Reducing the Lightroom Catalog size (significantly)

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9 Comments

  1. My catalog is at 132,689 images and over 18GB for the catalog and preview file. I have wanted to get all of the wedding and event images into a separate catalog — maybe someday!

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  2. I found that for the deleted images to affect the Catalog size you just need to do the Optimize thing. Even a restart doesn’t do it, only when optimizing. And i hadn’t done that in a long time because for some reason they moved that button to the File menu, while it used to be in Catalog Settings.

    Anyway, you make it sound like the History thing is related, but these are just two different things really. Personally don’t like deleting the History, because i like going back to see what i did, and it’s easier to compare the original by clicking on the first History item called ‘Import’ that would then be gone.

    The catalog cleaning up links to the deleted files was probably what cause most of the drop in size as it did for me. I don’t think cleaning up the History would make that much of a difference, so only do so if you want to.

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    1. Maurice, I back up and optimize my catalog weekly, and optimization alone has an effect on the catalog size, but it is relatively small.

      Personally, I don’t see the point of keeping the edit history for photos that I made 8 years ago – your mileage may vary.

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  3. Oh, and my preview catalog is 44GB. Would it be safe to dump that since I really don’t use LR to tone? I usually only use LR to tone things like weddings, portrait sessions, and other shoots requiring mass toning.

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    1. Instead of deleting the entire previews folder, I’d suggest that you simply adjust the Catalog Settings / File Handling and set it to discard the 1:1 previews sooner (mine is set to 30 days, but one week and just one day are also available).

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