Using LR CC.6 with Windows 10 "and" MacBook Pro

Jun 12, 2016
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
I have always used a PC (now with Windows 10); but I recently purchased a MacBook Pro. and want to use my LR catalog on both computers. I keep my LR catalog on external drives. I would really appreciate help in figuring out how to use both systems. I purchased the MacBook Pro for travel; but I didn't' consider any compatibility concerns. I thought I could just plug n play… I couldn't find any reference to this scenario in the FAQs; but its possible I didn't dig deep enough.
Jun 20, 2009
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
The External drive needs to be formatted as FAT32/ExFAT to allow both Win10 and OS X to read AND wrote to the disk.
The problem with windows is that it uses Drive letters for different volumes OS X and every other operating system uses the volume name and mounts the volume inside the root folder.

The LR catalog file stores the path to the images that are in the catalog. In Windows that full (absolute) path contains the drive letter which is foreign to OS X. In addition to the AbsolutePath field LR also stores the relative path (i.e., the image file location relative to the location of the catalog file). In Windows, this relative path is unresolvable only when the catalog file is on one volume (drive letter) and the images are on another (different drive letter). So the solution foe both Operating Systems is to store the images in a sub folder of the folder that contains the catalog file on the same volume.

So, if you structure your folders containing your images and your folder containing your catalog like this:
..Lightroomcatalog file (lrcat)
../Lightroom Pictures
...../folders containing cataloged images

Then you can open that catalog on both OS X and Windows and not encounter that dreaded "missing image".