• I've subscribed to Adobe CC Photography Plan, which includes Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • I have a MacBook Pro with 1TB SSD (I replaced the 256GB one), a PC with 6TB hard drive, and a 4TB WD NAS in my home.
  • And I have plenty old photos (some in raw, some in jpeg) that I want to import into my Lightroom catalog.

So here's the question, if I want to be able to edit my photos on both machines (presumably on MBP when away from home, and have them synced in some way), and have a backup of those photos on the NAS (not necessarily all my edits), what is the best way to import those photos?

I know that I can keep all photos on NAS and import into catalogs on both machines as DNG. But how to make my edits on one machine synced to the other?



1 Answer 1


You can ensure that any and all edits you make in Lightroom are synchronised across both machines by using the XMP sidecar files. To enable these, go to 'Catalog Settings' and select the 'Metadata' tab - ensure the box marked 'Automatically write changes into XMP' is checked.

Metadata tab under Catalog Settings

This would allow you to keep all your originals on your NAS while using a separate catalog for each of your computers, and would ensure any edits made on one machine were reflected on the other.

If you wanted to make edits on your MacBook Pro when away from home (and thus, presumably, your NAS), you can make local 'Smart Previews' which are stored on the MBP's internal SSD and will reflect changes you make when disconnected from your NAS but which will be synchronised the next time you are connected. To create Smart Previews, from the Library module select the image(s), folder(s), and/or collection(s) you need to access offline, and choose 'Library > Previews > Build Smart Previews' from the menu.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Nick. Does this method assume originals are ONLY stored on NAS, not on my PC? I kind of want to store originals on both PC and NAS, with NAS as a complete(fully original) backup, while doing edits on PC and occasionally on MBP. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eniaczz
    Aug 25, 2015 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eniaczz Yes, this assumes the originals are only on the NAS. If you wanted copies on separate drives you'd need to ensure they are synchronised regularly (in both directions) to ensure both copes of Lightroom see the latest version of each photo. \$\endgroup\$
    – user456
    Aug 25, 2015 at 7:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ So is there a convenient way to sync them bi-directionally? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eniaczz
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know - that's a question for another forum, I suspect. My answer is for allowing a single folder of images to be used by two separate Lightroom catalogs. \$\endgroup\$
    – user456
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Your original answer is great enough for me. @NickM \$\endgroup\$
    – Eniaczz
    Aug 25, 2015 at 15:52

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