The lrdata file is generated by Lightroom and holds previews of your images. It does not contain your images. I have never downloaded photos from an iPhone, but normal import setup allows you to specify where your images will be stored on your computer. Regardless of where you choose to store your images on your computer, there will always be that lrdata file. It contains previews that includes the adjustments that you make in Lightroom.
Thanks for your response, Jim. I have to politely disagree, however. A "regular" lrdata file - the one associated with an lrcat library file - contains preview data, you are correct. However, the lrdata file associated with my "Imported Photos" folder for my iPhone contains the images themselves. I can verify this by right-clicking the "Imported Photos" folder, selecting "show in Explorer," and browsing into the lrdata folder. All my images are there in their original size.
I'm trying to avoid a separate Import step for my iPhone photos. They seem to be on my computer already, just not where I'd ideally like them to be.
Well then I guess you know a lot more about it than I do. As I indicated, I have never imported from an iPhone. I am a Windows user, and I don't have an iPhone. Hopefully somebody with more relevant knowledge will be able to help you.
It's probably because your windows "Pictures" folder is still defined in "C:\Users\Patrick\Pictures\" (which is the default windows setup). If you right click on this location through the Windows File Explorer, you should find a Location tab, and you should then have a choice to move it to your preferred location where you stored all your LR pictures. (I'm supposing then that you agree to define your LR pictures folder as the same as your Windows pictures folder). After that, normally you should retrieve the mobiles pictures under the "<My LR pictures folder>Lightroom\Mobile Downloads.lrdata" sub folder being under your main LR pictures folder.
Hope it help
You can't change where new files arrive, and I wouldn't try to change it via Windows either.
Instead, when you open LR and see new pictures in that "drive" in Folders, just drag them to the folder where you prefer them to be.
Good idea. It might work.