9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 12, 2015 2:08 PM by kentdesign

    LR start fresh?


      I installed LR with my photos in all different places. I then copied them all onto an external hard drive, and now LR can't find them.

      Should I uninstall/reinstall LR and start from scratch with the external drive?

        • 1. Re: LR start fresh?
          99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you are not concerned about any editing already done and want to start over you can create a fresh catalog. On the top menu click:


          File >> New Catalog


          Choose a new name and save


          When the empty catalog opens import from your folders using:


          Import >> Add


          Then navigate to your folders (parent folder) on the external drive.

          • 2. Re: LR start fresh?
            wendy32752 Level 1

            Thank you!!! Wow, so easy!!

            • 3. Re: LR start fresh?
              kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

              Had you previously worked with Lightroom on these photos?

              If not, then yes, the simplest if to create a new catalog and import all your images from your external hard drive.

              However if you had used LR previously and want to have all the edits to photos you already did with Lightroom, then you need to open the previous catalogs and "export as catalog". That is more involved to answer, so let us know if that is what you need.


              A word of advice going forward: always move images to different drives or different folders using Lightroom as your HUB. In other words, do not move items using the Finder (mac) or Explorer (PC). Instead, open the catalog in Lightroom, select the images you want to move, and drag them into the new folders or locations you create using the + sign in the left panel (either folders or drives) of the Library module.

              • 4. Re: LR start fresh?
                wendy32752 Level 1

                Thanks, kentdesign, there is only one photo that I would really like to

                keep (obviously, I just recently got LR), and that is one of the missing

                pics, and when I try to locate it, it sends me to a folder that doesn't

                have that photo in it, so am getting frustrated enough to "try again",

                though I have no idea what I did!!!! Wish me luck!!!

                Thanks again!


                On Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 1:30 PM, kentdesign <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                • 5. Re: LR start fresh?
                  kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

                  Does the photo show up in the thumbnails in the Library module?

                  If so, it should show the name of the photo toward the bottom of the left panel, or just above the film strip.

                  Once you know the name or file number of the photo, try this:


                  Using the Finder in the Mac or the Explorer on PC, type the exact name of the photo in the search field - on a mac, you would simply click in the finder or on the desktop and use the command key and the F key to use the search field. Once you locate that file, note down where - on what drive, or in what folder it is located.

                  Then go back to LR, click on the missing photo. You should see a question mark on one corner. Click the question mark and follow the prompts to find the photo. Using the navigation windows that appear, you should now know where to search. When you get to the missing photo (remember you are still in LR at this point and not using the Finder or Explorer) just select it and if LR asks you to locate other missing images, say yes.

                  You just might find the others.

                  Let me know

                  • 6. Re: LR start fresh?
                    wendy32752 Level 1

                    THANK YOU! I think it worked - I just have one (more) question - I have a

                    box saying


                    The metadata for this photo has been changed by Lightroom and another

                    application. Should LR import settings from disk

                    or overwrite disk settings with those from the catalog?


                    Eeny Meeny Miny Mo!!!

                    What do you say???


                    THANKS AGAIN!


                    On Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 3:18 PM, kentdesign <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                    • 7. Re: LR start fresh?
                      kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

                      OK - if you had edited that image in another application prior to importing it into LR, and you want to keep those changes (for example, you had turned it black and white, or changed the white balance or something similar) then say "LR Import settings from disk"


                      If you just want the image and want to edit in your new LR - basically from scratch, which means editing the original file or raw file - then tell it to overwrite disk setting with those from the catalog. You probably have not done any any Lightroom editing yet on that image anyhow, so overwriting the disk settings means you would simply be bringing that image into LR as it originally was from the camera and without the editing you might have done in the other application. This happens to me all the time when I add another image that I opened with a different application first. It can be that I had edited the photo, or it can simply be the "data" that that other application added when you opened it.

                      Hope that makes sense!


                      Oh and by the way, please give answers a "LIKE" on this website when you get the answers that work for you. That is how we get our brownie points!



                      • 8. Re: LR start fresh?
                        wendy32752 Level 1

                        Yes, that does make sense, I only edited it in LR, so now I know what to do


                        Thank you for your individualized help!


                        On Sun, Jul 12, 2015 at 4:47 PM, kentdesign <forums_noreply@adobe.com>

                        • 9. Re: LR start fresh?
                          kentdesign Adobe Community Professional

                          Glad you got it working!