My external 5T HD out of space. How to start another external HD using LR

I use Lightroom Classic (subscription) and I keep my images on a 5T external portable hard drive, which I back up to 2 other 5T drives…also full. I am talking to someone about setting me up with a NAS/RAID system, and I’ll be doing that soon. But I have a big event coming up next week, and I’m looking for a way to store my new images as well as continue to be able to edit them in LR. I have an empty 2T drive I can save the new images to, but I don’t know how to also access Lightroom from that drive. Do I need to copy my software LR files to that hard drive? Thanks! I use a MAC computer with Mojave version 10.14.6

I did a trial by using a card reader to import images to my computer. I only had the new 2T drive plugged in…not my MAIN 5T drive that is full. After import the images did not appear on the screen as they do when I load them with my 5T drive. So I went into the left column and clicked on the 2T drive and opened the images that way. I could see the images, which all had an ‘X’ on them. When I clicked on an image it opened in Photoshop, not LR. I could drag the images into the LR icon in my dock, and that worked. But it would be preferable if I could get them to LR when importing them.

Thanks. I hope I’ve explained this well enough. :slight_smile:

Dear Christal Steele,

I hope that the event that you were shooting went well and that you already found a solution to this puzzle. Just in case you didn’t though here are some links and a little advice that might help.

A bit of background on the way Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic works might be helpful here. With Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic there are three separate parts; there is the program itself (the Lightroom Classic.App), there is your Lightroom Catalog (the .lrdata file), and then there are your images.

Your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Application must be stored on your computer’s internal hard drive. Since you are on a Mac this means that the program itself must be stored inside of your Applications folder and that is where Adobe puts it by default.

The other two parts though–your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Catalog and your images–can be moved to external drives. You can choose to keep your Lightroom Catalog (your .lrcat file and it’s various helpers) on your internal drive or on an external. You cannot keep this file on a NAS disk but for now that is irrelevant.

If you only work with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic on one computer then storing your Lightroom Catalog on your internal hard drive is probably the right choice. For your images though clearly external storage is required.

Fortunately, Lightroom Classic will let you store images on multiple drives or on a NAS. It sounds to me like this is what you need right now. You need to instruct Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic to keep the new images from the latest event on the 2T external drive and continue to have it index all of your old stuff on the main 5T.

If / when that NAS disk becomes a part of your life then you can move all of your images to the NAS and tell your Lightroom Catalog that this is their new home.

For more on your Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic Catalog and Image Storage Options click here.

For more on how to tell Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic to Import Your New Files To The 2T Disk click here.

I hope this helps and have a happy holidays,

David Marx

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P.S. For advice on how to move all of your images to a larger external hard drive, or a NAS, without upsetting Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic see

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First of all, I want to tell you that I met you recently…it was most likely at the RMSP 30th. I had heard such good things about you, so I was glad to put a face with a name.

I actually did solve my problem, but not exactly the way I wanted. I just decided to bite the bullet and buy two 8T solid state drives:

Hopefully these drives will be much more reliable than the previous external drives I’ve had. I’ve had so many portable external drives fail on me (both WD and Seagate) because I use them constantly and rarely give them a rest.

So my new method is to use the 2 Micron drives as my main and backup, then keep a desktop hard drive as my 3rd backup. This means I will no longer have yet another drive to keep in my safe deposit box, which concerns me a little, but I didn’t want to buy yet another Micron drive because they are so expensive.

I thank you for your time and explanation, which was very clear and helpful. Though these 8T hard drives are expensive, purchasing them may have delayed the necessity for me to go to a more sophisticated NAS system for now. I also can create more space by doing the unpleasant task of going back through my photos and paring down significantly.

Thanks also for the links. It appears I am doing things correctly. I merely used CCC to copy from my old drive to the new SS drive. Everything seems to be there (and it went so much more quickly than using only my old drives). I’ll keep your message for future reference, as I’m sure it will come in handy again in the future.

I do have a question for you. Do you offer remote phone tech support by any chance? And/or…where do you live? I’d love to have someone I trust help me if I run into trouble again. I have not had very good luck with Adobe phone support. But this time I did post the same question I posted to you on the Adobe Forum, which was more helpful. I got several responses, which I was going to do that until I decided to purchase these 8T drives instead. For your information, here is what they told me:

Can’t thank you enough for your responses. And I noticed that one of your responses was from Focus Photo School, which I hadn’t heard of. It’s worth knowing about. :slight_smile:

Thanks again, and have a wonderful holiday season.

Good Morning Christal,

Oh that RMSP 30th birthday party was fun! It was a pleasure to see so many old friends there and to meet a bunch of wonderful new folks like you.

I do indeed offer private one-on-one online Lightroom / Photoshop tech support sessions as well as creating tutorials for that focusphotoschool website. Fortunately, it sounds like you got this issue resolved and with those new hard drives you should have plenty of storage space for the next year or two!

Have a very happy holidays and I am glad that you are back in business with those super fast new drives.