How to store Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Catalogs on a network drive

I’ve always wanted to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to store the central library database on a network drive and be able to access it from different computers. This has not been possible because Lightroom is not a multiuser enabled software, and if you try to use a network drive you get the following error message “Lightroom cannot use the Database location you have chosen because it is located on a network volume.”

One solution to this problem is to use the good old MS-DOS subst command to map the network share. This should be done from at command prompt (cmd.exe)

subst X: \\server\sharename
  • X – the new drive letter
  • server – the servername
  • sharename – sharename that you would like to make available to Lightroom Catalogs

Another method is to subst an already exising network drive

subst X: P:

Where P: is your network drive and X: is the new substituded drive letter.

There are however some things that have to be considered before using this solution

  • Performance will be degraded because Lightroom does generate a lot of traffic while you edit and work on images
  • Only one computer/user can access the catalogs since they are stored as flat-file databases (not a multiuser solution)