Do you know where the original image files are? In the MacBook, or on the external drive?
You say "In her library"- which library? The catalog in the MacBook or on the external drive?
Do NOT try Importing- this will only mess things up further until the 'missing' problem is solved. Do NOT Import (or Synchronize folders!)
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I had an issue with a student today. Long story short. She had two versions of her catalog. One was on an external hard drive. The other was on her MacBook. In her library, the images from the hard drive were saying they were missing. I could not get Lightroom to find those images on the hard drive. They would not show at all. I tried importing but they didn't even show up so I could choose them. What am I missing?
Importing will not solve the problem. The solution is to tell Lightroom where the photos are located by following these instructions: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders
The original files are on the external hard drive. The library on her Mac is saying they cannot be found.
I tried the find moved or missing file folders but it does not even see them. It looks like an empty folder. The only way I can see the images is in the Mac Finder window. I found them by doing an image number search on the computer. between the two The one on the hard drive is the copy for their last computer. They used that to install in this new laptop. The Lightroom on the new computer will not even see images on the hard drive let alone find them. I can open those images in Photoshop directly so they do not seem to be corrupt.
Lightroom does not "see" files on your hard disk. It only knows about photos in its database.
You say you can find the photos in your operating system. Show us a screen capture.
You say the files are missing according to Lightroom. Show us a screen capture.
When my student comes back to class I will get that information to you.