In Adobe Lightroom 3, how can I reset the library? That is, I want to remove all photos from the library.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You can simply create a new catalog to start fresh with an "empty" one. A catalog is really just a folder on disk with a bunch of metadata files. You could delete that folder and create a new one. I would recommend just creating a new catalog, though, just in case you want to load up your old one again and not lose the modifications and photo metadata stored in it. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Mar 15, 2012 at 2:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there a way to delete a catalog? \$\endgroup\$
    – Wavy Crab
    Mar 15, 2012 at 3:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ As jrista said, just delete the folder on your computer. There is no command inside Lightroom to delete a catalog as far as I know. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Mar 15, 2012 at 6:13

1 Answer 1


The catalog is an *.lrcat file. If you delete it will be gone. The next time you start Lightroom tell you it cannot find the catalog and will create a new one.

There is also usually a folder called Backups next to it which contains backups of your catalog. You will also find a folder called *.previews.lrdata which is a cache which you can delete anytime, even if you do not delete the catalog. That contains previews which are created as needed.


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