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Catalogs Rebuilding a LR catalogue from a back up

Nicky H

New Member
Nov 7, 2011
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Operating System: W10
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info): 7.2 [ 1156743 ]

The last task to do for completion of migration from a desktop PC that was showing signs of failing to a new laptop was to export a Lr catalogue. I had made sure all image folders were correctly linked on several drives. But I didn't make it in time before W10 threw its final hissy fit. Techie Guru friend couldn't fix it.

So I have several drives safely extracted from the tower, including Lr back ups from up do a day or two before it gave out.

Please advise best plan to recreate the catalogue on my new machine, I've never had to go back to a back up before - will the last back up have everything I need including collections?

Also I have edited a few new images on the new machine, so should I export a catalogue of those, and merge it once I've got my old catalogue back? I've never merged catalogues either!

I have searched for an existing thread on this but struggled to find the right keywords!

I know I haven't lost any images and associated xmp files, but I really need to get back to where i left off now as quickly as possible.

Some step by step instructions would be very welcome indeed.

Thank you in anticipation!

Jul 2, 2015
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
There is nothing to 'rebuild'. A catalog backup is a full backup, but it is zipped. So unzip it, place it in the catalog folder and start Lightroom with it. At first you won't see any thumbnails, because these are not backed up. But Lightroom will rebuild those, so they should start to appear one by one.