Lightroom thinks my photos are missing – how do I fix it?

There’s an updated Lightroom 4 version of these instructions in the Knowledgebase.

 

Excerpt from Adobe Lightroom 2 – The Missing FAQ

Missing files are usually a result of files being moved or renamed outside of Lightroom, perhaps in Explorer or Finder.  In this case, Lightroom loses tracks of the files.

They can be identified by a little question mark in the corner of the grid thumbnail.badges-4
If the entire folder can no longer be found, the folder name in the Folders panel will go grey with a question mark folder icon.  They used to go red in LR1.

missing-folder-20
When you go in to the Develop module, Lightroom will tell you that the file is offline or missing.

file-offline-20

If the whole folder is missing and the folder name has turned grey, you can right-click on the folder and select ‘Find Missing Folder…’.  Point Lightroom to the right folder, and it should update the links for all of the files contained in that folder.  That’s the quickest option!

If the folder is still showing as recognised, you’ll need to relocate individual images, but Lightroom will try to help where it can.

To locate a missing file, click on the question mark icon, and the following dialog will appear.

missing-file-relocate

Click Locate to find the missing file.

missing-file-relocate-select

Locate the missing file and press Select.  Check the ‘Find nearby missing photos’ checkbox shown in the dialog above in order to re-link other files in the same folder.
If you have renamed the files outside of Lightroom, each file will need linking individually.
If Lightroom appears slow to re-link related photos, restart Lightroom to force a search for ?le locations.
A few preventative measures, to avoid missing files in future:

  1. Rename any files before importing into Lightroom, or use Lightroom to rename them.
  2. Set Lightroom’s folder list to show the full folder hierarchy to a single root level folder.  If all of the files are moved from their expected locations, they can easily be updated using the ‘Find Missing Folder…’ command in the top level folder right-click menu, or by using the ‘Update Folder Location…’ command even if they’re not yet marked as missing.
  3. Move any files or folders within Lightroom’s own interface, simply by dragging and dropping around the folders panel.  Folders can only be moved one at a time.
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  • http://www.antoniocorreia.com Antonio Correia

    This is a good way to keep the catalog with all the presets.
    Thank you Queen :)

  • Lorin Duckman

    I must have reconnected to the wrong USB port. ? still above all the photos in the collection. How do I find where the photos are?

    [Lorin, need a bit more info than that. Drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we'll give you a hand. - VB]

  • http://www.pbase.com/bob183 Bob Schwartz

    The fix you propose isn’t working for me. The folder is showing up as OK, but every photo is shown as missing. When I find the “missing” file and try to reconnect, LR tells me that it is already associated with another photo in LR and can’t be associated with the “missing” picture. However, it doesn’t tell me where the other photo is. If I click on “show in library”, it merely shows the thumbnail for the “missing” photo. Any ideas? Id’ appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks.

    [Bob, that sounds like you've also reimported the images since, so they're in there twice. Drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we'll get you sorted out. - VB]

  • evano

    (I realize that your livelihood is made possible by both the good things about Lightroom and the not-so-good things, and maybe this is just a rant, but… :)

    If you know what causes the error moving photos, and now I know what causes the error moving photos, I’ve gotta assume that someone in Adobe’s programming corps also knows what causes the error. So, tell me again why the error message refers to an “unknown” error? I though the days of designing user-hostile programs went out with Windows 3.0.

    I’m using LR version 2.1 and I haven’t seen anything suggesting that this problem of failing to “fail gracefully” and informatively has been resolved in 2.3. Has it? And, if not, why can’t Lightroom just go ahead and move the files it can and when it’s all done, give you a list of the files it couldn’t move — like the way it gives you a list of files that weren’t imported.

    Everyone on Windows knows the frustration of trying to move a bunch of files, and having the transfer quit in the middle because some unnamed program is reporting one file in the entire batch is open. Does Adobe really want to emulate Microsoft at its most annoying?

    [evano, I'm the first to say Lightroom's not perfect - but then, it is only version 2. That's pretty young for such complex software. The 2.x releases are about serious bug fixes and new camera support, so I wouldn't expect any major behaviour changes in an dot release, and that'll generally include changes in dialogs. That said, Adobe are very receptive to bug reports and feature requests when it comes to Lightroom, so why not contact them directly - here's the address: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform - VB]

  • evano

    Thanks, VB. I will put in a report at the address you supplied.

    In my ranting, I forgot to thank you for your very clear explanation of what was causing this problem which has been driving me batty for weeks. (My grandmother must be shaming me for being so rude!)

    I searched Google and the Adobe forums, and blog links without finding any answers. Then I saw a mention of your book which finally led me here to your simple and simply useful site. Thanks again!

    [My pleasure evano, I'm really pleased it helped! - VB]

  • http://www.Romilly.com Romilly

    Thanks VB for your good advice. However I’m still finding LR2.3 struggles to find individual files I point it to after a folder name change left images offline. Following your advice I use the ‘Would you like to locate it’ (them) and LR proceeds to say ‘Searching for nearby missing photos’ and yet nevers finishes the task!
    Any tips please Lightroom Queen?

    [If the whole folder's gone missing, it's generally quicker to relocate the whole folder by right clicking on the folder itself. That said, not finishing the 'search for nearby photos' sounds like a real pain - I'd try optimizing the catalog to see if there's a catalog issue. You'll find that in the Catalog Settings dialog. If that doesn't do the trick, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we'll see what we can do. - VB]

  • http://www.snookerimages.co.uk Eric Whitehead

    Thanks VB
    It’s a while since I moved LR around and following your instructions I have just moved from Mac-Mac transferring the images / catologs etc and over 50,000 images, without any problems,it all went very smooooothly! In all took about 10 minutes.
    Thanks for the info
    Eric Whitehead

  • claire

    Thanks for the help! It fixed me. :)

    However, I do still have a question as to *why* this happened. I did not rename anything. I closed my computer out for the night, then when I turned everything on this morning, every single file I had in lightroom was “missing or offline.” Finally I realized that ALL of the folders in lightroom had been moved from the external hard drive catalog to the catalog for my memory card. The actual files had not moved…they were still on my hard drive. LR had just moved them to the catalog for the card. Any clue why?

    [I'm guessing that we're talking about different volumes in the Folders panel, rather than different catalogs? And you're Windows based? I'd guess that Windows simply changed the drive letter. You can fix it by changing the drive letter back, or relinking as you've done. - VB]

  • claire

    oh, haha, yes, different volumes. And that is exactly what happened – thanks again!

  • Bubba Groos

    I have a LOT of folders and am getting really tired of the hour’s worth of going through this process on a VERY ROUTINE basis. Is the use of external hard drives just out of the question for regular use with photos to which I need access?

    [No, I worked off external drives for a long time. I'd still tend to keep the catalog on an internal if possible, or just make sure you've got good backups, as externals have a tendency to drop connection at just the wrong moment. As far as the images go, just see if you can get a fast connection - eSata is ideal, FW800 is great, FW400 or USB are ok but you may notice a speed delay.

    If you're on Windows, and you mean you're already working on external drives, and you have to keep relinking missing photos, it's because the drive letter keeps changing. Set it manually and you shouldn't have the problem again. Here's the XP instructions, and Vista/W7 are similar - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307844 - VB]

  • http://www.collierimages.com suzanne collier

    can i please just say that I LOVE YOU! You saved me from a breakdown with this post. You would think I would know this stuff by now but lightroom surprises me everyday. THANK YOU!

    [Well that's always good to hear! Lightroom's full of surprises - that's half the fun. ;) - VB]

  • melissa

    i accidentally deleted the file and now i can’t open the file in LR to edit in ps. HELP!!! please reply to this asap!!

    [Do you have a backup? If not, there's not a lot I can do I'm afraid. - VB - VB]

  • George

    Missing links. I want to convert my entire catalogue to dng – about 12,000 images. I realize that this will take some time. However, there seem to be a number of files that cannot be found. Every time this happens, the conversion stops. Is there any way to identify all files that are lost in a catalogue? In other words is it possible to filter out all the images with the little ?. That would be helpful.
    If someone has a solution, could you email me. Thanks

    [Hi George, yes, there's a couple of options. If you have all the files under a parent folder, right click on it and choose Synchronise, and then rather than pressing OK, instead press the 'Missing Files' button, or you can install and use John Beardworth's plugin http://www.beardsworth.co.uk/news/index.php?id=P1376 - VB]

  • Boaz

    I am having a similar problem but haven’t been able to solve it using your explanation:
    My external had drive changed letters, so lightroom thinks some of the photos are on “F:” while they are actually on “G”. When I try to relink the photos I get the error message in lightroom: “The selected folder, or a folder it contains is already in lightroom”. The photos are still there on G, but when I scroll down the contents of G I cannot see these folders in lightroom. Any ideas? thank!

    [Boaz, tough to say without seeing screenshots of the folders panel. Drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and post it there, and we can chat in more detail. - VB]

  • Amonte Littlejohn

    I’m still using LR 1.41 . My OS is Windows 98. After collapsing some of my folders into braoder categories of subjects to neaten my desktop, LR could not find any of the folders nor files. The Library and develop modules look as thought no files had every been processed: no filenames , no folder or collection names. It occured to me that maybe LR could not find the new locations. So, I pulled all the subfoders out of their new folders, back to the My Pictures desktop. LR still shows no trace of the photos previously imported. I probably need to mention I import into my computer using an HP dowloader, then use LR to import photos for processing.
    So far all the advice i’ve read concerns files for which the folder name or picture name is still visible (with ?). Nothing shows up in my catalog, folder, or filename areas. My original files are intact in My Pictures.
    How do I link the previously imported and processed pictures and folder under these circumstances? Or where can I go for info.

    [If there's nothing showing in LR, it may be that you moved the catalog too, and it's just created a new default catalog. Search your computer for *.lrcat files and you may find your original catalog - in which case, double click to open, and then relink the files as listed above. If that doesn't do the trick, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we can chat more easily. - VB]

  • Mike Cliff

    I was having problems with drive letters in Windows Vista (don’t know if it is the same in XP) while using Lightroom 2.5. My external drive had been G but I changed the USB port and the drive came up as H so Lightroom counted the files as being offline. I am often swapping them in and out, so seeing them offline half the time was getting annoying.

    I clicked on the bar for the G drive which was offline and greyed out. This dropped down the folder structure and the first line under the bar said (G:). I right clicked on that line and got a menu option that said ‘Update Folder Location…’. I then navigated to Computer and found the H drive. I clicked on the H drive icon and clicked OK. It then took about 2 secs for all the folders containing over 5000 raw files to be shown as available.

    I have even tried to change it back to G and then back to H using the same method and it gave predictable results. This seems easier than changing the system drive letters in Windows. I know I had loads of hassle when my external iTunes library turned up on the wrong drive letter, so I’m glad Lightroom is flexible enough to have the drive letters redirected.

    I can’t tell you if any earlier versions do this as I’m new to Lightroom.

    I also found the Adobe TV video http://tv.adobe.com/watch/the-complete-picture-with-julieanne-kost/episode-12/ very helpful as it explained good ways to work with catalogs in a more modular way.

  • Simonne

    I followed the above instructions for locating my missing files and all nearby missing files, and it worked great. Except on one of the folders I accidentally chose the wrong folder, so now the (completely different) pictures in that folder replaced the “missing” ones. Is there a way to undo that last locate or to re-associate that group of pictures with the correct ones?

    [Did the files have the same names then? If so, you could try right clicking on that folder, and choosing Update Folder Location and pointing to the correct location. If that doesn't do it, you could trick LR - close it, and move that folder in Explorer/Finder, so that it shows up as missing when you reopen LR, and link it back with the correct folder. - VB]

  • Amonte Littlejohn

    First, I have to apologize for taking so long to respond. My response is a big fat THANK YOU! Your last bit of advice pulled my LR catalog back to life so I could find my pictures files. I am so glad i found your blog site and have put the address into my bookmarks.
    Additionally, if you can say, would it be worth my while to upgrade to LR2 or wait for LR3, if it’s coming soon.
    Thanx Again.

  • http://www.lightroomqueen.com Victoria Bampton

    Brilliant Amonte, I’m so pleased you got it working.

    As far as LR3 goes, I’m not in a position to say I’m afraid. What I can tell you, is LR1 was released February 07, LR2 beta was April 08, and LR2 final was July 08. You can make what you will of those dates!!

  • Amonte Littlejohn

    Thanx, again…back to my crystal ball! 8-)

  • http://brianwiese.net Brian

    Is there a quick way to find all of the “unlinked” files and just delete them from LR? I have some remnant thumbnails of photos long archived and removed but still show up in LR that I’d like to clean up. Thanks!
    [Assuming you're on LR2, right click on a parent folder and choose Synchronize - but don't press OK. Press the Show Missing Photos button and it'll show all the missing ones so you can remove them or relink them. - VB]

  • http://plumtreestudio.com/ plum tree studio

    Is there a way to do this for every folder in a catalog? We just moved our 2009 weddings to the back up drive in the basement, now LR is showing up with question marks. Do we have to manually find each missing folder (we have thousands of missing folders). Or is there a way to have lightroom find the new location?

    [Are they all a long flat list of folders, or are they in a hierarchy? If they're a long flat list, you're stuck with doing them one by one, or moving them back to where LR thinks they should be and setting it up as a hierarchy instead. Once they're in a hierarchy (i.e. all the folders listed below a parent folder) then you could just relink the parent folder and all below would update automatically. - VB]

    • http://kendrastone.com Kendra Stone-Hinds

      I am in the same nightmare right now. I moved a bunch of files in finder (big mistake)) now they are of course missing and wont relink, is there any way to do get them back on line as a group of images not one by one? I am not understanding the last post about folders and heirarchy, can anyone explain please??
      thanks:)

      [Hi Kendra. It's a bit late to worry about hierarchies now, since you've already moved them, although it might be worth learning about for future reference. Next question is whether you moved whole folders, or whether you moved single files to a load of different locations. That might be easier to discuss in detail over at http://www.lightroomforums.net. - VB]

  • John

    These tips saved me – THANK YOU!!!!!!!

  • http://www.andrewjadephoto.blogspot.com Andrew Jade Photography

    I appreciate the help! Glad that there are people like yourself to take time out of the day to answer all our quetions! :)

  • Janice

    I just figured out that even if everything is a long flat list of folders, you can choose to “Add parent folder” which then clumps them all into the parent folder. Then you can update the parent folder, let it find everything and lastly promote all subfolders and end up back where you started, but with all the files located. This is so convoluted but it worked for me!

    [Absolutely right - the only glitch is you have to set up the folder hierarchy before it loses the photos. Well worth doing, in my opinion! - VB]

  • Andrea

    I am very confused. I did not do anything, and two head folders (and all of their subfolders and individual files) are saying they are missing. However, when I try to repoint to them with the find missing folder function, it sayd they are already included. ???? How do I fix this? I already spent a bunch of time flagging and don’t really want to do it again!!

    Thanks

  • Andrea

    ok, I repointed it to the backup on my external which I made after importing the original, and it seems fine. However, it should not have done this in my opinion- I didn’t move the folders, just copied them to an external backup. I guess I need to do this prior to any Lightroom importing but it seems like a bug.

    [Yeah, that does sound odd. Was LR open or closed when you copied the files? Which OS? - VB]

  • http://cramerisms@gmail.com Jennifer

    VB, do you by chance have remote access at all? I have read through all these blog postings and i still cant locate my missing plug.
    I will tell you that when I upload pictures into either LR or Picasa, they both copy into each other. My images that are copied into Picasa are just fine, and I edit some there. (for family) but, when I go back into LR and these specific images are not in a folder, they are just in my downloads, they come up with the above message. Im not sure if I am explaining correctly, its hard to explain…

    Help please, I need these images to go onto my web site. They are important sporting events…

    [Jennifer, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net - it's far easier to troubleshoot when we can talk properly. - VB]

  • Jennifer

    Well, I shot for the stars and boy did I get shot down hard core. Instead of trying to find those images on my laptop, I unplugged my external HD and exported them ALLLLL on there. Thus, when plugging ext,hd back into desktop, everything was duplicated in lightroom, that was already backed up on ext. hd. 15,000+. It took over 7.5 hours.

    So, now, I am asking if there is some how to remove all duplicate images instead of removing them one by one, using my CTRL tab….

    I am so frustrated, This is a complete nightmare… My LR skills are horrible…

    Thanks,
    Jen

    [Drop by the forum - it's way easier to talk there. Did you back up your catalog before you tried that, by any chance? - VB]

  • http://www.dwoodstudio.com Sarah

    I have tried the above solution to missing files and folders you have posted…However, I have read through all of the below responses and no one has had the problem I am having… Problem is.. this:

    I have renamed the folder and realized the files went missing, so I renamed the folder back.. I thought that would fix it until I found your blog and read the above, so I have tried the above and have found the folders and files.. However when I go to CHOOSE them they are also STILL grayed out!!! HELP!! I really don’t have time to redo these photos.. :( I am very disappointed with LR so far because I like being able to save my work as I go just for cases like this so I don’t lose the whole thing!! Very frustrating.. and costly!!! Can You HELP!! Need advice asap!!

    How do I get it to see the folders and Un-gray them???

  • http://www.dwoodstudio.com Sarah

    UPDATE: TO MY PROBLEM ABOVE!! I fixed it myself!! Original Problem__Grayed out files/folders and catalogs in LR when choosing to replace or find them when they went missing & are still SHOWING AS “GRAYED OUT” when using the “find missing file or folder” options—IT BASICALLY WOULDN’T ALLOW ME TO CLICK ON THEM EVEN THOUGH I FOUND THEM…!!!

    I THINK I HAVE FIXED THE PROBLEM!!
    To fix the grayed out missing files/folders pics THAT ARE STILL GRAYED WHEN CHOOSING FIND MISSING FILES/FOLDERS IN LR and wouldn’t allow LR to choose them.. I kept finding them moved to a different area in the same sub-folders inside the parent folder; so I tried unsuccessfully to choose them when they were still showing grayed out.. soo I did the below and hope this has fixed the problem!!

    1. I found the LR cata that seemed to be missing out of the other original parent folder where LR2 had ORGINALLY found the cata and missing files and folders.. I copied the 3 files that pertained to the catalog and pasted them into the ORGINAL FOLDER so I wouldn’t lose the moved just in case it didn’t work..

    2. Then I clicked on the NEWLY COPIED CATALOG and opened it up in LR and it then opened and STILL SHOWED THE FILES AND FOLDERS TO BE MISSING.

    3. so I re-did the above process by LOCATING THE MISSING FILES / FOLDERS OF PICS I had tried before that were grayed out WHEN CHOOSING LAST TIME and clicked CHOOSE again and this time it WORKED and I believe fixed the problem of the computer no recognizing the files/folders of where the catalog and pics where located..

    Hope this helps someone else whom runs into the same problem I did.. HOW FRUSTRATING.. NO ONE HAD ANYTHING TO HELP THIS BUG.. I AM SURE MANY PEOPLE GAVE UP WHEN THE ABOVE DIDN’T WORK..
    GOOD LUCK!!!

  • http://www.dwoodstudio.com Sarah

    BASICALLY THIS: COPY YOUR ORIGINAL CATALOG AND PERTAINING CATALOG FILES TO THE ORIGINAL SPOT AND RE-OPEN AND THEN RE-FIND THE MISSING FILES AND FOLDERS.. THIS SHOULD WORK ONLY IF YOU ARE USING THE SAME COMPUTER AND FOLDERS THE FILES CAME FROM..

    [Well done for figuring it out so quickly. Definitely a weird one, which is tough to figure out what happened without a bit more information, but seeing as you've fixed it, we'll leave it with a happy ending! - VB]

  • Rachel Wallace

    Hello! I exported files from LR to my desktop turning them from NEF to JPG. I wanted to go back to one of the NEFs and add a vignette. I got the “missing/offline” message, followed the ? to find it, only to have it open as the exported JPG. How do I get back to the original NEF? Thanks so much.

    [You'd need to find the original NEF file, not the JPEG. You'll need to make it 'lose' the current connection to the JPEG by temporarily moving that JPEG to another location or renaming it, then LR will think it's missing again and you can follow the ? to go navigate to the NEF this time. - VB]

  • Leah

    I saw previously that someone had posted about the use of external hard drives. I am working on many projects simultaneously, and when I have them on the desktop it really slows down working in LR. I have since moved most of my files to my external drive. The photos load quickly, catalog nicely, and everything seems to be great in LR…until…I unplug my hard drive at any point. Then all my files start to pop up with the ? and become gray. I have had to actually delete the old photos out of LR and reload the images due to LR saying the files already exist and cannot be re-imported. I must be doing something wrong! I work on a MacBook Pro using the newest version of Lightroom. Any suggestions?

    [Leah, it sounds like you're trying to re-import the missing files. You don't want to do that. You need to click on the question mark and point it back to the correct place on the drive again and then the question marks should disappear. I'm not sure why they're not automatically reconnecting for you, if you're just unplugging and replugging the same drive, but you could try restarting LR next time that happens. On Windows, it can be a result of a drive letter changing, but that shouldn't be an issue on a Mac unless one of the Mount Points are messed up. - VB]

  • http://www.dididaniellephoto.com Didi

    I have Lightroom 2.7 (when I check for updates, it says i’m up to date???) and suddenly there are a few ‘missing photos’ (they are totally random, just a few in a couple folders) and when I locate them it just stalls at ‘searching for nearby photos’ forever. I’ve already optimized and relaunched and it didn’t help. Now what?

    I have signed up at the forums an hour or two ago and haven’t received anything emails from them yet..

    [Hi Didi, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Did you get the forum access sorted? Probably easiest if we talk over there. - VB]

  • Richard

    I am new to lightroom 3 and would like to take advantage of the missing photo feature to manage (Find) my thousands of photos that have been burned CD’s and DVD’s.

    If I import from my CD or DVD and later want to find a photo will lightroom direct me to the volume number (disk) that contains the photo I am looking for?

    [Depends on the operating system - Windows will just see a drive letter and I can't remember what the Mac version does offhand. If the photos aren't already on DVD, I'd suggest putting them within a folder on the DVD with a reference showing which DVD it is. Considering the cost of hard drives now, I'd be more inclined to load all of those DVD's onto an external hard drive and store the DVD's somewhere safe. The hard drives will be far more practical to work with. - VB]

  • Judy

    I am using Lightroom 2.7 and have been for a while now. I always bring the photos in, edit, select, then rename the selected photos before I export them into a newly name file. I have never had a problem before. So…I renamed this batch, exported (it took seconds which didn’t seem right), but the newly named files did not appear in the file I exported them to. Now it says they are missing (only the renamed files are missing….not the originally named files). I just spent hours editing these photos. I feel sick……

    Any help?

    [Hi Judy. Don't panic! I'm sure we can figure something out. It's always tough to troubleshoot via blog comments, so drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net where we can talk properly, and we'll figure out what's happened and how to fix it. - VB]

  • http://www.maxwelldexterphotography.smugmug.com the-poacher

    Very helpful, thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/aputerlady Kathleen Libbey

    what if there are over 500 folders? My old pc had data on the D: drive in mypictures. The new computer has the files in LRPix in the mypictures folder on c:users
    I can’t figure out how to link the top level and not have to manually “re-attach” every one of the over 500 folders. I’ll be in a padded room, sedated, until I figure this out.

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Oh dear Kathleen, sorry to hear that! That’s why you needed to follow the instructions on setting up a folder hierarchy (http://www.lightroomqueen.com/2009/02/28/how-do-i-move-lightroom-to-a-new-computer/) before you moved computers.

      Ok, solutions from here… was the D drive an external? If we can let LR see the photos in their original location, we can add a parent folder to make it easy to relink. Or do you still have the old computer? How long ago did you move – have you done any work in LR since? If everything’s still on the old computer, we can set up the hierarchy first and then move the catalog again.

      • Tricia

        i am moving from a pc platform to mac. i must need a parent folder to relink….i’m thinking, anyway….i have an external drive but LR doesn’t recognize it. I’m having to go in and find missing folder on each folder and i have multiple folders for each line of photo business i do. Any way to get LR to see all my folders and update automatically? perhaps that parent folder?

        • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

          Hi Tricia, I’m sure we can find a solution for you. It would help to be able to see a screenshot of your folders panel, so I can see what we’re talking about. You can either upload it here or email it to me if that’s easier.

  • niala

    oh – yes – meant for Lightroom (3.4).

    Im getting mad about the obviously (?) missing solution to assign to a ‘grayed-out drive’ (the one hosting “Missing folders of photos”) the right drive (is connected but just “happen” to have a new driver letter (Win764) !
    Am I correct that this issu is redundant and that one should stop telling photographers how they should have organised better instead of simply saying adobe does continnue not to implement this easy solution for when windows plays triks on you by renaming drives (ok maybe there are ways to prevent this too – I’m shure..) but hell.., Adobe..!

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Hi niala. The easy solution is just to manually assign a drive letter so it doesn’t keep switching, but I do have a request in to Adobe for a “Find Missing Drive” option. If you think it’s a good idea, I can only recommend you add your voice over at the Official Feature Request/Bug Report Forum http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family

  • http://twitter.com/eastwindzz Ann

    Hi
    First off your wonderful! Now here goes!! I have missing links to my images like wild fire. I have read how you relink them, so here is my question..the missing photos were renamed, moved, some on my computer and some on my hard drive, could say out of control! Now after relinking them all (no I haven;t got that far!) can I then export them as a catalog to my main catalaog…so they are all in one main catalog even with them all different places? Will it work as they are all over the place? My main catalog exits on my external hard drive!
    Thank you in advance, I have 6000 photos to get control off~~Lord have mercy!
    Trisha

  • http://twitter.com/eastwindzz Ann

    Hi
    First off your wonderful! Now here goes!! I have missing links to my images like wild fire. I have read how you relink them, so here is my question..the missing photos were renamed, moved, some on my computer and some on my hard drive, could say out of control! Now after relinking them all (no I haven;t got that far!) can I then export them as a catalog to my main catalaog…so they are all in one main catalog even with them all different places? Will it work as they are all over the place? My main catalog exits on my external hard drive!
    Thank you in advance, I have 6000 photos to get control off~~Lord have mercy!
    Trisha

  • http://twitter.com/eastwindzz Ann

    Hi
    First off your wonderful! Now here goes!! I have missing links to my images like wild fire. I have read how you relink them, so here is my question..the missing photos were renamed, moved, some on my computer and some on my hard drive, could say out of control! Now after relinking them all (no I haven;t got that far!) can I then export them as a catalog to my main catalaog…so they are all in one main catalog even with them all different places? Will it work as they are all over the place? My main catalog exits on my external hard drive!
    Thank you in advance, I have 6000 photos to get control off~~Lord have mercy!
    Trisha

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Hi Trisha

      Oh boy! I guess the question is how much work have you done in Lightroom, that you wouldn’t want to lose. If you haven’t done anything to the renamed files, I’d just remove and reimport them to save yourself some work.

      Yeah, after relinking them all, exporting as catalog, including negatives/originals sounds like an excellent plan for getting them all in one place, or you can just drag/drop within the Folders panel.

      I would suggest, before you get in too deep, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and let’s talk it through properly. We may be able to save you some work, as we’ve done a number of these ‘dejumble’ jobs.

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Hi Trisha

      Oh boy! I guess the question is how much work have you done in Lightroom, that you wouldn’t want to lose. If you haven’t done anything to the renamed files, I’d just remove and reimport them to save yourself some work.

      Yeah, after relinking them all, exporting as catalog, including negatives/originals sounds like an excellent plan for getting them all in one place, or you can just drag/drop within the Folders panel.

      I would suggest, before you get in too deep, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and let’s talk it through properly. We may be able to save you some work, as we’ve done a number of these ‘dejumble’ jobs.

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Hi Trisha

      Oh boy! I guess the question is how much work have you done in Lightroom, that you wouldn’t want to lose. If you haven’t done anything to the renamed files, I’d just remove and reimport them to save yourself some work.

      Yeah, after relinking them all, exporting as catalog, including negatives/originals sounds like an excellent plan for getting them all in one place, or you can just drag/drop within the Folders panel.

      I would suggest, before you get in too deep, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and let’s talk it through properly. We may be able to save you some work, as we’ve done a number of these ‘dejumble’ jobs.

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Hi Trisha

      Oh boy! I guess the question is how much work have you done in Lightroom, that you wouldn’t want to lose. If you haven’t done anything to the renamed files, I’d just remove and reimport them to save yourself some work.

      Yeah, after relinking them all, exporting as catalog, including negatives/originals sounds like an excellent plan for getting them all in one place, or you can just drag/drop within the Folders panel.

      I would suggest, before you get in too deep, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and let’s talk it through properly. We may be able to save you some work, as we’ve done a number of these ‘dejumble’ jobs.

  • Briancayko

    This process works fine for me however, even the the Find nearby missing photos box is checked, it does not auto find these photos even though they are in the same folder? any ideas?

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Do they all have the same names Brian? And were they originally in the same folder as the one you’re relinking?

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Do they all have the same names Brian? And were they originally in the same folder as the one you’re relinking?

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Do they all have the same names Brian? And were they originally in the same folder as the one you’re relinking?

  • Jen e

    i moved all my photos to external hard drive. opened LR3 clicked the ? of each folder and “found” them again…all was good till i shut her down started LR again and the ? marks are back

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Hi Jen, it sounds like your drive letter’s probably changing when you shut down the computer. Is that right? If so, you can set the drive letter in Disk Management and it should stay sticky.

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  • Arto Alamaunu

    I got all my photos on an external drive and every time i start Lightroom all my files are “Offline or Missing”. How to fix this? On MacBook Pro and WD MyPassport.

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      It sounds like your drive letter’s changing each time you plug the drive in. Which operating system?

  • iNikhil.

    Hey,

    I recently uploaded some pics from my Hard Drive on LR to edit. I might have removed the HD without ejecting it. Now I am not being able to edit/reload the pics. There are around 700 pics in a folder in my HD. Tried reconnecting my drive but LR still cannot read them and shows missing. The pics are in the same original place as before.

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      Which OS system Nikhil? If you right-click on the folder, find missing folder should allow you to link them with the hard drive, but it would be worth figuring out what happened.

  • Amanda

    What happens if the original file is removed from the Pc? Is there anyway to save the images from lightroom? Print them or export them without the original file?

  • Amanda

    What happens if the original file is removed from the Pc? Is there anyway to save the images from lightroom? Print them or export them without the original file?

  • Murrbaby

    Is there any way to start all over? I have so many missing files and missing keywords it is a mess?

    • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

      You’d lose all the word you’ve done so far, but yes, if you want to start over, just go to File menu > New Catalog and start importing afresh. Your old one will stay on the hard drive until you decide to delete it.

      • Murrbaby

        When you say lose meaning from Lightroom correct? not my actual cr2 and jpegs that are already in my picture folder on my computer or the ones that have been enhanced?

        • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

          Oooooops, apologies for the typo! Yes, any of the work you’ve done in Lightroom (metadata, keywords, Develop settings) wouldn’t transfer over to the new catalog, but your images are safely on the hard drive.

          • Murrbaby

            How do I delete so I don’t see all these missing images on my Lightroom?

          • http://www.lightroomqueen.com/ Victoria Bampton

            Just select them in Grid view and hit Delete. But be aware that you’ll still lose the work you’ve done to those photos. If you know where they are now, you could just link them back up. It’s a bit difficult to understand exactly what’s happened – do you want to drop me an email with more detail, or post it on the forum, and perhaps we can figure it out.

  • Thomas Soerensen

    thanks for this. It was very helpful.