Since, you moved the images from one folder to another outside Lightroom, that forced Lightroom to read the metadata changes as per the new location of those images
You can choose the option to overwrite changes if you want to retain the metadata changes that you did in Lightroom
My question states that I did move the files WITHIN Lightroom. I have done this before and never had this issue. When you say overwrite the changes, do you mean import from disk or rewrite from the catalog. I’d like you know what caused this, so I don’t do it again. Again, the moving was done IN Lightroom, by creating a new folder on the external drive, then selecting all the files within a folder on the hard drive, dragging them to the new folder on the external drive. All this was done IN Lightroom. The only thing that was done in Windows Explorer was to delete the old folder that was then empty.
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Thank you for the clarification Nancy.
The "metadata conflict" warning is an indication that Lightroom "perceives" a discrepancy between the data in its catalog and the data in the image file (or in the xmp-file) on the actual location which could be due to permissions at the new location.
You need to choose the option to overwrite settings, that is, rewrite from the catalog so that Lightroom can write the metadata changes from the catalog itself.
(Import from disk would undo any metadata changes that you have done till now)