When you reconnect this way, Lightroom no longer shows the image is in the folder you found it in. It is now shown in Lightroom in the folder that matches its location in your operating system. That is why you see the folder count decrease by one.
That did seem to work. Thank you for the help. Is there anyway to keep them in the folder where they're missing since that's where I've moved them for organizational reasons. If not I'm plenty happy just to have not lost them and will gladly re-sort them when I have time.
Yes, the way to keep them in the folder you want is to NOT MOVE THEM in the first place. Don't go into your operating system and move the photos. (I never understand why people insist on a workflow that involves moving photos around anyway, if you want a photo in folder Z, then put it in folder Z right out of the camera, and don't create a workflow that requires you to move it from somewhere else to folder Z)
I'm revisiting this finally and wonder if a better answer may exist. I didn't intentionally move the folder in the finder, as made clear by my opening of admitting I'd made a mistake, but thank you for the reprimand.
I've gone through some of the folders and found them and let them rebuild into the original date folder but after doing this a while I've decided that some of my bigger folders I created (in Lightroom) have multiple dates in them and I'd rather not have to hunt down all of those folders and re-nest them into the folder I created. So the question is- when I find the images that are missing can I somehow convince Lightroom to put them into the folder where I clicked on the missing file icon instead of just back into the date folder?
The process of making folders or photos unmissing in LR only involves telling LR where they currently are and having LR’s folder structure change to match reality.
The reconnection of missing photos does NOT involve LR moving them at the same time as reconnecting them, which I think is what you’re asking, so the answer is No.
If you want the photos back where LR originally had them you’ll have to move them, yourself.
You can have LR see the photos where they are by reimporting them but you’ll lose all your adjustments and keywords and ratings, which is probably not want you want to do.
LR contains a database of file locations when you did your original Import. If the photos are no longer where they were imported from due to some outside process, then LR will report them as missing. When you reconnect missing photos in LR you were merely updating the location of the photos stored in LR’s database. That’s all that ever happens.
Did you watch the video I included above?
My example is a trip to Lake Tahoe in August. In the Tahoe folder the file is missing. I click to locate it and find it just fine. The previously missing file is now gone completely, no pointer to found image and the file count for the folder is one less. Then if I go to the date in August the file count has gone up one and the file is there even though LR told me the file was missing from the Tahoe folder. I'm trying to preserve my edits, as you suspected, and my structure as I have many days from that trip in the one folder. So why when I find them don't they stay in the Tahoe folder and just point to wherever they really are?
thanks for your help.