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Photo workflow Tip: Lightroom default setting XMP – Saving files: Many photographers, including us at Mountain Moments, use Lightroom.

An important basic setting, perhaps the most important setting in Lightroom is only used by a few photographers. For years this is no problem, but then when suddenly the software refuses the service, a PC change is pending, something at the hardware is defective, an operating system makes problems or whatever.

At the latest then you will find out that the following basic setting in Lightroom can ensure the survival of your photos: Swap XMP files and save them externally.

If you have not yet dealt with how all your image edits are saved, the name XMP file probably doesn’t mean anything to you.

XMP files store all your changes to an image in a small external file that only needs a few kilobytes of disk space. Sure, Lightroom itself does that in the catalogue, but the data is only readable for Lightroom and only in your catalogue as a whole.

An XMP file, on the other hand, is saved as a separate file for each image and is therefore easier to retrieve and use. XMP files can also be read and used by many other programs.

In this article you will learn what an XMP file is and why it makes sense for you as a photographer.

Update #4: XMP files in Lightroom Classsic CC and Lightroom CC – info near the end of the text.

Instructions Lightroom Basic Setting: How to Save XMP Files

Why the XMP files are not automatically saved by Lightroom is a mystery to us and can only be explained by the increased usability of the relatively slow program, and of course the fact that Adobe wants to retain its users. Which is ok for Adobe, but we need do adjust this four our convenience.

The most important Lightroom setting: Learn how to save XMP files in Lightroom – Edit – Catalog Settings – Auto write changes into XMP – OK

Storing the XMP files externally is very easy, and only needs to be done once per installation of Lightroom and takes less than 10 seconds:

  • In the menu bar, go to “Edit” and click on “Catalog settings”.
  • Select the third tab “Metadata” in the appearing control panel.
  • Point: Select “Save changes automatically in XMP”.
  • Click on “OK

Eh Voila, it’s done. All your image data and settings for images in the Lightroom catalog are now also stored externally in your respective image folder as XMP files. Probably the most important Lightroom default setting to save XMP files, you have successfully mastered.

This won’t bring you any advantages yet, but the next software or hardware change and a computer problem will come as sure as the Amen in the Church. When the time comes, you’ll be eternally grateful and won’t have to spend days importing non-functioning Lightroom catalogues.

Double mated also holds better here and expands your safe and meaningful workflow. Your Mountain Moments Team wishes you happy photography.

Would you like to learn more about basic knowledge and best practices of simple image processing? Take a look at our current outdoor photography workshops, and learn with fun and in nature.

UPDATE #3: Save XMP File in Lightroom Classic CC

As almost already integrated in the product name, the current Lightroom Classic CC also offers the option of storing XMP files and thus the edits of a raw file externally.

Where you can find the setting: Also in Lightroom Classic CC you will find the magic tick under “Edit – Catalog Settings – Metadata”.

UPDATE #4: XMP File in Lightroom CC

As of November 2018, we are not aware of any possibility to externally manage XMP files in Lightroom CC. If you know a solution to backup XMP files externally, please share your knowledge with us and all other photographers dealing with this problem. Thank you.

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