10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 6, 2015 2:09 AM by Just Shoot Me

    USB external drive


      I plug a USB external drive into my system and it doesn't show up in the folder section in the library module.  Do I need to do something to make it accessible?

        • 1. Re: USB external drive
          Bob Somrak Level 6

          You need to import at least ONE photo from it into Lightroom.

          • 2. Re: USB external drive
            Keith_Reeder Level 4

            Maybe I'm misunderstanding something here Bob - but how does the OP import from a folder that Lr can't see?

            • 3. Re: USB external drive
              whsprague Adobe Community Professional

              It should see it when you press the Import button in the Library module.

              • 4. Re: USB external drive
                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                The external hard drive can be chosen as a destination drive. Perform the import. Then the drive will show up in the library module.

                • 5. Re: USB external drive
                  whorridge Level 1

                  The system (Mac) sees the external drive and if I use my other catalog it updates fine.  If I eject it from the original catalog, it shows missing files and when I plug it back in it automatically updates that the files are no longer missing.  I tried exporting a file using the new catalog and that was successful.  But I still can't see the drive to import from.


                  I just did a test import to a folder on the external from my main drive which was successful.  I now see the drive in the library module but only the folder that I added with the import.  I can't see any other folders on that drive. So basically I still can't import from that drive.

                  • 6. Re: USB external drive
                    whorridge Level 1

                    So after importing to this drive from my main hard drive I now can see this external HD on the import screen.  Is this a known bug in LR5?  Shouldn't this drive be accessible to do imports from or allow for moving files to it to off load the main HD as soon as it is attached to the system?

                    • 7. Re: USB external drive
                      JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      If you have other images on that external hard drive that you want to import you can click on "Select a Source" at the top of the left-hand panel of the import module. Then choose "Other Source". You will then be presented with a dialog that will allow you to choose your external hard drive and a folder that you want to import from.


                      As far as moving images to that drive is concerned, if the drive is visible in your folder tree you can just drag/drop folders onto the drive to move them if you want to do it from within Lightroom. If you want to move them with your operating system you can do that. Then use these instructions to find the folder that you moved:

                      Lightroom thinks my photos are missing - how do I fix it? | The Lightroom Queen

                      • 8. Re: USB external drive
                        Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                        The Library module of Lightroom is not a File Manager/Browser. No folders will show up in the LR Library module unless you have imported files from that folder. No other folder on that drive will be displayed. I use me E drive for my images. I have a total of 45 folders on my E drive. 10 of those folders have images in them and are imported into Lightroom. In the LR Library module only those 10 folders show under the E drive. All others aren't seen because LR is not a File Browser/Manager.


                        Only in the Import dialog window of LR will all those E drive folders show up. But in the Library module only folder I have imported images from show up.


                        LR Library folders..PNG

                        Library module.


                        LR Import dialog drives.PNG

                        Import dialog window.

                        • 9. Re: USB external drive
                          whorridge Level 1



                          I understand that LR is not a file manager but it does have the ability to move files and folders around that have been added by import.  I would have expected that I at least be able to see the root folder of a newly installed drive.  This would allow LR to move folders from the current drives that have imported photos to the new drive.  The next request from me would be that I could create a folder on the new drive and move the photos there.


                          Now I have to import a single file to the new drive before it is recognized.  After that I can move folders to it.


                          Thanks for the information.

                          • 10. Re: USB external drive
                            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                            In the Library module if you click the + sign with the little downward facing triangle to the right of where it says "Folders" you get a popup menu. If you click the Add Folder entry you get a File Manager window where you can select any drive connected to your computer whether internal or external. Just like you opened a Win Explorer or Finder window.