This happens because you have most likely (accidentally) imported the photos using the COPY option instead of the ADD option.
The photos are already in Lightroom. Importing them again is never a good idea, and will usually cause significant disadvantages. You need to use Lightroom's search tools to find the photos in Lightroom, and then you will be able to edit them or do anything else in Lightroom with these photos.
Here is how to do the search.
- From your operating system, determine the exact file name of one of these photos
- In Lightroom, on the left, click on All Photographs (its under the word "Catalog")
- In Lightroom, turn off any filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
- In Lightroom, use the menu command View->Sort->by File Name, which puts all of your photos into alphabetical order by file name
- In Lightroom, Scroll up or down in the Grid until you find this one file by file name in alphabetical order
- In Lightroom, Right-click on the photo, select Show in Explorer and then you will know what folder Lightroom thinks the photo is in
Thanks dj_paige, this has enabled me to get them back into the catalogue although I'm bemused how the problem arose. Like you say, I might have imported using 'copy' but I don't think so, and the folder was already imported and working fine until today when all of a sudden 43 files dropped out of the library folder.
Following your steps, I found them again. At step 6 Show in File Explorer, I got a pop-up window that said 'Could not be used as the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?' This window also showed the previous location as being in the right folder name but on the D-drive (my images are all on an external F-drive). When I selected 'OK' I was then able to navigate to the F-drive, select the image and put it back into the Library.
So I have no idea why the LR library suddenly thinks that 43 out of 44 images in this one folder were on a drive (D) that I only use to back-up my F-drive. Could be a twist of Windows I suppose. Not fully discounting user error!
Many thanks for your crystal-clear advice. As a footnote, is there a way to recover all 42 remaining images in one go rather than repeating Step 6 for each one individually?
Thanks for your suggestion Chetna but dj-paige has provided the info I need.
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is there a way to recover all 42 remaining images in one go rather than repeating Step 6 for each one individually?
If they are all in the same folder in Windows, you should be able to reconnect them all at once. When you connect one, there should be an option to Find Nearby Missing Photos.
All sorted. Thanks again for your help.