Running out of disc space: is there a problem with huge number of files and folders that LR is creating?

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Charles Lo

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I am a 'weekend amateur' and have been using LR Classic for about 4 or 5 years. I shoot using jpg with typical file size of 15Mb. On my laptop in folder named 'Pictures' I keep the original image files (56,600 pictures total size approx 106Gb) - so far, so good - this is as expected.

In the LR folder is Lightroom Classic with all the files and sub folders that go with it. During installations and upgrades, I always take the defaults. I am not using anything like removable storage.

My worry (and hence this question) is that I am now getting close to using full capacity of hard drive in laptop: I wonder if LR is behaving normally in creating so many folders and associated files?

Here's an overview of disc usage:
In pictures: 56,600 photo files occupying total space 106Gb
in LR folder: 95,634 files in 54,806 folders occupying 109 Gb

Is it normal that LR uses so much disc space for it's own files? I wonder if some files are redundant or leftovers from previous upgrades? I have already identified the LR Backups folder where I have the two most recent catalog backups (older ones have been deleted)

I don't understand how there can be nearly twice as many LR files over the number of jpg files - is it because I have smart previews switched on? And, if so, can I safely switch off smart previews? And can I safely delete 'old' smart previews to save disc space?

Thank you everyone - I really appreciate the help!
 
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Lightroom Classic is a non-destructive editor. That means that it does not alter the original files, but stores its edits in the catalog and only applies them when needed, such as when you export or print an image. You do want to see your edits however, and so Lightroom creates previews for that. That is what you look at when you look at an image in the catalog. This means that it is normal to have as many previews as you have originals.

You can safely switch off smart previews and delete all of them. Smart previews are proxies of your originals, so you can edit images when the originals are offline. Your originals are never offline however, so smart previews are useless in your situation.
 
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in folder named 'Pictures' I keep the original image files
Is this where you import your photos to LrC from?
getting close to using full capacity of hard drive
What is that capacity and have your run Windows Cleanup to get rid of old files? The space taken for your photos/LR are relatively low relative to most disk drives today so I'm wondering if you have some other app taking up space.

I don't understand how there can be nearly twice as many LR files over the number of jpg files
Do you simply ADD or do you COPY during IMPORT? I ask because my Pictures take up 446GB and my Lightroom is 32 GB.

I use STANDARD previews. Never found a need to use SMART PREVIEWS. Here's a good thread describing the difference. As @Johan Elzenga says, you can turned them off. See this help article.
I shoot using jpg with typical file size of 15Mb
Consider shooting RAW. You have more development capabilities when you do.
 

Charles Lo

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Is this where you import your photos to LrC from?

What is that capacity and have your run Windows Cleanup to get rid of old files? The space taken for your photos/LR are relatively low relative to most disk drives today so I'm wondering if you have some other app taking up space.


Do you simply ADD or do you COPY during IMPORT? I ask because my Pictures take up 446GB and my Lightroom is 32 GB.

I use STANDARD previews. Never found a need to use SMART PREVIEWS. Here's a good thread describing the difference. As @Johan Elzenga says, you can turned them off. See this help article.

Consider shooting RAW. You have more development capabilities when you do.
Paul, thank you for your helpful reply. I am getting ready to do a windows cleanup and will be following advice to switch off smart previews. - thank you for the link. As for shooting in RAW, the benefits would be wasted on me because I don't enjoy fiddling about with pictures much - mostly I use LR for the crop and 'auto' features.
 

Charles Lo

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Lightroom Classic is a non-destructive editor. That means that it does not alter the original files, but stores its edits in the catalog and only applies them when needed, such as when you export or print an image. You do want to see your edits however, and so Lightroom creates previews for that. That is what you look at when you look at an image in the catalog. This means that it is normal to have as many previews as you have originals.

You can safely switch off smart previews and delete all of them. Smart previews are proxies of your originals, so you can edit images when the originals are offline. Your originals are never offline however, so smart previews are useless in your situation.
Johan, thank you for your advice and I will switch off smart previews when importing in future.

As for the existing smart previews, I have looked at Adobe help which tells me how to discard smart previews (instructions below) but does not explicitly say that this also deletes files from disc - do you know if 'discard' also 'deletes'?

I appreciate your help greatly.

From: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-classic/help/lightroom-smart-previews.html

Delete Smart Previews​


Do one of the following:
  • In the Library or Develop module, for a photo that has a Smart Preview, click the status Original + Smart Preview below the Histogram, and then click Discard Smart Preview.
  • In Library or Develop module, click Library > Previews > Discard Smart Previews.







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don't enjoy fiddling about with pictures much - mostly I use LR for the crop and 'auto' features.
Well, you are already 'fiddling'. ;)

You may be surprised about the quality improvement of 'auto' on RAW vs 'auto' on JPG which effectively the camera has already applied.
 

stevedo

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For Lightroom data I would also take a look in C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CRLogs\dumps
I have previously found up to 60GB of crash dump files that Lightroom creates when it has a "funny turn". In my experience, contrary to what Adobe claim, the crash dump files are not always automatically cleaned up.

PS in my example address above you need to replace "username" with your own name on your system.
 

Y.K

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You can use an app like https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/treesize-free-portable (windows) or https://daisydiskapp.com (macOS) to find exactly what consumes space in your disk.

You can also delete and recreate your standard previews. First run the Find all missing photos command from the Library menu: if any are found try to locate them or remove them from the catalog. Then follow these steps: https://petapixel.com/2020/05/23/ho...eviews-to-optimize-speed-space-and-integrity/


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My worry (and hence this question) is that I am now getting close to using full capacity of hard drive in laptop: I wonder if LR is behaving normally in creating so many folders and associated files?
Others here have made suggestions on managing LrC and picture space but you haven't mentioned if you are doing anything to look at your overall disk usage. Have you run 'Windows Disk Cleanup' to get rid of old files? My Downloads folder alone is currently taking 16GB with 2,313 files in 44 folders. I use Downloads as my Temp so I have one place to purge work files.
 
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