I usually shoot in RAW and have a pretty decent photo collection. Given the size of RAW files, I'd like to archive only rendered JPGs for parts of my Lightroom catalog.

Is there any way to do this, besides manually e.g. exporting a folder, deleting RAW files, importing back JPGs (which would loose flags, ratings etc.)?


You can convert images to DNG in Lightroom using Library > Convert Photo to DNG. It has the option to use lossy compression and delete RAW files after conversion. Much quicker than exporting as JPG and importing. (Apparently Lightroom is also faster in working with images in the DNG format). It produces DNGs of about 8-12 MB (from my camera's 25-30MB original raw files)

  • Thanks for that! The size of the lossy compressed files for my test folder was around 10% of the original ones. And that one can do this conversion within Lightroom, including deletion of the original RAW file is just amazing. Didn't know that! – StephenKing Jun 15 '15 at 21:28

Your question is not very clear and I am not a English native speaker

If you want to delete your raws ( for me a very bad idea but It is your choice .. ), you can use , in the libray module ,the filter bar ( shorcut $ ) then choose file type , be aware that if you like in my example put Sunday on the left you will see only the files of the this particular day ( and be sure to have also in the catalog menu all photos selected )). With this method you can delete only the raws .... enter image description here

You can also copy export every jpg/raw to a new location , in export module choose original and LIghtroom will export an original version of your file enter image description here

the third solution is to select all the files you want to backup and export them as a catalog . You will have in the exported catalog the files + the metadata in .lrcat file ...

The fourth is to force lightroom to write .xmp with your files and copy the files and the xmp

  • Thanks for your response. I know, how to export. I want to replace the raws with jpegs. I know many people argue that space is cheap and if I ever want to edit these files.. But there are definitely some gigs of image that are not so important that I need full possibilities of raw editing. – StephenKing Jun 2 '15 at 21:23

But when you export your raw into jpgs , in the export option be sure to enable add to this catalog , so after the export you've got both the raws and jpgs ( with same metada of course : stars , color label ; keyword ... ) and then delete the raws ...

By the way , the behavior of Lightroom is different according to this setting in Preference Panel !!! :

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the suggestion. The option Treat JPEG files next to RAW files as separate photos is only for import, so I'm not sure, what this helps. – StephenKing Jun 4 '15 at 12:07
  • I tried to follow the instructions. Selected Add to This Catalog in Export options, synchronized the folder (which made Lightroom mark the images CR2+JPEG), before I finally removed the CR2 files. However, when I synchronize then again, it suggests to remove the photo (meaning the CR2) and import a photo (the JPG). After this step, the metadata is gone). Could you please be a bit more elaborate. Seems that I miss a step or setting. – StephenKing Jun 4 '15 at 12:09

Instead of deleting the raw and keeping the jpeg why not convert to DNG with lossy compression. Here is an example of dng, dng lossy and 100% jpeg. First screen snap is the 3 images in LR the 2nd is of file sizes. You will note that the lossy dng is the smallest. You can get the jpeg smaller by reducing the % but you lose quality. When doing the convert to dng you have the option of deleting the original raw. This is the format that adobe uses in it's smart previews and mobile apps http://www.evernote.com/l/AII1KVDz3BxJHKrssKXnx_ARCvyo1TENdyo/ http://www.evernote.com/l/AIJtUcAHSqNEMrctoADh05NpJQoobXGBVAs/

  • Thanks for your answer, it would have been better to edit ArjanP's post with your image. Thanks for that. – StephenKing Jun 15 '15 at 21:25

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