Procedure for moving the catalog to the external drive with photos

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Procedure for moving the Catalog to the external drive
and then making sure Lightroom is pointed at that location
for the Catalog

Goal: Working simply from different computers (or... simply working from...)

Potential problem: If you also want your presets to follow you may "Store Presets With Catalog" in Preferences. If you do so then READ THIS first!

Start conditions: Photos already on external or not yet on external.

Valid for: Two or more computers with similar Operating Systems (Mac OS or but not and Windows)

Reference thread: Loading LR on more than one computer

If your images are not on the external yet: [list type=decimal]
[li]Make sure that the external drive will appear having the same drive letter on both computers. You can assign one in "Desktop, Management, Disk Management" and giving a volume name is nice to have too and this a must for Mac users as they use it rather than a drive letter.
[/li]
[li]Import a dummy image from the external to make it visible to Lightroom if needed then delete that image from both Lightroom and the disk.[/li]
[li]Open Lightroom and move you existing folder structure to the external drive.[/li]
[li]Close Lightroom and move your CatalogName.lrcat file to the external drive.
[/li]
[li]In Windows Explorer, double click CatalogName.lrcat and this will open Lightroom with the Catalog at its new location. You can opt to always open that one when LR start...[/li]
[/list]If your images are already on the external: [list type=decimal]
[li]In Lightroom, make sure you have a single top level folder with all folders and subfolders containing images beneath. If this is not the case, you can right click on a top level folder and choose "Add Parent Folder". This wont create one in the file system but add the one already there.[/li]
[li]Close Lightroom.[/li]
[li]Make sure that the external drive will appear having the same drive letter on both computers. You can assign one in "Desktop, Management, Disk Management" and giving a volume name is nice to have too and this a must for Mac users as they use it rather than a drive letter.
[/li]
[li]If the drive letter had to change: Open Lightroom, go to the top level folder wich now show a question mark, right click and choose "Locate missing folder". Close Lightroom.[/li]
[li]Move your CatalogName.lrcat file to the external drive.
[/li]
[li]In Windows Explorer, double click CatalogName.lrcat and this will open Lightroom with the Catalog at its new location. You can opt to always open that one when LR start...[/li]
[/list]Wise thing to do: When Lightroom ask to backup your Catalog, opt to put it on another drive like the one on the local computer. Also think about a way to backup your originals...

Optional: If security is not a problem and you have access to a Mac OS system, format the external as a FAT32 file system. This will give you the option to work from both a Mac OS and a Windows OS with some caveats tough.

Conclusion: From now on, just plug the external drive on the computer you want to work with! :D
 
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