Cloned Catalog Detected error

Learn how to resolve the 'Cloned Catalog Detected' issue in Lightroom.

Issue

Lightroom displays the following message:

Cloned Catalog Detected

It appears that you may have cloned your hard drive or transferred your local catalog from one machine to another.

Cloned Catalog Detected message in Lightroom
Cloned Catalog Detected message in Lightroom

Explanation

Lightroom on desktop does not use the drive name or drive letter (Windows) when storing paths to photos. It uses unique identifiers associated with the physical hard drives. This gives you the ability to freely change the hard drive names and volume letters without causing broken file paths in the Lightroom app. This is especially useful for Windows users who store their originals on an external volume that is frequently disconnected and reconnected.

Therefore, cloning your Lightroom catalog or user folder from one hard drive to another doesn't work. Even though you have the correct files on disk, the file paths stored in the Lightroom catalog database still points to the unique hard drive identifier of the previous hard drive.

Solution

It is recommended that you perform the following steps to resolve the issue:

  1. Quit Lightroom.

  2. Back up all of your local originals.

    Forsigtig:

    If you have originals on your hard-drive that are not synced to the cloud, it is recommended that you back up your 'Originals' folder before proceeding to the next step.

    Windows

    To back up originals on a Windows computer, do the following:

    a. Navigate to: C:/Users/[user name]/AppData/Local/Adobe/Lightroom CC/Data

    b. Inside the Data folder, look for a folder with a long name made up of random letters and numbers (for example:          '1c1fad228a024c1987b5f82737c1b293'). Open this folder to find a folder titled 'originals'.

    c. Copy originals folder to a new location outside the Data parent folder.

    Back up originals folder
    Back up originals folder

    macOS

    To back up originals on macOS, do the following:

    a. From the Finder menu, choose Go > Go To Folder and type ~/Pictures/Lightroom Library.lrlibrary

    b. Control-click the Lightroom Library.lrlibrary file and choose Show Package Contents from the menu.

    Show package contents
    Show package contents

    c. Inside the bundle, look for a folder with a long name made up of random letters and numbers (for example:     '1c1fad228a024c1987b5f82737c1b293'). Open this folder to find a folder titled 'originals'.

    d. Copy originals folder to a new location outside the bundle.

    Back up originals folder
    Back up originals folder

  3. Delete your local Lightroom catalog.

    (Windows)

    Delete the Data folder at: C:/Users/[user name]/AppData/Local/Adobe/Lightroom CC/

    (Mac) 

    Delete the bundle Lightroom Library . lrlibrary  at: ~/Pictures/Lightroom Library.lrlibrary

  4. Relaunch Lightroom.

    Wait for your catalog to sync from the cloud.

  5. If necessary, import any originals (backed up in Step 2) that were not fully synced to the cloud. See Add photos.

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