Where are my Lightroom Files Located?

While we cannot hold on to time, photography helps us to capture those moments we would want to last forever. With so many software attempting to enhance the images, most photographers prefer Lightroom given the flexibility in storage it offers as well as the convenience in photo organization. It does not actually store your photos within its software neither in a Cloud drive supported by the software.

Instead, it allows you to be the master of your decisions; you choose where you want to store your photos. The only challenge is getting them to your preferred location from the catalog, presets and backups.

Where is the catalog on Windows?

You can find the Lightroom catalog in windows by clicking on the Lightroom button at the screen’s top left corner. You may also right-click the title bar if you have not set your program to full-screen mode, then choose the Show Catalog Location. Windows Explorer will then open having selected the current catalog .Ircat file for you.

Where is the catalog on Mac?


If you are using a Mac, you can go to the Control icon and click on the title bar. Alternatively, you can go to the catalog settings on the Mac from the general tab and click the Show button which will take you to the folder containing your Lightroom catalog.

What about your presets?

If you are looking for your lightroom presets, choose edit, then preferences on your Mac then select the Presets tab. To go to the presets folder, click on the Show Lightroom Presets Folder button.

The folder has subfolders that contain presets of everything from Develop Presets to Watermarks and Colour profiles, all of which are in separate subfolders.

You may also right-click a preset and select Show in Explorer, or if using Mac, choose Show in Finder, which displays the preset on the disk. Such a step is useful if you have created your original preset and want to share it with other photographers since all you do is give them the .lrtemplate file for the specific preset.

Where are the photos?

Since Lightroom does not store your images but instead references them to where they are, your photos will be where you chose when you imported them into Lightroom. Therefore, whichever action you choose determines the location of your images.


For instance, if you select Add, the photos do not change their location. Instead, they go to the folder in which they are currently located. On the other hand, when you select Copy or Move, they will land on the folder you have chosen. If you want to view the image stored on your disk, you can right-click the image or select photo on the menu bar and Show in Finder on Mac, or Show in Explorer on Windows.

What about your backups?

When you choose to back up your catalog, the actual catalog will be backed up but the previews and your photos will not. However, by default, the backup of the catalogs will be stored in a Backups folder, in the same location as your Lightroom Catalog.