When you first launch Lightroom after a major update, such as the recent update to 10.0, it asks your permission to upgrade your catalog – but why? Is it safe? What does it actually do?
Sometimes database changes need to be made in the catalog to enable new features or to improve performance. Lightroom asks permission to upgrade your catalog when you first launch it after the new release has been installed. As many of us have our CC App set to automatically upgrade when a new version is released, this may be a bit of a shock, especially as the dialog says it’s not compatible with previous versions. But it’s all okay!
Lightroom doesn’t actually change the catalog you’ve been using. It takes a copy of your current catalog and upgrades it. Previous to version 10, it added -2 to the new catalog name. Now it allows you to change the catalog name, defaulting to the old catalog name and adds -v10, making it easier to see which is the latest catalog. It then launches the new one. The upgrade uses the existing Preview files and Sync data file and renames them to match the upgraded catalog name. The old catalog is left untouched as is the old Helper file (a new one is created).
Although a warning is displayed The upgraded catalog will not be compatible with previous versions of Lightroom Classic, the earlier catalog is retained. So should anything go wrong during the upgrade, or you need to roll back to the previous version (currently 9.4), you can use the previous catalog. The old catalog won’t include any edits you make after the upgrade, making it harder to roll back, so we recommend you do some testing after the upgrade to make sure all looks good. Also, keep an eye on our release blogs as we update them with any major issues if they occur.
If you accidentally try to open the older catalog again (for example, you have it set as the default for Lightroom to open or you double-click on the old catalog), Lightroom asks you whether to open the upgraded catalog or upgrade again. Yes, use the newer, upgraded Catalog is almost always the right answer. If you tell Lightroom to upgrade the older catalog again, then the most recently upgraded catalog changes to catalogname-2 and additional Preview files will be created (also named -2, the -v10 files are untouched).
For extensive information on Lightroom Classic, see Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.
If you have the Photography Plan, then as well as Classic you have access to the Lightroom cloud ecosystem including the mobile apps and web interface. For more information on these apps, see Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro.
Note: purchase of these books includes the first year’s Classic or cloud-based Premium Membership (depending on the book purchased), giving access to download the latest eBook (each time Adobe updates the software), email assistance for the applicable Lightroom version if you hit a problem, and other bonuses.
We also have a special bundle offer for the two books. This includes Premium Membership for the first year as described above for the whole Lightroom family!