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Old 11-17-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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Where is the Calibre library file and what is it called?

Sorry for the newbie question, but I'd like to copy my Calibre library to an external hard drive but I don't know where the file/folder is or what it's called. When I look at the file directory on my computer, I see a Calibre2 folder among the programs but I don't see anything in the folder that indicates it's the library.

I'm probably looking in the wrong place, so could someone please tell me where the Calibre library file is located and what it's called? From what I've read on the Forum, I assume to properly copy the library to an external drive I would also need to copy the data file?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by magmanpi View Post
Sorry for the newbie question, but I'd like to copy my Calibre library to an external hard drive but I don't know where the file/folder is or what it's called. When I look at the file directory on my computer, I see a Calibre2 folder among the programs but I don't see anything in the folder that indicates it's the library.

I'm probably looking in the wrong place, so could someone please tell me where the Calibre library file is located and what it's called? From what I've read on the Forum, I assume to properly copy the library to an external drive I would also need to copy the data file?

Thanks in advance for any help.
Look at the 'title bar' on the calibre window. the name of your (current) Library (and folder name) is between the (2) ||

another way
in the OS:
search for 'metadata.db'
the containing folder is what you copy (include EVERYTHING)
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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Select any book, the details panel includes "Path". Mouse over the "click to open" and the path will popup. This will be to the ebook, but the entire library is along the same path.

I'm not sure I use the default location, but my library under Windows is at

C:\Users\Alan\Calibre Library

As theducks said, you need to copy the entire folder. It includes the metadata.db file and lots of folders for individual ebooks.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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Make sure that Calibre isn't running before you copy the folder.
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:13 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help and information, everyone.

Before I try to copy just the Calibre library to an external hard drive, though, it got me wondering if it was possible to copy the actual Calibre program, as well as the library, to an external drive and thus make everything portable?

My ultimate goal is to get Calibre off my laptop and onto my desk PC.

Again, thanks in advance for helping.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by magmanpi View Post
Thanks for the help and information, everyone.

Before I try to copy just the Calibre library to an external hard drive, though, it got me wondering if it was possible to copy the actual Calibre program, as well as the library, to an external drive and thus make everything portable?

My ultimate goal is to get Calibre off my laptop and onto my desk PC.

Again, thanks in advance for helping.
Install Calibre Portable (IIRC Windows only) onto the Drive, then put the Contents of the Library folder into the DEFAULT folder the install created.
If you have made many tweaks or customizations, copy the contents of the configuration folder , to the Portable (otherwise, just do them over )

If you have installed Plugins, you will need to use 'Portable' to install them again.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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Moving my Calibre library to another computer was stalled over the Thanksgiving holiday, but I'm now ready to give it a shot. Thanks very much for all the help so far.

Here's where I stand. I've copied the entire Calibre library folder from my laptop to an external hard drive. I assume my next step is to install a new copy of Calibre on the desktop computer on which I want to use the copied library. My question: Since the new installation of Calibre will create it's own library folder, how do I get Calibre to find the old library folder on the external hard drive?

Thanks again for the help.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magmanpi View Post
Here's where I stand. I've copied the entire Calibre library folder from my laptop to an external hard drive. I assume my next step is to install a new copy of Calibre on the desktop computer on which I want to use the copied library. My question: Since the new installation of Calibre will create it's own library folder, how do I get Calibre to find the old library folder on the external hard drive
A new Calibre installation will ask you the first time it is run where the library should be. If you point it at the just copied library folder it will pick it up.

Alternatively you can use the Calibre function to switch libraries to pick it up at a later date.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magmanpi View Post
Moving my Calibre library to another computer was stalled over the Thanksgiving holiday, but I'm now ready to give it a shot. Thanks very much for all the help so far.

Here's where I stand. I've copied the entire Calibre library folder from my laptop to an external hard drive. I assume my next step is to install a new copy of Calibre on the desktop computer on which I want to use the copied library. My question: Since the new installation of Calibre will create it's own library folder, how do I get Calibre to find the old library folder on the external hard drive?

Thanks again for the help.
If you copy BOTH the Library AND the configuration folders (and you put the Library in the same folder path. The installation will find it.

If not, once Calibre is running: Create/Switch: Use Existing: <point the file manager to it >
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for the quick replies.

Is it possible to keep the Calibre library on the external hard drive so that I could move it between the two computers, or will the new Calibre installation take the library folder that's on the external drive and move it into the library folder it just created?
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:50 PM   #11
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Thanks for the quick replies.

Is it possible to keep the Calibre library on the external hard drive so that I could move it between the two computers, or will the new Calibre installation take the library folder that's on the external drive and move it into the library folder it just created?
Yes, My portable USB (HD) drive is named Librarian

Consider using the Calibre Portable install. Do note that this is for Windows; (you can use the external drive either way) (both the program and Library exist together)

Whatever you do: don't bounce the Library between different kinds of OS. That is asking for filename problems.

And No, you just USE a Library, on any drive.

Last edited by theducks; 11-24-2012 at 07:52 PM. Reason: edit:
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:58 PM   #12
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Last questions of the night:

If I can use the external hard drive to move the Calibre library between my two computers, I'd like to delete the original library folder on the laptop installation to free up the space its taking on the C drive. Will it mess anything up if I delete it and just use the library on the external drive?

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:39 PM   #13
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Last questions of the night:

If I can use the external hard drive to move the Calibre library between my two computers, I'd like to delete the original library folder on the laptop installation to free up the space its taking on the C drive. Will it mess anything up if I delete it and just use the library on the external drive?

Thanks!
Just MOVE the Library to the Ext-HD, then use calibres: create/switch to set the new location all version (but Calibre-Portable) will open on the Last Used Library
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:13 PM   #14
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Thanks, theducks, for all your answers and all your patience.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:31 AM   #15
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Thanks to everyone's great advice, my Calibre library is now on my external hard drive and operating perfectly.

Now that I've come this far, I was wondering how Dropbox fits into the equation? I'd certainly like to back up my library, and Dropbox seems like an easy solution. If I understand correctly, I would put a copy of my library in Dropbox and then whatever books I added to my Calibre library on the external hard drive would automatically update in Dropbox?

Again, thanks to all for helping.
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