15 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2016 12:41 PM by trshaner

    How do I un-do an import?

    Dawilligonga

      I just started using Lightroom and tried to import my photos from a network drive.  I selected the folder from the drive, then when I clicked Import it started to import tens of thousands of files from my C: drive.  Now I have thousands of useless little images from my program folders and no photographs.  How do I back up and delete all this stuff from the library?

       

      I already looked through help files, existing forum posts,, etc.

       

      The design of Lightroom is really not like anything I've ever seen in Windows.  It's horribly confusing.  If I can't figure this out easily, I will likely ask for my money back and never come back to Adobe.

       

      Thanks for your help.

        • 1. Re: How do I un-do an import?
          trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          dawilligonga wrote:

           

          I just started using Lightroom and tried to import my photos from a network drive. I selected the folder from the drive, then when I clicked Import it started to import tens of thousands of files from my C: drive. Now I have thousands of useless little images from my program folders and no photographs. How do I back up and delete all this stuff from the library?

           

          In the Library module left panel under Catalog select 'Previous Import.' Select all of the image files (CTRL + A), hit the delete key and select 'Remove' and NOT DELETE! This will remove the image files from the LR Catalog, but leave them on your hard drive.

           

          dawilligonga wrote:

          The design of Lightroom is really not like anything I've ever seen in Windows. It's horribly confusing. If I can't figure this out easily, I will likely ask for my money back and never come back to Adobe.

           

          Yes indeed that is correct! LR is a non-destructive image editor that operates entirely different than most other applications you may be used to. When you Import files into LR it adds a drive location entry into the LR Catalog. Because of this it is important to never move, delete, rename, or add files from outside LR using Windows Explorer. Hit the F1 key from inside LR, which will take you to the LR Help page for more information and tutorials.

          • 2. Re: How do I un-do an import?
            JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Go to the library module and right-click on the topmost folder and choose to remove. That will move the images from Lightroom, but they will still be in the folders on your computer or on the network hard drive. Another option would be to simply start a new catalog and then delete the old one. Remember that your images are not "in" the Lightroom program. Lightroom only opens one file, and that is the catalog.

            • 3. Re: How do I un-do an import?
              dj_paige Level 9

              dawilligonga wrote:

               

              If I can't figure this out easily, I will likely ask for my money back and never come back to Adobe.

              Why don't you view some tutorials instead of trying to figure it out yourself? As @trshaner said, it is different than any other program you have used before.

               

              Lightroom 5 - Free Quick Start Guide PDF eBook | The Lightroom Queen

              Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 | Adobe TV

               

              We have seen in these forums far too many people try to figure it out by themselves and never get it. A word to the wise: look at the tutorials.

              • 4. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                Dawilligonga Level 1

                Thanks everybody.

                 

                I looked at tons of tutorials, bought a book, read it, looked at the manual, looked at forum posts, etc.  Nobody said what to do to remove a ton of imported files.  The tutorials say how to import, that's it.

                 

                Another thing about the tutorials: none explain how the library works.

                 

                I uninstalled the program and deleted every trace I could find.  Hopefully that will help.  If not, I'll try your advice folks.  Though if I remember right, there was nothing at all in the "catalog" part.  And as for the folders, right-clicking doesn't bring up a context-sensitive menu at all.  We'll see how that goes!

                 

                Again, I do appreciate all the help.  I really am enjoying getting back into photography again.

                • 5. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                  JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Uninstalling Lightroom really didn't accomplish much because your images are not in Lightroom. All you needed to do was create new catalog. What operating system are you using? Right click brings up the context menu on my Windows 10 system, and there is an option to remove folders. Also, were you right clicking on the folder in the folder tree in the library module?

                   

                  Also, when you say you deleted everything related to Lightroom, did you delete the folder that contains your catalog?

                  • 6. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                    Dawilligonga Level 1

                    Thanks I was able to delete the previous catalog.

                     

                    Yes, I know the images weren't in lightroom, but that has nothing to do with why it didn't help.  I suspected that uninstalling wouldn't help.  When I re-installed, all those pesky thumbnails were right there.  The info must have been in the registry, because I deleted everything else.

                     

                    All I needed to do was create a new catalog!  Too bad I didn't don't know what a catalog is, nor did anyone tell me how to do that.  The tutorials don't mention it until you get in quite a bit, and that takes weeks.  I have no idea where my catalog resides.  Adobe doesn't think people should pay attention to things like folders!

                     

                    Well it turns out what happened, happened again.  That's because when trying to import from a network, if you specify a folder, it doesn't actually log that folder but the main folder quite a bit above it in the hierarchy.  The only way to prevent an import of every image file on the whole network drive is to click on the specific folders you want that are within the folder you want.  So, click shift on each end.  If I just select the folder where the images are, I get the whole network drive.  That's a bug (unless there's some other non-standard behavior going in - wouldn't surprise me a bit!).

                     

                    So for some unknown reason it's working.

                     

                    I have tons of questions that none of the tutorials answer so far, like if I use LR to import from a memory card, where will it store the images?  Does it create a new folder, etc.  Even Tony Northrup's tut doesn't go into this adequately, and Adobe's tutorials don't explain anything so far.

                     

                    But at least it's functioning now.  Thank you sincerely for all your help.  Though I must admit, this software appears to be aggravating a hell to use.

                    • 7. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                      Dawilligonga Level 1

                      Win10Pro x64  No option to remove folders here.  Good thing though!

                      LR.png

                      • 8. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                        dj_paige Level 9

                        Dawilligonga wrote:

                         

                        Though I must admit, this software appears to be aggravating a hell to use.

                        If you insist on using it without first taking the time to learn how to use it, I'm sure it will be aggravating. It's your choice, spend the time being aggravated, or spend the time learning it, and then you will find it works very well.

                        • 9. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          Dawilligonga wrote:

                           

                          Win10Pro x64 No option to remove folders here. Good thing though!

                          LR.png

                          You're not right-clicking on folders, you are right-clicking on the disk drive. Like any other program you use, if you click on the disk drive, it will expand and you will see the folders, and then you can delete the folders you want.

                          • 10. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                            Dawilligonga Level 1

                            If you follow the conversation...oh never mind.

                             

                            I was a computer scientist and programmer before MS or Apple existed, ran a 2000-member organization with PCs.  You obviously didn't see that I read and researched a lot before I even started using it, and any program that is this confusing to use from the very start...you really think people should be expected to do a ton of research before even trying a program?  The demo lasted only about a week and I didn't find answers to even basic questions in the tutorials.  Anyway, I'm severely disabled now (hit by a drunk driver), and it has affected my ability to understand things as easily. I no longer have infinite time to devote to things either.  C'est la Vie.

                            • 11. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Dawilligonga wrote:

                               

                              I was a computer scientist and programmer before MS or Apple existed, ran a 2000-member organization with PCs.

                              Sounds like we are from the same era. I started my career in 1968 as a hardware engineer working on development of IBM 360 assembly code based minicomputer systems.

                               

                              Dawilligonga wrote:

                               

                              I read and researched a lot before I even started using it, and any program that is this confusing to use from the very start...you really think people should be expected to do a ton of research before even trying a program?

                              Having worked with Photoshop since 1994 I found Lightroom 1.0 (circa 2007) a bit confusing. I made the usual mistakes like moving and renaming files and folders using Windows Explorer to better "organize" my pictures. What a mess! That's why I mentioned it to you right up front. The best way to organize your pictures is inside LR with Keywords, Ratings, and Collections, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

                               

                              Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom 5 - The DAM Book

                               

                              You can certainly store you pictures on a NAS, but it may cause some performance issues inside LR. You can use the NAS as a secondary backup and keep the working picture copies on an internal drive or a local USB 3.0 external drive. Then use file synchronization software to keep the working and backup copies up to date. This allows adding new pictures locally to the system, which is faster and less prone to file corruption. Just some suggestions to get you started on the right path.

                               

                              Dawilligonga wrote:

                               

                              I no longer have infinite time to devote to things either. C'est la Vie.

                              Same here! Once you ramp-up a bit with LR it will definitely speed whatever you are trying to accomplish with your picture collection.

                              • 12. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                                Dawilligonga Level 1

                                I used to code on an IBM 360 mainframe.

                                 

                                Thank you again for all your help.  I'm rolling now.  I was thinking the same thing - that I should move my tens of thousands of photos off the NAS.  I also have thousands of Kodachrome25 slides too - mostly landscapes and all taken with a tripod.  Don't think I'll ever transfer them all to digital but it's still fun to give slide shows now and again.

                                 

                                I will give LR my best shot!  It appears to have a lot to offer.  I'm not a pro photographer as you can probably tell - I'm a retired scientist.

                                 

                                Thank you again for your kind and generous help.

                                • 13. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Dawilligonga wrote:

                                   

                                  I was thinking the same thing - that I should move my tens of thousands of photos off the NAS.

                                  If you don't already have a secondary backup system I'd use the NAS for that purpose and simply "copy" the entire picture folder structure to an internal drive on your system or a USB 3.0 external drive. Use a file synchronization programs to backup any new picture files on the NAS that have been added to the local storage. I use FreeFileSync, which you can download here: Download the Latest Version - FreeFileSync Select the 'Donate via PayPal' option to download an installer that does not contain ad offers. You can donate $1. There are many others available, but I'm happy with FreeFileSync.

                                   

                                  Dawilligonga wrote:

                                   

                                  I also have thousands of Kodachrome25 slides too - mostly landscapes and all taken with a tripod. Don't think I'll ever transfer them all to digital but it's still fun to give slide shows now and again.

                                   

                                  Film scanners are sloooooooooooooooooow......and I like you don't have the time to scan thousands of slides. Mark Segal and I put together an article that was posted in Luminous Landscape on "scannerless" film capture using a digital camera. Color transparencies and B&W negatives can be entirely processed in LR, but color negatives require using PS or a dedicated scanner software. More information in the original PDF, which you can download here:

                                   

                                  Dropbox - Scannerless Digital Capture and Processing of Negative Film Photographs.pdf

                                   

                                  Once you gain more experience with LR you might want to give it a try. Send me a PM if you have more questions on the process.

                                  • 14. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                                    Dawilligonga Level 1

                                    I will check that out.  Thanks.  It'll be interesting to see how to use a camera for that purpose.  Sounds promising.  And your file management ideas sound really good.  I used to use Syncback all the time when I had to update numerous web sites every day.  I might look at FreeFileSync too.

                                     

                                    Thanks again!

                                    • 15. Re: How do I un-do an import?
                                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      Make sure backup all of your picture files AND the LR Catalog. Do a file synchronization after every major editing session to update the backup drive with any new files and your editing work. More info here: How to back up catalogs in Lightroom