Backup Your Rendered Images When Exporting From Lightroom 2 To The Web

Update: A newer version of this plugin is now available. 
Please visit the
Export Backup plugin page to download the latest version, and find the latest documentation for the plugin.


Today I’m publicly releasing my first Lightroom 2 plugin.  Its a simple export post-process action that addresses an oversight in the Lightroom 2 export functionality – that there is no way to backup the images rendered while exporting from Lightroom to a web site.  These images are generated, uploaded then discarded without giving the user any option to intervene and keep these images.

While it is possible to use the “Files on Disk” export service to achieve a similar result, I found this to be a cumbersome workflow. A second export is required to make up for the missing functionality, and this approach is error prone because you may not remember to reapply all of the same settings.  Not to mention the time it takes to run the export and wait for it to re-render the files.

There are many reasons you might want to retain these files. 

For these and other reasons I decided to write a plugin to fill this gap.


  1. Download the plugin: Latest version of Export Backup zip
  2. Copy the file where you want the plugin to permanently reside, then unzip the file.  This should create a sub-directory called export-backup.lrplugin.
  3. Open Lightroom 2, then select the FilePlugin Manager menu option.
  4. Press the Add button, select the export-backup.lrplugin directory created in step 2, then press OK.
  5. The plugin is now installed and enabled.  Press Done..


Next time you export files you will notice an Export Backup entry in the Export dialog’s Post-Process Actions list. 


To use this feature:

  1. Select the Export Backup entry, then press the Insert button.  Note: The Insert button will remain inactive if you select the wrong Export Backup entry.  This will add an Export Backup section near the end of the Export dialog.
  2. Either manually enter or choose the directory where the rendered files should be copied.
  3. Select either Overwrite or Ignore option, depending upon how you want to proceed if the same files already exist in the destination directory.
  4. Continue with your file export as usual.

When you export your files to Flickr, Gallery 2 or whatever photo hosting service you use, you will now also have a local copy of the rendered output for your own records. 

I hope you find this plugin useful and feel free to share your experiences or suggestions in the comments section below.

Posted on February 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm by Matt · Permalink
In: Howto, Project, Software · Tagged with: , , , , , ,