How to Recover Photos from Lightroom Backup?

Learn how to recover photos from Lightroom backup on this page. Moreover, you can also find deleted pictures on hard drives using photo recovery software and get relevant data loss prevention tips.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Where are Lightroom backups kept?

Developed by Adobe Inc., Abode Lightroom (known as Adobe Photoshop Lightroom) is image organization and manipulation software that can help you import, save, view, organize, edit, and share many digital images among Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Apple TV devices.


The Abode Lightroom Classic catalog is the location of Lightroom backups. To be more specific, it’s a database that can automatically record and update changes in your edited photos.

For Windows OS users: go to \Users\UserName\Pictures\Lightroom
For macOS users: go to /Users/UserName/Pictures/Lightroom

If you’re the first time using Abode Lightroom, you can get an empty catalog file. After that, you can choose Edit > Preferences > General to check your Default Catalog.

How to find missing photos in Lightroom?

Abode Lightroom provides two options for users to delete photos. As the picture shows, Remove from Lightroom or Delete from Disk.


»Remove from Lightroom:

»Delete from Disk:

Case A. Recover deleted files from Lightroom backup directly

As you can see, Abode Lightroom Classic enables you to create backups by day, week, or month based on your needs.

You’re supposed to back up your edited photos and anything exported from your Lightroom Classic. If not, your backups only include the original empty catalog file.

Launch your Lightroom, and Windows OS users click Edit > Catalog Settings, while macOS users can click Lightroom > Catalog Settings.  


Let’s perform how to recover photos from Lightroom backup via catalogs.

Step 1. After opening your Lightroom Classic, locate and unzip your backup file. Then click File > Open Catalog.

Step 2. Go to the path of the backed catalog files.  

Step 3. Select the backed-up Ircat and Ircat-data files. Then click the “Open” button.

Step 4. If you need, you can replace the original catalog file with the copied backed-up catalog file.  

Case B. Find deleted pictures on hard drives via photo recovery software

Most users usually don’t think twice before deletion. So there always exist many regrets after intentional deletion.

Furthermore, users generally believe they can’t be so unlucky to suffer photo loss. Not to mention taking any precautionary measures such as making backups.


So how to find deleted pictures on hard drives without backups? The answer is utilizing professional photo recovery software like MyRecover. Please avoid performing written performances on the same PC after data loss because newly added files could overwrite your deleted & lost pictures.

Supported by its pioneering technology and friendly design, let’s get an overview of the functionalities and compatibility of this software.   

Recover the deleted/lost Word documents, Excel, PPT, PDF, Photos, Videos, Audio, folders, compressed files, and 200+ types of data from HDD, USB, SD card, etc.
Retain the original format for the deleted/lost data.  
During scanning, you can search your needed photos by tying their filenames in the search bar or wait to find all the deleted and other lost files on your computers after Quick Scan and Deep Scan.
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

Download and install MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers to find deleted pictures on hard drives!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your PC, then hover the mouse over the partition that contains the image files you want to restore. Then click Scan.


Step 2. Search your desired photos or wait to see all the deleted and other missing files after performing Quick Scan and Deep Scan.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Other Missing Files folder, and choose your desired photos. Please click “Recover x files” and save these restored photos in a new location.


Related suggestions

How to recover photos from Lightroom backup? It’s relatively easy for those users who have made created backups to restore pictures from their Lightroom catalogs.

Similarly, the restoration solution is also feasible for you to recover deleted photos from computers. But for those users without backups, there’s no better way than using photo recovery software like MyRecover.

And you’re supposed to take the following data loss prevention tips into consideration.

  • Please think twice before deletion.
  • Don’t empty your temporary storage places (Recycle Bin/Trash) from time to time.
  • Cultivate a good habit of making file backups via free backup software for Windows because only regular backups can prevent data loss at the source.


  • For Microsoft Office files, activate AutoSave and AutoRecover features.
Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.