2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2016 9:48 PM by Just Shoot Me

    Catalog confusion after moving photos to external hard drive. [was: Help!!]


      I tried to be smart and I bought an external hardrive to free up space on my laptop.  I transferred all of my photos to the hardrive thinking I'd be able to work on those photos in lightroom as long as i had the hardrive plugged into my laptop.  Well that isn't the case apparently.  So I imported all of the photos back into lightroom from the hardrive.  With the hardrive plugged into the laptop I can access all of my photos, but the catalogs that I was in the process of editing have lost all their edits.  I've tried opening the lightroom backup from yesterday, and nothing happens.  Also if I select one of my catalogs none of the pictures are there, it says photos missing.  So I tried locating all missing photos, and nothing happened.  All the photos are in lightroom, they show up in the library under the external hardrive.  But I can't pull them back into my catalogs, and can't restore the edits to the photos I was in the process of editing when I put all my photos on the external hardrive.

        • 1. Re: Help!!
          Michael J. Hoffman Adobe Community Professional

          Hi Amanda,


          You are getting the workflow somewhat confused here. It's difficult to follow all the steps you've taken, but I'll try to explain the correct procedure.


          1. You have a Lightroom catalog and all the images in the catalog are pointing to a location on the internal drive (ideally, this would be a series of folders under one top level folder, to make it easier in step 3 below).

          2. You copy the image folders containing the images from the internal to the external drive. You now have two copies of your images.

          3. Open Lightroom, and you should still see all your images. Open the Folders panel, and right click on the top level folder containing all the image folders (this is where a single top level folder is invaluable). Choose "Update Folder Location..."

          4. Navigate to the top level folder on the external drive and choose that. Your Lightroom catalog is now pointing to the external drive.


          At this point, you can go on using Lightroom normally. You can copy, move or delete the images from your internal drive, because Lightroom is no longer using them.


          Note that in step 3 above, if all your image folders are not contained under a single top level folder, you'll have to repeat step 3 and 4 multiple times, once for every top level folder.



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          • 2. Re: Catalog confusion after moving photos to external hard drive. [was: Help!!]
            Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

            You move them out side of LR so LR lost track of them.


            You need to review some of the very good LR tutorials that are available to get familiar with how LR works and how to work with LR.


            You shouldn't re-imported your images.

            1 person found this helpful