From the Catalog Management window, you can create, delete, or forget catalogs, perform useful maintenance and troubleshooting tasks, and get important information about your catalogs. 

The Catalog Management window can be found by selecting Catalog > Catalog Management.


A catalog can be moved by first forgetting the catalog, then moving or copying the catalog folder using the Finder or Explorer. Use the Locate Existing Catalog once the catalog is in the new location and then Reintegrate the Forgotten catalog.


Active Catalogs:

All catalogs that Photo Mechanic Plus is managing will show up here, along with options for whether or not a catalog can be searched or modified, and the location type of the catalog (at this time, the only supported location type is ‘local’). The state of these checkboxes will be mirrored in the Active Catalogs section of the Organizer.

  • Search: When selected, results from the corresponding catalog will be included in Search, Browse, and Filter operations, and the catalog’s collections will be shown in the Collections tab.
  • Add/Modify: When using Scan to Catalog or the contextual menu on a Contact Sheet to Add or Remove items, only catalogs with this option selected will have their contents modified.


Local Catalogs:

Each local catalog will appear here along with the number of documents in the catalog. Select the name of the catalog to reveal more options and information for that catalog.

  • Location: The path to where the catalog database and supporting files are stored


  • Forget: This option is used to help move a catalog to a different location, such as another internal or external SSD.  It can also be used to hide a catalog if you have many catalogs.
  • Rename: Change the name of your catalog. This will also rename the folder that stores the catalog. When the change is made, you will see the catalog’s location update.
  • Delete: Permanently delete the catalog database and any of its proxies. This will not delete any of the documents, only the references to the documents that the database stores. This operation cannot be undone, and you will be asked to confirm your choice before the catalog is deleted.

Calculate Catalog Folder Size: See how much disk space is being used by your catalog and stored proxy preview images.
Generate preview & thumbnail proxy images: Check if you want to see previews of images in catalog contact sheets without having to generate new proxies from the original images each time. This is faster but uses more disk space.

  • Preview size: Use this to control the maximum size of proxy preview images indexed inside your catalog. If your catalog is taking up too much space, but you still want to see thumbnails, decrease the size of the preview images. 

Proxy Storage:

By default, this option will be set to “Store with catalog”, and Photo Mechanic Plus will store the proxies it creates in a folder called Proxies within the Location path of each Catalog.

Before this setting can be changed, the new location to store the proxies must be set in Catalog Preferences

Once a location is set in Catalog Preferences, return to the Catalog Management window, and click on the dropdown under Proxy Storage, and then choose your preferred option between Store with Catalog and Use External Storage.

  • Changing this setting requires moving all of the proxy files from their current location to a new one. The duration of this operation will depend on the number of proxies, how large the files are, and the speed of the drives the the source and destination directories are on. You will be prompted to confirm your choice before Photo Mechanic Plus begins the operation

Maintenance Options

The Catalog Management dialog also indicates if catalogs need maintenance. The most frequent situations where maintenance is required are when an update to Photo Mechanic Plus is released, or when a catalog has been moved.


Maintenance: This triangle pulls down database maintenance options. The options are:


Optimize SQL Query Planning: This is recommended after adding or removing a large number of documents to or from the catalog.
Reintegrate Forgotten Catalog: Use this to "unforget" a catalog.
Re-index Catalog: This is rarely needed. See this article on how to use it.
New Catalog: Create a new catalog.
Locate Existing Catalog... Point to a catalog that has moved.


Further reading on tasks that use Catalog Management: