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Accidentally removed all folders in a catalog!

jessica wickham

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Joined
Feb 19, 2017
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3
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Hi -- I'm new to Lightroom and having a great time setting up my catalog. I imported photos from iPhoto and have set up a folder structure based on years. I've got about 18,000 images. Unfortunately, after getting all the folders organized, I accidentally REMOVED the main folder (I had called it "imported from iPhoto") that all the other folders were pointing to!! So my entire folder structure is no longer visible in the left side panel... The 18000 photos are still in the "All Photographs" area in the catalog. Thankfully the folders still exist on my hard drive. Is there any way to easily restore the folders back into LR? Or do I have to recreate them all from scratch?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Jessica
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
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West Sussex, UK
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Hi, welcome to the forum.

Interesting....if you "remove" the parent folder then yes, all the other sub-folders are also removed. BUT, the images in those folders are also removed, i.e. they'll no longer appear in "All Photographs". So something doesn't sound quite right....in which case a screenshot of the left hand panel (with both the Catalog and Folders panels expanded and visible) would be the best place to start to try unravelling the mystery.
 
Joined
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Sounds like maybe your folder panel is hidden. Right-click anywhere on an empty part in the header of another left side panel. That will bring up a contextual menu where you can hide/show individual panels.
 

jessica wickham

New Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
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Hello Jim & Johan,

Thanks so much for the quick responses! Great to know that this forum exists...

Well, late last night in frustration after apparently losing my folders, I exited and rebooted and went to bed... This morning I opened LR again and by some small miracle, the folders were BACK! So strange. I'm sure it was my error, but I can't figure out for the life of me what I did. I did try clicking on the side panel headers underneath Folders but they did not reveal the folders... Hmmm... Another thing -- there were a number of empty sub-folders that showed up this morning, a few underneath each Year subfolder. I thought I had deleted them all previously.

So, happy ending. I don't understand but I'm not going to ask more questions!!

:)
 

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jessica wickham

New Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2017
Messages
3
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
Lightroom Version
I think I figured out what happened... earlier I had chosen to "display parent folder" to my LightroomMasters folder. It showed the parent folder "Pictures" but that also contained the folder that I used for exported photos from iPhoto (that I proceeded to import into LR). This was the folder that I removed accidentally. How the folders were restored is still a mystery though!
 
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