Back up your Photoshop Elements Organizer catalog

You’ve put a lot of effort into organizing your photo collection in Photoshop Elements, and you want to keep everything safe by making regular backups. This step-by-step tutorial walks you through the backup process.

  1. Directory backup
  2. Reconnect missing files
  3. recovery
  4. Choose “Full Backup” or “Incremental”
  5. Backup to CD or DVD
  6. Backup to hard drive or network drive
  7. Incremental backups
  8. Writing and Success!

Directory backup

To make a backup, go to File > Backup and select the Backup Folder option.

Reconnect missing files

When you press Further Elements will prompt you to check for missing files, as disabled files are not backed up.

Click Reconnect – if there are no missing files, it will only take an extra second, and if they appear, you still have to reconnect them.


After the reconnect step, you will see a progress bar and a ‘Restore’ message. Elements automatically restores the catalog file before backing up to ensure there are no database errors.

Choose “Full Backup” or “Incremental”

You then have to choose between a full backup or an incremental backup. If you are backing up for the first time or want to start from scratch, select the “Full backup” option.

For future backups, you can save time by creating an incremental backup. However, if you ever lose or misplace your backup media, you can start a new full backup at any time.

If you are backing up to a network or removable drive, make sure it is connected and accessible before proceeding to the next step. If you are using CD or DVD media, insert a blank disc into the CD or DVD burner.

In the next step you will be asked for your destination. When you select a drive letter, Elements estimates the backup size and time required and displays it at the bottom of the backup dialog.

Backup to CD or DVD

If you select the drive letter for burning CDs or DVDs, you have no choice but to click Finish. Elements backs up, prompts for additional drives if necessary, then asks if you want to check the drive. This checks for errors and is highly recommended.

Backup to hard drive or network drive

If you selected a hard drive or a network drive, you must select a backup path.

Click Overview and navigate to the folder where you want to place the files. If necessary, you can create a new folder. Click Finished when you’re done, wait for Elements to complete the backup.

Incremental backups

If it’s an incremental backup, you’ll also need to navigate to the previous backup file (Backup.tly) so Elements can pick up where it left off. Your computer may crash after selecting the previous backup file, but you only need to give it a few minutes. Click Finished when you’re done, wait for Elements to complete the backup.

Writing and Success!

The items display a status bar while the backup is being written and then let you know that the backup was successful.

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