Have you ever edited photos in Photoshop, only to find the edited photo appears in a different folder in Lightroom’s Folders panel? Or perhaps you’ve ended up with two Pictures folders in Lightroom, but only one on your hard drive.
The cause is simple. Lightroom’s catalog is case-sensitive, but most hard drives are not. Windows or macOS can see Pictures and pictures as the same folder, but Lightroom sees them as different folders.
The fix is equally simple. We just have to “lose” the folders and then “find” them again, correcting the path in Lightroom’s catalog.
Confirm the Cause
Firstly, we should identify whether capitilization is the cause of your duplicate folders. There are two ways to do this:
- Right-click on the folders and choose Show in Explorer (Windows) / Show in Finder (Mac). If both folders take you to the same place, you’ve confirmed the cause.
- Float over the folder until a tooltip appears showing the full path. Write it down carefully, then repeat for the other folder. Look for a difference in capitalization somewhere in the path. It’s often the user account name that differs (e.g., Users/Paul vs. Users/paul) or a NAS mount point (e.g., 192.168.0.1 vs. D:\).
In our example, we have a folder called general 2019 and it’s duplicated as General 2019 below it.
1. Take a catalog backup, which acts as a restore point.
2. Create a temporary folder on another drive using Explorer / Finder, and call it CapsFix. We’re not transferring any files, so it can be an external drive, USB stick, memory card. The important thing is that it’s not the drive that has the duplicate folders.
3. In Lightroom, make a note of the name and path of the folder with the issue. Right-click on the first folder (e.g., General 2019), select Update Folder Location and navigate to the CapsFix folder that you created in step 2.
Repeat for the other folder (e.g., general 2019). If it asks permission to Merge, that’s fine.
4. Don’t worry if the photos seem to disappear. They’ll appear under the CapsFix folder, but will be temporarily listed as missing.
5. Now, right-click on the CapsFix folder in the Folders Panel, select Update Folder Location again, this time browse to and select the correct folder name (e.g., General 2019).
6. Your photos should now be back in the single copy of the folder, and next time you Edit in Photoshop, the photos will end up in the right place.
If you have more than one occurrence, just repeat! And if you get stuck or this sounds too complicated, don’t panic, just take screenshots and post them on the forum, and we can give you more specific instructions based on your own folder names.
For extensive information on Lightroom Classic, see Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.
If you have the Photography Plan, then as well as Classic you have access to the Lightroom cloud ecosystem including the mobile apps and web interface. For more information on these apps, see Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro.
Note: purchase of these books includes the first year’s Classic or cloud-based Premium Membership (depending on the book purchased), giving access to download the latest eBook (each time Adobe updates the software), email assistance for the applicable Lightroom version if you hit a problem, and other bonuses.
We also have a special bundle offer for the two books. This includes Premium Membership for the first year as described above for the whole Lightroom family!