How I Sync A Lightroom Catalog Between Two MachinesLeave a Comment
I’ve just started using Photoshop for editing photos. Which led me to using Lightroom for image management. Which led me to a problem: How do I sync photos I’m working on between the two machines I use?
Before I describe the solution I came up with here’s some workflow decisions I made:
- I’ve a laptop I use at work. And I’ve a home machine. I want to edit photos from the same Lightroom catalog on both machines.
- My laptop is for temporary editing only. I’ll use it to edit photos I’ve taken as I go about my day and before I make it home. For example: I want to be able to edit photos at lunch while at work.
- I’ll have no need to access or edit old photos on my laptop.
- Once I’m at home, I want to transfer all the edit work to my home machine so I can carry on working where I left off.
So, how do I sync the Lightroom catalog between the two machines?
Well, as it turns out I only need to keep the .lrcat file in sync between the two machines. This is because all the edit work is saved to the catalog and not the photo file. So I save the .lrcat file and only this file to a Dropbox folder. Job done.
It’s important to note that for this to work the photos must be at the same location on both machines. For me this is Desktop/Photos.
Now every time I edit a photo in Lightroom on my laptop, Dropbox will sync the catalog file. Then when I get home I open the catalog file from Dropbox and all the edit work I’ve done on the laptop will appear on my iMac.
One thing to note is that the new photos will be offline until I move them from the laptop and place them at the appropriate location on my home machine. But I won’t need to re-import them in Lightroom.
And that’s my workflow for editing photos and keeping them in sync across my two machines.