Important information for all platforms

  • The file locations given here are defaults. Some of these files can be changed to a custom location depending on settings changes made in Lightroom.
  • While troubleshooting, when possible, rename files instead of deleting them.
  • If possible, back up catalogs on a different hard disk or volume from the disk where your catalog is located. For more information on backing up in Lightroom, read Back up a catalog in Lightroom Help, and watch the video tutorial Backing up your catalog on Adobe TV.

File locations in Mac OS X 

  • The Lightroom application file is named Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.app and is in the //Applications/ folder.
  • The preference setting file is com.adobe.Lightroom4.plist and is in //Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/.
  • The //Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/ folder contains the following files:
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat: the Lightroom database file
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog Previews.lrdata: contains preview data for your photos
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat.lock: prevents overwriting the catalog while it is in use
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat-journal: crash recovery file
  • Catalog backups are saved to //Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/[catalog name]/Backups/.
  • Saved and imported presets and templates have filenames ending in .lrtemplate and are in the //Users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/ folder.
  • Registration data (serial number) is in //Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Lightroom 4.0 Registration.

Important: Apple made the user library folder (//User/Library/) hidden by default with the release of Mac OS X 10.7. If you require access to files in the hidden Library folder to perform Adobe-related troubleshooting, see Access hidden user library files.

File locations in Windows

  • The Lightroom application is named Lightroom.exe and is in the C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4\ folder. 
  • The preference setting file is Lightroom 4 Preferences.agprefs, in C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences\.
  • The C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\Lightroom\ folder contains:
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat: the Lightroom database file
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog Previews.lrdata folder: which contains additional folders for preview files and data
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrcat.lock: prevents overwriting the catalog while it is in use
    • Lightroom 4 Catalog.lrgat-journal: crash recovery file
  • Catalog backups are saved to C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\Lightroom\Backups\. 
  • Saved and imported presets and templates have filenames ending in .lrtemplate and are located in C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\. 
  • Registration data (serial number) is located in the C:\ProgramData\Adobe\Lightroom\Lightroom 4.0 Registration.lrreg file. Lightroom 4 reads the Lightroom 3.0, 2.0, or 1.0 registration registry entry when it validates upgrade serial numbers. If you install an upgrade version of Lightroom 4 and it does not find a file for either Lightroom 3.0, 2.0, or 1.0, it prompts you to enter the previous version serial number. 
Important: Some of the files and folders above could be hidden. To show these items, see Show hidden files, folders, filename extensions.

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