dates) form the PC drive into the Mac drive, when I open LR it would tell me the folders and files were missing and I could just click on "Find missing folder..." and relink it and everything would be back to normal, even the work I did on the photos?
 
Last edited:

XavierB

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2016
Messages
17
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Do you think that if I were to manually copy the individual folders (I have them by dates) form the PC drive into the Mac drive, when I open LR it would tell me the folders and files were missing and I could just click on "Find missing folder..." and relink it and everything would be back to normal, even the work I did on the photos?

Hello, everyone, I decided to test this out, after realising all previews and configuration data and everything was already in my new catalog in my new Mac. So I copied a less important folder to see what happened. I mean, I manually copied it outside of LR from one drive to the other and, then, with the old drive disconnected I browsed to that folder, which was of course marked as "missing" by LR, and I proceeded to "find" it in the new drive. Presto! The files were just relinked, and everything was as if it never had happened: all my work was still there! :)

Again, thanks a lot to Cletus for his input. I hope this post helps someone else who may encounter the same hesitation as I have.
 
Top