Post Production

Upgrade old lightroom catalog in 2 simple steps

Introduction to Lightroom Catalog

If you are a lightroom user, you might have noticed that whatever editing you do to the images in lightroom, you can easily undo it. It is called non-destructive editing — incase you didn’t know. Lightroom uses a catalog to store all the editing information. Lightroom catalog serves as a database of all editing information. When you edit photos in lightroom, nothing is applied to those images. Instead, it stores all the information to the catalog. This process makes lightroom a non-destructive  photo editing application. So, if you lose the catalog, you will lose all the editing information you have done on your images in lightroom.

A common issue lightroom users face when they upgrade light room 3.4 (or lower versions) to lightroom 4.1 is not knowing how to upgrade the old version of lightroom catalog. After you install lightroom 4.1, it shows an incompatible catalog. This is due to several changes that have been made in lightroom 4.1.

Steps to upgrade old catalog

Below are the 2 simple steps to upgrade your old catalog.

Step 1: Locate the destination folder of your catalog (The default location in Windows 7 is libraries/Pictures/Lightroom) Open the folder and right click on Lightroom 3 catalog  and click open in lightroom

Open catalog in lightroom
Step 1: Click on the image for a larger view


Step 2: Lightroom will now ask you to select a destination of your new catalog. By default, it overwrites the old catalog. I recommend you to choose another destination OR make a backup of the old one. Once use select the destination, click upgrade

Catalog upgrade box
Step 2 (Click on the image for a larger view)


Lightroom will now upgrade your old catalog. This may take some time depending on the size of your old catalog.

Lightroom catalog upgradation

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Vidhu Soman

Vidhu is an enthusiastic photographer from Kerala, India. His desire to share his knowledge and experience on photography was the motivation for creating Shutterstoppers. His dream is to provide a platform for people all around the world to exchange ideas and information on everything related to photography. In addition to photography, he also has a keen interest in traveling, philately and science.

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