Automatically IF you have the preferences set to do so OR you select the command to do such an update.
With what program are you looking at these older DNG files. The edits that are written to the DNG file from LR are only view-able in LR. And they are only written to the DNG file IF you have Auto Write changes to XMP selected in the Catalog settings.
Viewing them with some other program will not show the LR edits.
I'm using Lightroom to view the older DNG files.
I thought the Auto Write to XMP is needed if you don't convert to DNG?
Even if all your images are DNG files, from a camera originally or converted from some other RAW format, if that options isn't checked the the edits only get written into the LR catalog file. With that option checked they get written to both the catalog and into a special section of the DNG file.
Same goes for TIFF and JPG files.
I convert all my NEF files to DNG while I import them to Lightroom. Then I do my edits. Once my edits are complete then I move my files (from within Lightroom) to an external drive.
All current files on my external drive have my edits but files older than a month do not.
Select one of those older DNG files and go to the Develop module. Do you see anything in the History section on the left? If yes click on the Top most entry.
Is there an exclamation mark ( ! ) on any of the older images?
Why are you bothering to place the images on your internal drive at importation and then move them to the external after editing.
You could simply put them on the external to start with.
It only has the date of the import... which is the date I moved the file to a new external drive. Getting somewhere now... Went to my old drive and the edits are still there. Therefore, the edits didn't follow the DNG file upon moving them to a new external drive which doesn't make sense to me. I thought the edits get save to the DNG file? Now, how do I get them to copy over (easily)?
The reason I put everything on my internal drive to begin with is because of speed... I find it a lot faster than the external drive.
The Lightroom default action does not save edits to DNG (or any other) files.
You can reconnect the photos to the edits in the catalog file by following these instructions: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders
There should be no speed advantage to putting photos on an internal drive, the speed of the drive does not affect editing speed.
Well it has been my experience that moving files from within LR sometimes copies them or doesn't move them at all or it does move them. It seems to Hit and Miss.
It is a Bug of some type. Because of that I do the moving of files, rarely because I place them where I want to during the import, with my File Manager and then Reconnect them in LR.
When you said you move them then how are they on an older drive? Move means to take from one place and put it in another place.
You're right... I didn't move them... I copied them. Sorry about that.
Come to think of it... I may have copied them from outside of Lightroom using file manager. That's why!
I wanted to make sure everything copied over okay before I formatted the older drive. Glad I waited.
Now, what are my options to move over the edited versions? or just the metadata from the edited versions?
Did you Re-Import those image after you Copied them?
With the old drive connected and all those files selected you could use Menu option Metadata > Save Metadata to File. That will put all the edits in the DNG file (but not collections and ratings) and then Re-Copy them over to the new drive.
I'm missing something here or you did Re-Import them after they got copied to the newer external drive.
Honestly, I don't remember what I did.
Your method worked! I needed to re-sync the folder before the edits showed up. Thanks for all your help.
Going forward how do I make LR save the metadata to the file automatically? Or do I have to do this for each file as I edit it?