When you reset Lightroom's preferences, the name and location of the current catalog is reset. When you start Lightroom after resetting your preferences, locate the appropriate catalog or else some or all of your images will be missing.
Write down the name and location of your current catalog before you reset your preferences. In Lightroom, choose Edit > Catalog Settings > General (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings > General (Mac OS). 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 Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac OS). Write the location and name someplace you can remember before you reset your preferences.
To reset your preferences, do the following:
- Quit Lightroom.
- Navigate to the preferences file:
- Mac OS: /Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.Lightroom5.plist
- Windows 7, 8: C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences\Lightroom 5 Preferences.agprefs
- Drag the preferences file to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac OS).
Important (Mac OS): The user Library file is hidden by default on Mac OS X 10.7 and later. For temporary access to the user Library file, press Option and choose Go > Library in the Finder.
Important (Windows): The AppData folder is hidden by default. To view it, choose Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Folder Options. In the Advanced area of the View tab, make sure that Show Hidden Files and Folders is selected. Then, click OK.
For the location of preferences files in earlier versions of Lightroom, see:
When you start Lightroom after resetting preferences, Lightroom might 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.
Note: 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 shown in the illustration below.
In the Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac OS) 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.)
If you skipped the first section of this document (Save your catalog information before you reset preferences) and don't know the name of your catalog or where it is located, try the following:
- Look in the default location: /Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/ (Mac OS) or C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\Lightroom\ (Windows).
- Search your hard drive for files ending in *.lrcat or just lrcat to find all of your catalogs. When you get the list, select one, right-click, and choose Properties (Windows) or select one and choose File > Get Info (Mac OS). You see the location of the file and helpful information about when it was last modified to help determine which catalog you've been working with.
- You might need to open several catalogs to determine which one is the correct, most recent one. If you have many catalogs, keep careful notes on what catalogs you opened, where they're located, and any other details 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. By default, backed up catalogs are located in C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\Lightroom\Lightroom 5 Catalog\Backups\ (Windows) or /Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/Lightroom 5 Catalog/Backups/ (Mac OS). However, if you change the location when you run a backup, they could be in other locations, instead.
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?