6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2017 1:26 PM by 390pony

    All Photo Collections Disappeared?

    390pony Level 1

      I had more than 5,000 photos imported into collections in CC Lightroom and now they have all disappeared out of Lightroom.  Those photos represent about eight years of importing and processing photos.  What happened and how do I recover them without having to re-import everything?

        • 1. Re: All Photo Collections Disappeared?
          WobertC Adobe Community Professional

          Some more information will be needed for others to give some possible answers-


          "Collections"-  Do you mean Collections as Lightroom calls the created lists of photos in the Collections panel, OR are you referring to Folders in your computer drive system?

          Do you see any thumbnails in the grid view when you start Lightroom, or is the grid window totally blank?

          Do you see blank grey thumbnails in grid view?

          Do you have any filters active?

          Have you created a new Catalog? Do you use multiple catalogs?

          Have you recently done a version update?

          What version of Lr? What computer operating system?

          Can you post a screen-clip of your Lr window?

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          • 2. Re: All Photo Collections Disappeared?
            390pony Level 1

            I was on a cruise last week and was processing my underwater photographs in CC Lightroom.  Everything was working great, when the next time I opened the program, everything was gone.  There are no collections (Lightroom Collections), no files, no thumbnails, nothing.


            I do have all the photographs on my hard drive, including the ones I processed last week.


            I have not done an update, and I am using Windows 10.  I have been using this program for more than a year with no problem.


            How would I post a screen clip of the window?


            I did test it by importing 32 new photographs, and that worked perfectly.  But, all my old photographs are not there.

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            • 3. Re: All Photo Collections Disappeared?
              WobertC Adobe Community Professional

              Your symptoms suggest strongly that you created a new 'empty' catalog. (which worked "perfectly" for the 32 photos)

              Normally Lightroom starts with the most recently used catalog but if you hold down [ALT] when starting Lr, it will show a dialog with any catalogs it can locate.

              I suggest you (close Lightroom) do a search of your (laptop?) for all and any files that end with the file-type suffix of  .LRCAT

              Even look in the Recycle bin.

              Did you ever make a Catalog Backup when you closed Lightroom?


              A screen-clip can be made in Windows-10 by using the Snipping Tool- in Windows Accessories, or search "Snipping" on the desktop. It has options for full-screen or Defined rectangle. Save the clip and post it in the forum by clicking on the [Insert Image] icon.

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              • 4. Re: All Photo Collections Disappeared?
                390pony Level 1

                I've tried everything, even a system restore, and can't get the photos back.  I've always done a backup every time I close Lightroom, but can't find those files.  I'm going to go ahead and reimport the files from the last two years.  The prior years aren't that important because they were with my Canon G11.  I started using a Canon 70-D in February last year, and those are the ones I want in Lightroom.


                Also, I had noticed starting a couple months ago that after importing photos, they collections didn't show up in Lightroom, so maybe there was an ongoing problem that finally came full force.  Oh well....

                • 5. Re: All Photo Collections Disappeared?
                  WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                  Did you search for files with the suffix .LRCAT ?  (search 'This Computer'  for-   *.LRCAT )

                  Did you search for Backup catalogs that are stored in Dated ZIP folders?  (search 'This Computer'  for-   *.ZIP  )

                  Have you looked in the {Pictures/Lightroom/Backups} folder to the zip backups default location?


                  Without an answer to these questions it is difficult to help,

                  and Re-importing all your photos is really not the remedy for the situation, locating the catalog file is!

                  I am not interested in Collections, I would like the results of the searches for Folders and Catalogs.

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                  • 6. Re: All Photo Collections Disappeared?
                    390pony Level 1

                    Yes, I found the other catalogs when I did the search, so I can get then in Lightroom now, if I want.  What is weird is that it seems the program is all new.  I had to sign in, and then got a welcoming e-mail.  The same thing happened with Photoshop, too.  The new catalog hasn't done a backup yet, but I have it set for one week backups.  Thanks for the help!

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