13 Replies Latest reply on Feb 28, 2015 9:26 AM by Spodeworld

    Moving files not in the catalog

    Spodeworld

      I'd like to move my images and LR catalog to an external drive.  I have a question before I attempt it though.

       

      I have in LR a folder structure such that it looks like the following:

       

      MyPictures -> Our Stuff -> Family -> Family-originals

      MyPictures -> Our Stuff -> Friends -> Friends-originals

      MyPictures -> Our Stuff -> Travel -> Portugal -> Portugal-originals

      etc

       

      And, I have only imported the image files from "Family-originals," "Friends-originals," and "Portugal-originals" (thisis where I store the RAW files) into my LR catalog, and I store the processed images in the parent folders "Family," "Friends," and "Portugal," (which is a holdover structure from my pre-LR days).

       

      If, from within LR, I drag Our Stuff to another drive, will  all the folders and files get moved, in addition to the files in the catalog, such as the files in the parent folders Family, Friends, Travel and Portugal, which are the output of LR processing but are not in the catalog?

       

      Thanks

       

      Steve

        • 1. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
          Joshua Cohen Level 3

          When I need to move large numbers of files I do it in the operating system and then in LR I re-associate (NOT re-import) the images. This is easy when all your images are under one parent folder as yours appear to be (Our Stuff or MyPictures). It also has the advantage of moving any files in the same folders that are not in the catalog. These are the steps.

           

          1. Go to your catalog settings and choose to backup next time you quit LR and then quit LR to create a recent backup of your catalog. Also ensure you have a proper backup (or two) of the image files. Remember that the catalog does NOT contain your images and a backup of the catalog is NOT a backup of your image files.

           

          2. With LR not running copy the parent folder (Our Stuff or MyPictures in your example) to it's new location. Now you will have the files in the same folder structure (that's important) in both locations.

           

          3. Now start LR again. If the parent folder is not showing right click on any folder and choose "show parent folder". Once the parent folder is showing right click on it and choose "Update folder location" and choose the new location of the parent folder. This should re-associate that folder and the contents of all sub folders. You should see the question mark go away.

           

          4. Rename to original parent folder in the operating system. This will break any remaining links LR may be holding. If you have properly re-associated your files then no ? icons should appear on your folders.

           

          Once you are sure all your images are properly associated to the new location you can delete the original parent folder.

           

          If something does go wrong you can always return to your backup catalog.

          • 2. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
            dj_paige Level 9

            3. Now start LR again. If the parent folder is not showing right click on any folder and choose "show parent folder". Once the parent folder is showing right click on it and choose "Update folder location" and choose the new location of the parent folder. This should re-associate that folder and the contents of all sub folders. You should see the question mark go away.

            It would say "Find Missing Folder" and not "Update Folder Location", but other than that, this is indeed the way to go. As Joshua Cohen stated, there is no re-importing here, that would definitely be the wrong thing to do and would make things worse.

            • 3. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
              Joshua Cohen Level 3

              DJ,

               

              Whether the option is "Find Missing Folder" or "Update Folder Location" depends on if the originals are moved or copied. I prefer copying so the originals are temporarily serve as another backup and to ease starting over if necessary. If you copy then the original association is not broken and so "Update Folder Location" is the option to choose. If you move then the original association is broken and as you said "Find Missing Folder" is the option to choose.

              • 4. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                dj_paige Level 9

                Oh, yes, you are correct. I didn't read your explanation carefully enough, I apologize. The original topic involved Moving photos, not copying them, but your idea of copying the photos is a very good one and I highly recommend it.

                • 5. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                  Spodeworld Level 1

                  Thanks for your input.

                   

                  So, it looks like I would have to go reassociate or find the folders after the move/copy.  I was hoping my approach would allow the move to be done through LR to a new drive where LR would know the new locations of the files I wouldn't have to go locate the folders for LR.

                   

                  Do you know though if I move a parent folder (with no items in the catalog) through LR which has a subfolder with LR cataloged items, if all items in both the parent and child folder are moved?

                   

                  Thanks

                  • 6. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    Yes, you could move the folders using Lightroom, but then the photos in those folders that are not cataloged in LR will not be moved.

                     

                    If you move a parent folder, all subfolders will move.

                    • 7. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                      Spodeworld Level 1

                      I see, so there's the problem.  The uncataloged items would not be moved.  So, it looks like I will have to use your approach.  Thanks for your help!

                      • 8. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                        Spodeworld Level 1

                        one more question.

                         

                        When hen you get to step three, you still have the existing files in the original place too. So, doesn't the catalog just see that and everything appears as it did before? Or, do you have to break the link of the original by renaming it before step 3?

                         

                        thanks

                        • 9. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          Step 3 from the instructions above seems pretty clear to me, right-click on a folder and select Update Folder Location, and point to where the copies are located.

                          • 10. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                            Spodeworld Level 1

                            but, wouldn't just the original parent folder be showing?

                             

                            Or, is that ok and it's just a matter of updating folder locations through right clicking?

                            • 11. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                              dj_paige Level 9

                              By following the instructions given, you now point LR to the place where you have copied the photos to; isn't that what you want to do?

                              • 12. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                                Joshua Cohen Level 3

                                Spodeworld wrote:

                                 

                                but, wouldn't just the original parent folder be showing?

                                 

                                 

                                Perhaps the confusion is that the folders shown in Lightroom are not really the folders in the operating system. They are representations of the folders that were in place when the images were imported. They are just references in the catalog to the folders in the operating system. This is why you cannot see folders in LR that do not contain images that have been previously imported. What you are trying to do is associate this reference to a new folder in the operating system (the copy of the original folder) by using the Update Folder Location command. Perhaps it would be more technically correct to call this command Update Folder Reference. Once that new reference is established LR will try to re-associate all images in the some folder hierarchy.

                                • 13. Re: Moving files not in the catalog
                                  Spodeworld Level 1

                                  I think I've got it now. Thanks for all the helpful feedback!