There is no easy way to deal with the situation unless you had just imported so the prev-import was pointing to all those photos, or have a catalog backup from just prior to the import that you could restore to, or all your unwanted photos are under a particular folder or small group of folders that no other wanted photos are in so you could select each top-level folder and removed the photos from the LR catalog (but not from disk).
If you have a backup of the catalog before you imported the 27K images, and it's not too large, perhaps you can use it to compare identify the earlier images so you can mark them, select them, invert the selection, and delete the unwanted 27K.
* There may be a LR utility that finds duplicates, which could help you remove unwanted ones.
* There are Mac utilities that find duplicate files which might be helpful. There may be complications when removing files from outside LR. Perhaps other forum members can advise. TidyUp is one commercial duplicate file finder.
When importing pics from a particular folder this morning, I must have accidentally asked Lr to import my photos from my desktop, but because all subfolders are listed, it's imported 27000 or so images from all over my computer. This is an absolute disaster because it's not just taken a copy, it seems to have transferred them or sucked them into Lr.
Can anyone suggest how I can undo the import?
Unfortunately, I didn't even notice till some time later, which I expect will make it all the harder to fix.
Any help greatly appreciated.
It's a good suggestion, but the images were from a 200gb collection of files in which photos are semi-randomly distributed.
I keep everything backed up on Dropbox, but because I was slow in picking up the problem, Dropbox is now reflecting the new file structure, that is everything all in one place.
Yes, I suspect that's what I've done.
Two questions, if I may:
- how do I change the settings to avoid this happening again; and
- how can I export the photos retaining their original file names--that's perhaps my best chance at being able to recognise them.
I might sit on this for a day or two in case anyone else has any brilliant ideas.
But thank you again.
At the top of the Import panel when you start that up is the type of Import you’re doing, Copy, Copy as DNG, Move, Add. It remembers what you used last time, so if you normally do a Move then it probably did that and you’re in a bad way.
You mentioned exporting with the original filename? I guess that means you also renamed all your photos as you imported them, perhaps into date folders as well? You haven’t really said what type of import you normally do and what options you have selected when you do it. That would help people assume the wrong thing when they offer suggestions. I always do an Add import so I assumed your photos were still where they originally were and just needed removed out of LR. It sounds like things are more messed up than that.
There may be a record of the original filename, somewhere, and someone may have a plug-in to create a copy with that name. Rob Cole and John Beardsworth/Beardy are two good plug-in writers that participate here, so if they don’t respond to this thread, directly, you might send a private message to one or the other of them.
Rob’s website is: http://www.robcole.com/
John Beardsworth has plug-ins on http://www.photographers-toolbox.com/
Interestingly, I set Lr to copy images for fear of losing the ones being imported, but when it looks for photos on the hard drive, it defaults to Move, so yes, it appears I'm stuffed.
That said, in the collection, they are still named 2008 12 08 etc, so they weren't automatically renamed, which is something of a relief.
I now have to work out the most efficient way of exporting and sorting them. Each of the 27,208...
There is no need to Export them, just sort them to different folders inside of LR, and the use Explorer or Finder to move them back out of those folders to wherever you want them to be and remove the missing photos when you’re done with a particular folder.
You asked what setting to prevent it from happening, again. There is no “prevent-me-from-doing-something-irreversably-stupid” setting, but you might take the time to organize your photos differently so you’ll never try to import from your Desktop, again. Without knowing your current structure, it’s hard to offer suggestions.
I don’t have any of my LR pictures under my user library folders (not under Pictures or Documents, etc) and just have them on a completely different place and always copy to that place from my memory cards, and always do an Add import, not renaming or having more than one photoshoot on a card so I’m tempted to put them in date-folders. I name my folders with the date and photoshoot/event/subject like: 2010-07-04_NeighborhoodFireworks and have those folders under year-month folders like 2010-07_July2010 so they naturally sort by date, but I can also move them somewhere else that isn’t only under a month, and not require LR’s folder naming to keep things from have name clashes. I also always drag-and-drop to do the Add-in-place Import so I never am clicking around in a LR import folder selection box which is tedious to use.
My windows skills are better than my Lr skills, but if it's worth the investment, I'm open to the idea.
My initial thought is to sort them according to date taken and move them batch by batch back into the folders from where they came.
If anyone has any better ideas, please let me know.