As Lightroom has continued to mature, it’s now possible to have very large catalogs without sacrificing stability. As you add more images, though, the file size of the catalog grows exponentially since Lightroom stores not only the edits made to each image but the history and metadata, as well. I’ve talked to some photographers that are using catalogs that are more than 4 GB big.
As your catalog starts to run in to the multiple-GB zone, you should make sure that its size is not causing it to be passed over by your backup solution. I use Backblaze, and one of the options it uses to help streamline the backup process is to ignore very large files. At some point, the default setting might cause Backblaze to start ignoring your Lightroom catalog.
To check this setting, open your Backblaze settings and navigate to the Exclusions tab. At the bottom is an option that specifies the maximum size of files that will be backed up. The default is 4000 MB, which is 4 GB. For some of my photographer friends, this default setting meant that their livelihood might have been at risk.
To change the limit, simply select a larger value from the drop down, which steps up to 9GB, 25GB, and the ultimate, “No Limit”. Remember, though, that this is a global setting, so if you have large video files or other data that was previously excluded by the size limit, it will also now get picked up by Backblaze which might slow down your backup. If so, you can always add the file type to the exclusion list to prevent them from being backed up.
Bonus Tip – Verify Your Backup
If you want to verify that your catalog is being backed up, you can log in to the Backblaze website and look at your files. Navigate to View / Restore Files and then find your Lightroom catalog file. Check the size and modified attributes to make sure that your backup is current.
You can also select the file and download a copy of it as a zip file to test it out and make sure that the Backblaze copy isn’t corrupt in the event of a data disaster.
I use Backblaze to keep my computer and attached storage automatically backed up. It’s nonintrusive, fast, secure, and starting at only $5/month, it’s a no-brainer. Rest easy knowing that your files are backed up by signing up for BlackBlaze today.