When you reset Lightroom's preferences, the name and location of the current catalog is reset. After you reopen Lightroom after resetting your preferences, it's necessary to locate the appropriate catalog. If you don't locate the appropriate catalog, some or all of your images are missing.
Write down the name and location of your current catalog before you reset your preferences. In Lightroom, choose Lightroom > Catalog Settings > General (Mac OS) or Edit > Catalog Settings > General (Windows). Your catalog name and location are listed in the Information section. You can also click the Show button to go to the catalog in the Finder or Windows Explorer. Write the location and name someplace you can remember before you reset your preferences.
To reset your preferences, do the following:
- Mac OS: Quit Lightroom, and then delete the com.adobe.Lightroom4.plist file in the //Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/ folder.
Important: Apple made the user Library folder (//User/Library/) hidden by default in Mac OS X 10.7 and later. If you require access to files in the hidden Library folder to perform Adobe-related troubleshooting, see How to access hidden user library files.
- Windows: Exit Lightroom, and then delete the Lightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs file in the C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences\ folder.
After you reopen Lightroom after resetting your preferences, Lightroom could ask you to upgrade your catalog. If you've been working in a catalog, do not choose Upgrade. Instead, click the Choose a Different Catalog button. See illustration below.
(Choosing Upgrade converts the catalog you used in your previous version of Lightroom to the current version of Lightroom. You probably already did this step when you installed the most recent version of Lightroom. Doing it again doesn't display your current photos and many files could be missing.)
The next dialog box that appears lists the catalogs that Lightroom sees initially. If your catalog is not on this list, click Choose A Different Catalog.
Make sure that you don't choose a catalog here that is not your actual catalog. If you do, you could see differences in the images in the catalog, the edits to some of the images, and missing photos.
The catalogs you see listed could have different names from what is listed in the illustration below.
In the Finder or Windows Explorer window that appears, navigate to the location you saved your current catalog. Select that catalog, and click Choose.
That catalog is added to the Lightroom Select Catalog window, at the top of the list. Select that catalog, and click Open.
If you always want to use this catalog, check Always load this catalog on startup. It's probably best to also check Test integrity of this catalog. (See blue highlighting below.)
It's possible that you don't know where your catalog is located, or even its name. Here is some information that can help you locate your catalog:
- The default locations for catalogs are //Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/ (Mac OS) and C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\Lightroom\ (Windows). Check here first for your catalog.
- The name of all Lightroom catalogs end in .LRCAT. So you can search your hard drives for *.lrcat or just lrcat, and you get a list of all the catalogs you've created.
When you get the list, select one and choose File > Get Info (Mac OS), or right-click and choose Properties (Windows). You see the location of the file and helpful information about when it was last modified to help determine which catalog you have been working with.
- You could need to open several catalogs to determine which one is the correct, most recent one. If you have many catalogs, keep careful notes of what catalogs you opened and where they're located and any other notes necessary to compare them.
- You probably have many catalogs on your computer that were created when you backed up your catalog. Be careful that you don't open and start using one of these catalogs instead of your actual, most current catalog. Usually these catalogs are in the \..\Pictures\Lightroom\Backups\ folder. However, because you can change the location of your backups every time you do a backup, they could be in other locations as well.
Look for these things to help you determine which catalog to use from now on:
- Are there unexpected missing files?
- Are the most recently added files correct?
- Are all your collections and keywords available?