I know that I can store metadata in the file itself (or in an XMP sidecar file) by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+S. Or by choosing Metadata -> Store Metadata in File from the menu.

I wonder why I need to choose this manually. I did not find any way to set this as a default. Compared to Bridge or pretty much any other metadata-oriented tool, this seems like a disadvantage. I know that the data gets stored in the catalogue, but I'd rather have it in the files as well!

Am I overlooking something? Can I set Lightroom up in a way that does this automatically?


Lightroom can certainly do that - look at Catalog settings -> Metadata -> Editing -> Automatically write changes to XMP.

  • 1
    Just be aware that this may have a really big impact on your system when you make changes to a lot of files at once (eg. when you rename a tag). In this case, gigabytes of data may need to be rewritten. – ths Jun 4 '15 at 16:02
  • But i would have to remember to check this setting, whenever i start a new catalog? (granted that will not happen regularly) – amenthes Jun 4 '15 at 18:06
  • So even though this option says "write changes to XMP," it also means overwrite metadata changes to supported file types? – feetwet Jul 8 '17 at 19:05

You can also NOT tick the auto write changes to XMP for performance and integrity reasons BUT set up a Smart Collection of Metdata Status IsNot Up to date. Then periodically select that Smart Collection then Select All and then Cmd/Ctrl - S.

I should have mentioned that after some edits, I back up LR and images, then do a mass update of meta-data via Cmd/Ctrl - S, then do another backup of the images. The reason for this is that if you have some kind of HD failure while writing the meta-data you could lose the image that is why I back up before and after. In reality the before backup simply checks to make sure the existing backup is the same as the master.

  • that's interesting! I like that. Still keeping the other answer as "accepted", as it's more automatic and will (hopefully) suffice for my needs. But i very much appreciate this answer! – amenthes Jun 15 '15 at 19:01

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