.LRCAT File Extension

Adobe Lightroom Classic Catalog

Developer Adobe Systems
3.9  |  15 Votes

What is an LRCAT file?

An LRCAT file is a catalog file created by Adobe Lightroom Classic, the desktop-only version of Adobe Lightroom. It contains information used to load and organize the photos you've imported into Lightroom Classic. An LRCAT file does not contain the photos themselves; instead, it stores references to where those photos are located on your computer.

More Information

Screenshot of a .lrcat file in Adobe Lightroom Classic
LRCAT file open in Adobe Lightroom Classic

LRCAT files are typically stored in the ~/​Users/​YourUserName/​Pictures/​Lightroom directory and named Lightroom Catalog.lrcat. Each LRCAT file is stored with one or more .LRDATA files, which contain previews of the images your LRCAT file references.

In addition to storing the locations at which your photos reside, LRCAT files contain information about the edits you've applied to those photos. This allows Lightroom to load the edited versions of your photos, while also retaining the original files on your computer.

How do I import an LRCAT file into the new version of Adobe Lightroom?

In the new version of Lightroom, LRCAT files have been replaced by .MCAT files. You can migrate an LRCAT file and the photos it references into the new version of Lightroom using the program's File → Migrate From → Lightroom Classic Catalog feature.

NOTE: Lightroom Classic was formerly known as Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop Lightroom.

How to open an LRCAT file

You can open an LRCAT file in Adobe Lightroom Classic (Mac, Windows). To do so, select File → Open Catalog from the program's menu bar. Then, navigate to and open your LRCAT file.

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Programs that open LRCAT files


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