Learn how to back up or restore your catalogs in Elements Organizer 2018.

Back up of catalogs is recommended to protect your data in case your system crashes or when you're switching to another computer. It is also recommended that you back up your catalog before upgrading your operating system. You can also create free space on your computer by moving rarely used media files to another drive on your computer or a shared network. Elements Organizer lets you take full backup and incremental backup of your catalog. The filename for the backup is Backup.tly

Full Backup backs up all the media files of your catalog at once. When you back up your catalog for the first time, you have to take a full backup.

Incremental Backup backs up modified and newly added media files to the last backup. For incremental backups, ensure that you have the media that contains the last complete backup.


This article covers the procedure for back up and restore a catalog in Elements Organizer 2018. The corresponding article for Elements Organizer 15 or earlier is available at this link.

Back up a catalog

  1. If you have multiple catalogs, open the catalog you want to back up. For more information about opening a catalog, see Open a catalog.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • Select File > Backup Catalog.
    • Press Ctrl+B (Windows) or Command+B (Mac OS).
  3. If a dialog box appears asking if you want to reconnect missing files, do one of the following:

    • Click Reconnect to check for missing files. If you clicked Reconnect, and missing files are found, the Reconnect Missing Files dialog box appears and prompts you to reconnect the missing files. For more information about reconnecting missing file, see Reconnect missing files in catalog.

    • Click Continue to proceed with backing up files. Elements Organizer automatically performs a recover procedure.


    If you choose to continue with the backup despite disconnected items, restoring this backup set yields a catalog with the items disconnected.

  4. In Step 1 of the Backup wizard, select one of the following options, and click Next:

    Full Backup

    Creates a copy of the entire catalog and all the photo files, video files, audio clips, projects, and other related files. Choose this option at least the first time you back up your files.

    Incremental Backup

    Creates a copy of the catalog, all new or modified media files, projects, and other related files since the last full or incremental backup.

    Step 1 Backup
  5. In Step 2 of the Backup wizard, set the following options:

    • From the Select Destination Drive list, select the destination (hard drive or removable media) where you want to store the backup.
    • In the Options section, choose the Backup Path.  

    • If you’re making an incremental backup, previous backup file is used to determine what has changed since the last backup. Click Browse to select the previous backup file.

    backup catalog
  6. After Elements Organizer calculates the size and estimated time needed for the backup, click Save Backup.  

Restore a catalog

When you restore a catalog that has been backed up, the contents of the backup catalog are recreated on your computer. Among other uses, restoring from a catalog helps you retrieve lost files, or move files around computers.

For example, use the Backup command to copy media files to any removable drive. Then use the Restore command to place the files onto the other computer.


Restore using CD/DVD is not supported on Mac OS.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • If you backed up to removable media, such as a CD/DVD or memory card, insert it into your computer.

    • If you backed up to an external hard drive, make sure that it’s connected to your computer.

  2. Select File > Restore Catalog.

  3. In Restore From, specify where the files to restore are located:

    • Select CD/DVD if your backup file is on a CD/DVD.

    • Select Hard Drive/Other Volume if your backup files are on your computer's hard disk or other removable media. Click Browse to locate the backup file.
    Restore backup
  4. Click Browse under Restore Files and Catalog to section and specify the location where you want to restore the catalog.

  5. (Optional) Select Restore Original Folder Structure to preserve the hierarchy of the folders and subfolders that contain your catalog, photos, video files, projects, and audio clips.

  6. Click Restore.

Restore a catalog from one computer to another

You can restore catalog from one computer to another. Do the following:

  1. Create a backup on the first computer.

  2. Store the backup on a removable drive.

  3. Connect the removable drive to the other computer.

  4. Restore the backup file.