In the realm of photography, organizing your Lightroom catalogs is paramount. It not only streamlines your workflow but also ensures that you can easily access and edit your photos.

However, many new Lightroom users often fall into the trap of creating multiple catalogs, leading to confusion and inefficiency.

The Need for a Single Catalog

Having multiple catalogs can be a significant pitfall for many. It can lead to:

  • Lost photos
  • Redundant backups
  • Increased chances of data corruption

On the other hand, the benefits of using a single catalog are numerous. With just one catalog, you can:

  • Streamline your workflow
  • Easily manage and edit photos
  • Reduce the risk of data loss

Learn more about the importance of a single catalog here.

Steps to Merge Lightroom Catalogs

Source: Anthony Morganti
  • Open Master Catalog
    • Begin by starting with the primary catalog. This will be your main catalog where all other catalogs will be merged.
  • Import From Another Catalog
    • This step involves accessing the import feature. This allows you to bring in photos and data from another catalog.
  • Navigate to the Catalog You Want to Merge
  • Click on .lrcat File
    • Ensure you’re selecting the right file type. The .lrcat file is the Lightroom catalog file.
  • Choose Import Catalog Selections
    • This is where you get to understand the import options. You can decide what data and photos you want to bring into the master catalog.
  • Delete Old Catalog
    • After merging, it’s essential to manage and possibly delete old and redundant catalogs. This ensures you don’t have unnecessary data taking up space.
  • Optional Cleanup
    • Post-merging, you might need to spend some time organizing and managing imported photos. This step ensures that your master catalog is neat and tidy.


How do I consolidate folders in Lightroom Classic? 

Consolidating folders in Lightroom Classic involves merging multiple folders into one for easier management.

How do I merge two collections in Lightroom? 

Merging two collections requires you to select both collections and then use the “Merge” option.

How do you merge two folder structures? 

This involves selecting both folder structures and using the “Merge” or “Consolidate” option.

How to move photos from one folder to another in Lightroom? 

Simply select the photos you want to move, right-click, choose the “Move” option, and then select the destination folder.


In conclusion, merging folders in Lightroom is more than just a simple process; it’s about ensuring a streamlined workflow and efficient photo management.

By understanding the Lightroom Catalog, renaming when necessary, and regularly backing up, you set yourself up for success.

Always remember, that efficient catalog management is the key to a smoother Lightroom experience.

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