Installing new updates can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. Exciting because you can’t wait to try out the new features. Terrifying because it may crash your system. Here are a few simple tips to make your upgrade experience better.

Backup Your Lightroom Catalog(s)

Backing up your Lightroom catalog(s) is a safety net in case the update gets corrupt.This will save valuable time and frustration if you have to reinstall the previous version. The best way to backup your Lightroom catalog is through Lightroom’s catalog settings. This will take a little longer because it checks for problems and optimizes the catalog. By the way, if you have multiple catalogs, you might want to read: “Should I have One or Many Lightroom Catalogs?”. You will have plenty of time during the backing up of multiple catalogs.

Step1: From the Edit menu, click on Catalog Settings (Mac: Lightroom > Catalog Settings…)

Step2: Working in the General tab, click select When Lightroom next exit from the Backup catalog dropdown list.

Step 3: Exit Lightroom by clicking on File then Exit (Mac: File > Quit.) When the Backup Catalog Dialog box appears, choose a folder outside of Lightroom and also check Test integrity before backing up and Optimize catalog after backing up.

Store the Backup to a Safe Location

After you backup your catalog, COPY the new backup catalog to an external drive away from Lightroom’s folder and your operating system. In the rare event the update crashes your operating system, you will have a backup of your Lightroom Catalog(s).

Turn Off Virus Protection

Windows users, turn off any virus protection program you have. I’ve installed the new Lightroom Classic CC–a.k.a. the original Lightroom–without turning off Windows Defender but I have heard horror stories McAfee crashes the upgrade. You can’t blame the virus protection software for doing its job.

Choose Wisely–Lightroom Classic CC or Lightroom CC

Lightroom Classic CC is an upgrade to the Lightroom we all know and love. Lightroom CC is a new cloud-based version of Lightroom. Are you confused? You’re not alone. If you commit to the cloud-based Lightroom CC, then you will upload all of your images to the cloud. If you decide you don’t like this workflow, you can go back to Classic BUT you need your old Lightroom Catalog. In addition, any changes you made during your review of the cloud-based Lightroom CC will not be saved to the desktop version of Lightroom.

I chose to upgrade the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and take a wait-and-see approach on the cloud-based version. The choice is yours, but do your research and choose wisely.

Photofocus has dedicated a special section all about the two new versions of Lightroom here.