Backing up and optimizing your catalog

As described in Chapter 2, Lightroom 3 includes some important changes for how we back up our catalogs. Backups are now done on quitting Lightroom, instead of when launching. The options for controlling how often Lightroom backs up a catalog are under Catalog Settings. Keep in mind that only the catalog itself is backed up; not image files or previews. I back up my catalog after every work session where I've made any kind of significant changes within the catalog, so I keep this set to "Every time Lightroom exits"; I can just skip a backup if it's not necessary.

Also, the Optimize Catalog command has been moved to the Lightroom menu on Mac and the File menu on Windows. I recommend you optimize your main catalog every couple of weeks worth of work, at minimum. (The Optimize Catalog command runs the sql V acuum procedure, which cleans, compacts and repairs the catalog.)

I'm not going into a lot of detail about backup again here; we all know it's important. Take good care of your catalogs—it's quite possible that there will be problems with corrupted data at some point, and having a recent, optimized backup of your catalog will minimize the inconvenience.

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