3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2016 7:47 PM by MissM2

    Moving photos off HD to external hard drive

    MissM2 Level 1

      Hello--from other threads I understand that it's best to move photos OFF your HD to an external drive from inside Lightroom (and some say avoid this at all costs.) I [also want to] free up my HD and want to move all of my images. I created a photo folder in my external drive (a Drobo) and in Lightroom attempted to move my photos folder (which is a subfolder of my User folder) to the Drobo folder--but it said that I couldn't do that because "The folder named “Pictures” contains your Lightroom catalog and cannot be moved while Lightroom is running." I would really rather not move the images in Finder--since I can't move the parent folder (which is the system Pictures folder), and I'd end up needing to reconnect every subfolder (or worse). I attempted to 'import to' the Drobo in LR but there was a huge discrepancy in the number of recognized images (I have no idea why) -- ~9k on my HD compared to about 100 recognized attempting that method. (For the record, I'm not sure when 'import to' is best used--I was just trying to see if that might allow me to accomplish my goal of moving the images within LR.)


      SO::: I don't see the LR cats in my Photography folder within LR--and I'm not sure what would happen if I just moved the catalogs I found via Finder to the Drobo in order to get back to square one: moving the images from inside LR to the Drobo. (There were several catalogs in different places...I intend to clean this up when it's all on the same drive<---for the savvy people with one catalog!)


      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Moving photos off HD to external hard drive
          Theresa J Adobe Community Professional

          You need to move the images, not necessarily the catalog(s). It's pretty easy to do if all of your images are in a root folder other than the Pictures folder, or even if they are in a folder inside of the Pictures folder. It sounds like they aren't, so you need to copy all the folders of images to the drobo, one folder at a time. After everything is copied to the drobo, rename the original folders using the finder. Simply adding 'x' to the end of the folder names will work. Do all of this with Lightroom closed.


          After all the folders are copied, and renamed in the pictures folder, open Lightroom. You will see question marks on all of the folders in the Library panel because you renamed them. Now you can re sync the catalog to the new folder location on the drobo. Click on the folder question mark, and then navigate to the new folder location. After you have done this will all of the folders, you can delete them from your Pictures folder.


          I wrote a short blog about this with screen grabs here. Can I move my Lightroom photos to a new hard drive. | Orchard View Color

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Moving photos off HD to external hard drive
            dj_paige Level 10

            You can move the photos to an external HD by the following procedure:


            1. Use your operating system, COPY (not move) the entire hierarchy, of photos to the external drive, leaving the folder hierarchy unchanged.
            2. In Lightroom, reconnect via right-clicking on the top level folder and selecting Update Folder Location and pointing to the new location
            3. When you are 100% sure everything is working properly, delete the photos from the internal HD


            More details and pictures are shown in "Part 2 — Updating Folder Location" of this document: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Moving photos off HD to external hard drive
              MissM2 Level 1

              Thank you very much Theresa J and dj_paige!! So far so good--I moved the images to the Drobo, but want to move the HD images to another external drive--just for peace of mind--before I delete them from my HD. Thank you both for including external links with add'l information!