Hi Steve,

Got 1 quick question about Lightroom. I’m about to reinstall my laptop, and I’ve made a backup of the catalogue in Lightroom, and separately copied all my raw files to an external HDD for backup.

Once I’ve reinstalled my OS and Lightroom, do I have to put the raw files back in the exact same directory structure as where it was before in order for the Lightroom database to find the files? If so, what would be the easiest way to change your directory structure once this has been done? I’m not happy with it at the moment and want to change a few things.

Hope this short question requires only a short answer, I don’t want to eat into your time with your son :p. Looking forward to meet him this weekend.

Best regards,





You have two choices to change the directory structure:

1. Use Lightroom to drag and drop your directories, rename them, etc.  This is awkward at best.

2. Just make your new structure and then copy the files to this structure.  Then, have Lightroom read your new directory tree.. and let it build a new database and catalog.  The most important changes, your edits, will transfer with the files so you won’t lose those.  The catalog merely keeps track of your keywords and directory locations.  The database holds your previews.  You can test this before you commit:  After you install Lightroom have it import one of your RAWs from the external drive that you copied them to.  Copy one you know you’ve adjusted.  The adjustments should copy over..


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