Using Adobe Lightroom Catalog with OneDrive

When using Adobe Lightroom Classic with OneDrive there’s a few useful ways to make sure it doesn’t spend any extra time syncing data that isn’t needed. For example, generated or smart previews.

To do this, we can leverage the Exclude specific kinds of files from being uploaded feature of OneDrive to add filename patterns that we don’t want to upload. The feature is designed for corporate environments (group policy) but it can also be used in a personal setup.

This works well as most of Lightroom’s files (at least v11) uses “lr”-specific endings which helps it not conflict with other common files you might be syncing.

Files that aren’t allowed to sync will appear with the grey icon in the Status column. More performance and resources can be given to Lightroom if there’s less to sync.

My list of file patterns to exclude from the OneDrive sync

I’d suggest adding the following filename patterns:

  • *.lrprev (generated preview files)
  • *.lrcat.lock (used to lock the catalogue from other Lightroom instances)
  • previews.db-journal (database of the generated previews)
  • root-pixels.db (grid-view previews)
  • helper.db (Folder panel search cache)
  • *.lrcat-wal (SQLite write-ahead log file created while using Lightroom)
  • *.lrcat-shm (SQLite shared memory temporary file created while using Lightroom)
  • helper.db-wal
  • helper.db-shm

These files used by Lightroom are either transient, temporary, or can be easily regenerated from the original files. This saves space and unnecessary syncing.

Excluding the file patterns without Group Policy

You can choose to add the entries direct to the registry instead of going through Group Policy.

You can manually add numbered entries (REG_SZ) to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\OneDrive\EnableODIgnoreListFromGPO. You may need to create this key if it doesn’t already exist.

I’ve attached a premade registry file with the entries in the image above, however if you already have exclusions set you’ll want to merge the entries.

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