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When you import photos in Lightroom, the file names, folder names and folder paths are recorded in the LR database (the catalog).
So when you rename a folder outside LR, it can no longer find the folder, and displays the question mark.
You can fix this by right clicking the folder in the Folders panel, choose Find missing folder, and point LR to the renamed folder.
To prevent this from happening, always use Lightroom to rename folders.
Never re-import, it only creates new problems, as you have seen. There is a very good reason that LR by default does not let you import suspected duplicates.
Look here to start with.
I think your first priority should be understanding how LR works and how to work with LR.
When I change meta data e.g. tags in lightroom, they properly appear in explorer. My problem is that if I change meta data in explorer on the re-imported picture it does not show up in lightroom.
After making sure you understand how to work with LR, as Just Shoot Me recommends, if you still really want to change metadata in Windows File Explorer:
- Make sure the option Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP is checked. This ensures that changes you make to metadata in LR are written back to the photo files.
- After making a change to a photo's metadata in Windows File Explorer, you'll need to select the photo in LR and do Metadata > Read Metadata From File.
But note that LR isn't designed to make such two-way metadata changes convenient.
Thanks, I will never knowingly re-import again. However, these pictures are the professional pictures from my daughters wedding. Is there any way to fix my problem. If I uninstall and then reinstall lightroom will I be able to start over? Also, what happens if I have a copy of a picture in multiple folders in explorer. Will that be a re import that causes a problem?
The background here is that I am trying to convert from simple Picasa to lightroom.
All you have to do to start over is either delete the catalog file or start a new catalog. File > New Catalog. It ends with .lrcat (LRCAT) if you want to delete it. No need to uninstall LR and if you do that does not remove, delete, the catalog file.
New catalog solved the problem.