One possibility: you might have an option checked in your Export Location: Add to This Catalog.
In that case, the target location of your exports will appear in Folders, with those extra image versions inside.
Most people will probably regard such re-importing of exports, as redundant - and undesirable.
An export is somewhat disposable / ephemeral in its nature, also second-best in what you can do with it, compared with the full LR image it has been based on.
There are some special circumstances where this option might be useful, though - hence, this checkbox.
Thanks Richard, I thought that may be the case but I am glad I checked
Images with exclamation point icons can be fixed following these instructions:
Do not delete these photos. Do not re-import these photos. Fix the problem as explained at the link.
Truly unwanted image thumbnails (e.g., those that are only present due to having re-imported exports) CAN simply be deleted from the LR database, though. No need in that case, to go through the "find missing file" procedure.
Thanks dj for this informative information but as I said above, these are 'exported images to the desktop for emailing' not to come back into Lightroom. Once emailed I usually move them to trash.
Lately they are building up in LR under Desktop.
Is this normal?
What is the best way to clear this clutter, as I do not need these images/previews of exported images, I already have the originals in LR
To prevent more of these exports from re-appearing in LR, make sure the option is not selected to "Add to Catalog".
To get rid of the unwanted (extra) image thumbnails that you currently have, just delete (remove) them from the LR Catalog... being sure that you are not deleting the main master version that you have been working on. Only the export copy.
If you do export images to your local disk without "Add to Catalog", LR will not display or manage these new copies within its Catalog. It doesn't even remember that they exist. It does not know or care what happens to them.
BTW it is also possible to export photos from LR directly to email, if you want. You first need to enter your email account details into LR, as explained in Help. This method then operates completely on the fly - leaving nothing behind on disk, nor in the Catalog.
Thanks Richard, this all makes sense