Backing-up a Catalog

This section provides information about backing-up a Catalog. It also describes how to restore a Catalog, should anything go wrong, and how to verify a Catalog to keep it in good shape.

Backing up a Catalog

Backup Catalogs do NOT contain any original images (i.e. RAW, TIFF or JPEG files etc), whether referenced or managed (i.e., stored physically inside the Catalog). Note, however, database and adjustment settings are included that may have been built-up up over years, therefore, Catalogs should be backed-up regularly. Capture One has its own system that allows a backup to be stored on your local computer, or, where possible, backup to an external disk. This backup location can be the same disk as the source of the original images. How often you backup will depend on your volume of work. For example, once a week may be sufficient if you use Capture One regularly, however, if you use it only periodically then select Always. Backing up a particular Catalog on a regular basis will result in more (dated) copies to attempt to restore it from.

  1. Go to the main menu, Capture One [version]/Edit (macOS/Windows) > Preferences… The Preferences dialog window opens. 
  2. Select the General tab and go to the Catalog Backup panel.
  3. From the Remind on close fly out menu, select the frequency for backing-up based on the volume of work.
  4. From Location, a path is shown to the current backup location. Click on the arrow icon to verify the setting. For a Mac, the default location is Macintosh HD > Users > [Username] > Library > Application Support > Capture One > Backups.
  5. To back up to an external disk (recommended), attach an external disk and click on the action button (… icon) adjacent to the Location field. A new Finder/Explorer (macOS/Windows) dialog window opens.
  6. Navigate to the external disk and either create a new folder and give it a logical name (e.g, Catalog Backups), or navigate to one created earlier and select Open. Thereafter, Catalogs will be backed-up to the same location. Note the external disk should be backed-up independently, as per your chosen backup regime.
  7. Verify the destination location, as per step 4.
  8. To initiate a backup at any time, from main menu, select File > Backup Catalog… otherwise when closing a Catalog, a Catalog Backup dialog window opens reminding you to back it up. You can leave the backup to the location already defined, or temporarily override the location from the dialog window (e.g., use this option when backing up to frequently changed external drives).
  9. Additional options to Test Integrity and Optimize Catalog should be left enabled, unless you require a quick and temporary backup.
  10. Select Backup. The Catalog will be backed-up and placed inside a timed and dated sub-folder. This folder is itself located within a folder with the same name as the Catalog, which is saved within the previously nominated folder (i.e., verified at step 4 or overridden at step 5). A second dialog opens to confirm successful backup with a path to confirm the location.
  11. Select OK to close the Catalog.
  12. Capture One remains open, and the Recents dialog opens so that you can continue to work with either new or existing documents.

Restoring a Catalog from a backup

If you experience corruption of a Catalog, you can attempt to restore it from the corrupted Catalog itself, or from a backup copy if you have one. Regardless of which route is adopted, when attempting to open a damaged Catalog, a dialog window opens prompting you to either Restore from backup or Verify and Repair… In many cases the Verify and Repair option will be successful. If not, you will have to replace the original Catalog and restore it from a backup. If you have backed up that particular Catalog on a regular basis (see above for more details), there will be several dated copies to attempt to restore it from.

  1. When you attempt to open a damaged Catalog, a dialog window opens prompting you to either Restore from backup, Verify and Repair… or cancel the operation.
  2. Click on Verify and Repair… If the operation is a success, the Catalog will open. Perform a backup and then continue to use as normal. If the operation fails, the dialog window will re-open.
  3. Click on Restore from backup. A Restore Catalog dialog window opens. If backups of that particular Catalog have been made, a list will be displayed by date (newest first) in the designated folder. For a Mac, the default location is Macintosh HD > Users > [Username] > Library > Application Support > Capture One > Backups. (You can verify the location of a specific folder. Select it from the list, the Ctrl/Right click and select Show in Finder/Explorer (macOS/Windows).
  4. To change to another folder (e.g., another on a external disk), click on the action button (… icon) adjacent to the file path at the top of the dialog. A new Finder/Explorer dialog window opens.
  5. Navigate to the folder and click Open. The Restore Catalog dialog is replaced with the prompt to replace and restore the existing database, or to return to the previous dialog.
  6. Select Restore. The dialog is replaced with a progress bar during which time the database is replaced from the backup.
  7. If the restoration is successful, the dialog will advise you and prompt you to select the Open Catalog button. The restored Catalog opens.
  8. If an error occurred, the dialog will prompt you to try again. Follow any suggestions made, for example alter any incorrect permissions or fix insufficient disk space, and select Try Again.
  9. If the restore option fails a second time, it may not be possible to restore from that file. The restore process cannot be reversed. Select Cancel and return to step 3, and choose the next file in the list, if there is one and repeat the steps.

If you experience corruption of a Catalog, you can attempt to restore it from the corrupted Catalog itself, or from a backup copy if you have one.

Verifying and optimizing a Catalog

When closing a Catalog, Capture One automatically tests the integrity, structure and content of the database. The process searches for any errors that might eventually corrupt the database, and attempts to fix them before that occurs. Therefore, it’s recommend that you do not disable that option. If you have, or you want peace of mind, you can check and optimize any Catalog manually, at anytime.

  1. From an open Catalog (or Session), select File > Verify Catalog or Session... A Finder/Explorer window opens.
  2. Navigate to the relevant Catalog ([name] .cocatalogdb) and click Open. If you attempt to verify the already open Catalog, a warning dialog will open prompting you to close the Catalog before verifying.
  3. A Verify Catalog dialog opens displaying a progress bar initially, then a path to the database, and a list of the checks. The verified Catalog is not automatically re-opened. Note if you’ve not upgraded the Catalog to use with the latest version of Capture One, the dialog displays a Database verification FAILED message. To continue with the verification, click on Upgrade first, then Verify. See the section on Upgrading a Catalog for more information.
  4. Select Open to launch the verified Catalog, or select Verify to repeat the process on the previously verified Catalog, or Close to dismiss the dialog (in order to continue working in the already open Catalog, or Session).