Possible errors | Migrating photos from Photoshop Elements to Lightroom

Resolve possible issues while migrating photos from Photoshop Elements to Lightroom.

Not enough cloud storage

Error: Not enough cloud storage. Please upgrade your storage limit. Once you reach your current limit, new photos will not be synced to Creative Cloud and will only be stored locally.

Solution: This message is a warning rather than an error. You can use Lightroom without syncing everything to the cloud, but some of your files will not be backed up nor accessible from other devices. For full benefit, we recommend visiting your Account Management Plans page on Adobe.com anytime to explore upgrade options. See related information here:

All assets are missing

Error: All assets are missing or all folders are missing. Migration cannot continue. Please make sure the photos are available and can be opened from Photoshop Elements.

Solution: If you see this error, it means that Lightroom couldn't find any files from your Photoshop Elements catalog at the paths where Lightroom expects to find them. You may have moved the catalog or left an external drive disconnected, or a Windows drive took on a different drive letter when plugged back in. Migration can proceed if some files are missing, but this error means that Lightroom couldn't find any of the files.

To fix this issue, open Photoshop Elements, check the Folders panel for folders marked with question marks. Select File > Reconnect > Missing File to help locate the folders on your drive. For more information, see Reconnect missing files in a Photoshop Elements catalog.

Could not read the source file (catalog)

Error: Could not read the catalog. Please close any applications that might be using the file.

Solution: Photoshop Elements and Elements Organizer must not be running while you're migrating photos and videos to Lightroom. Quit Photoshop Elements and Elements Organizer and initiate migration again.


In Elements Organizer, if the settings in Analysis-Options under Media-Analysis of Preferences are selected, the Elements Auto Creations task runs in the background even after Elements applications are closed. This background task is used for auto-curation, smart tag analysis on photos and videos, and auto-creations. This could take some time, especially for a large number of assets to be analyzed. If this task is running in the background, migration cannot continue until Elements Auto Creations task is completed.

If you have already closed all Elements applications but still are unable to read the source file, Elements Auto Creations task is running. This can be verified using the Activity Monitor on macOS and Task Manager on Windows, where you can look for Elements Auto Creations task.

Insufficient disk space

Error: Not enough disk space to complete the migration. Lightroom needs enough space to copy your photos and videos before uploading to the cloud.  

Solution: Before Lightroom can import your photos and videos, it copies them to a new location on your local system. Over time, as media is backed up to the cloud, Lightroom may remove these large, original files and replace them with smaller smart previews to save disk space. However, this initial copy operation can require a lot of space.

If you see this error, you may want to direct Lightroom to store original files on a separate drive:

  1. In Lightroom, select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences (Mac).
  2. In the Local Storage panel, click Change Location to select a drive with at least the amount of free space recommended in the above error message.

While migrating the Photoshop Elements catalog, Lightroom also creates a database along with Smart Previews on your local hard drive to enable viewing and editing of images during migration. This can take up significant additional space, which can be as much as 20% the size of your catalog and original files. Especially when you are migrating large catalogs, make sure that you have that amount of free space on your local drive.

You already moved this catalog to Lightroom

Error: Already migrated. You already moved this catalog to Lightroom.

Solution: A given catalog (catalog.pse db file) is intended to be migrated to Lightroom only once. If you choose to migrate this catalog again, it may result in many duplicate images in your Lightroom library. You can, however, always migrate other/additional Photoshop Elements catalogs.

Unsupported catalog version

Error: Unsupported Photoshop Elements catalog version. Please update to the latest version of Photoshop Elements before moving your catalog to Lightroom.

Solution: Currently, only catalogs from Photoshop Elements 2019 or later can be migrated to Lightroom. If you see this error, install the latest version and open your catalog to upgrade it. You can then quit Elements Organizer and rerun the migration in Lightroom.

Lightroom is not up to date

Error: Please update Lightroom and try again.  

Solution: If you see this error, check the Creative Cloud desktop app to update to a newer version of Lightroom.

Not connected to a power source

Error: Migration is a power intensive process and can take a while.

Solution: If your system is on battery power, it is recommended to connect the machine to a power source. 


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