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How to Transfer Adobe Lightroom to a New Computer with Windows 10

Need to transfer Adobe Lightroom from one computer to another? This simple guide shows how to copy Adobe Lightroom to new Windows 10 laptop, automatically.

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If you are looking to transfer Adobe Lightroom to your new computer, we will show you how to do that in this guide.

This will include how to transfer your Lightroom presets, along with all of your settings, configurations, photos, files, catalogs, and catalog backups. Everything to do with Lightroom will be transferred.

There are two options to transfer Lightroom to another computer. One is doing a manual transfer and the other, a much faster and easier option, is using transfer software that will automatically transfer Lightroom to another computer.

We will cover both in this guide, although if you prefer to just skip to the easier, automatic option, you can click here for automatic transfer of Adobe Lightroom from one computer to another.

Our goal is not just to install Adobe Lightroom on another computer, but also to transfer your gorgeous photos and catalogs over so that it looks and behaves just like the old one. You don't want to lose all of your hard work and portfolio in the transfer process, so, everything associated with your current Lightroom installation will be transferred to your new computer. All of your Lightroom presets will also be transferred so that you can get straight to work on your next project.

Please note that the instructions in this guide will work for transferring both versions of Lightroom - Lightroom Classic and Lightroom the cloud-based version.

Manual transfer of Adobe Lightroom to a new computer

This is one of the more complex manual transfer guides we have written, however, if you are determined to manually transfer Lightroom to your new computer, please ensure you back up everything. You will need an external hard drive or cloud storage to help with the transfer.

  1. Install Adobe Lightroom on your new computer. For the cloud version, you will need to install Creative Cloud first and then you can log in to your Adobe account and download Adobe Lightroom.
  2. Organize your folders. Look at the folders in Lightroom on your old computer, and ensure that your photos are organized into a proper hierarchy. The easiest way to organize them is to ensure that all of your images are saved in a single location under one master directory. This will make it easier to transfer the Lightroom software, Lightroom presets, and all of your work to your new computer.
  3. Once you've organized it, use your external hard drive and copy your Lightroom photos to your new computer.
  4. You will need to find and copy Lightroom's Catalog. These files are usually buried deep inside your computer's installation files, so can be hard to find. However, if you go to your catalog settings in Adobe Lightroom you should be able to find the location of your catalog - also you can search for files ending with .lrcat. Once you've located this, copy to your external hard drive and transfer to your new computer.
  5. It's best to copy your settings, configurations, and presets so that it works the way you like it when you transfer Lightroom over. Otherwise, it can take weeks to recreate all of your configuration settings! All of these settings are stored under one folder which you will need to locate. As before, if you find the settings or preferences for Adobe Lightroom, it should show you the directory that you need.
  6. Once you have located the folder, you will need to copy it to your hard drive. When you transfer it to your new computer be sure to place it in a new catalog folder or a new Lightroom installation directory.
  7. This next part is optional: if you would like to transfer your previews and your catalog backups, you can. Locate the folders and, as before, transfer to your new computer and copy into the appropriate directories.


That's it - phew! As we said at the beginning, this is definitely one of the more complex manual transfer guides we have written. Transferring Adobe Lightroom with all of its presets, catalogs, and important files can be a disaster if it goes wrong. However, if you follow the above steps carefully, you should be fine.

Pros of this method:

  • It's free and you don't need to pay for additional software
  • If you are organized and know your folder structure, it's fairly easy to copy everything over


Cons of this method:

  • It is a long process, especially if you have a large portfolio
  • It can go wrong. If you don't copy things to the right locations you will have to manually re-link your photos and possibly repeat steps. Your new installation of Lightroom will not work the same as your old one and it won't be able to find your Lightroom presets and catalogs.
  • You have to manually copy and paste everything, 1 step at a time
  • You need an external hard drive with a decent amount of storage
  • Finding the files and directory locations requires significant technical expertise

Automatic Transfer of Adobe Lightroom to a New Computer

The easiest way to transfer Adobe Lightroom speaking to a new computer is to use a dedicated transfer tool - Zinstall WinWin. No registry edits of folder copy required.

This is a better option than the manual transfer method because it will transfer all of your Lightroom presets, settings, configurations, and files, including your photos and catalogs.

How to transfer Transfer Adobe Lightroom to a New Computer

  1. Run Zinstall WinWin on your current computer (the one you are transferring from).
    Note: You can get Zinstall WinWin here.
  2. Run Zinstall WinWin on the new computer
    1. You don’t need to do any configurations for the computers to connect – it’s automatic
    2. If the computers are already connect to same router, same Internet connection, or same wireless connection, you don’t need anything else
    3. If the computers are not connected at all, connect them with a network / Ethernet cable
  3. If you’d like to select which applications and files you want to transfer, press the Advanced menu. If you just want to transfer everything, you don’t need to go to the Advanced menu.
  4. Press “Go” on the Windows 10 computer to start the transfer

That’s it!

Zinstall will automatically transfer Adobe Lightroom to the new computer, including all of your Lightroom presets, configuration settings, files, photos, catalogs, and catalog backups. You'll have it up and running on the new computer and it will feel just like the old one. When you start a new project you'll have everything set up and ready to go. And not just Adobe Lightroom: it transfers all other applications, settings, profiles, and files you have – the entire computer.

The new computer will feel just like home.

Ready to transfer Adobe Lightroom and the rest of your stuff to your new computer?

Get Zinstall WinWin here and get your transfer done, today.

Video tutorial - how to transfer Adobe Lightroom from one computer to another