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Best way to incorporate missing photos

Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
79
Location
Hillsborough, NC
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
#1
Lightroom Version
6.14
Operating System
Windows 10
I have consolidated my Lr photos to one catalog. However, of my 29K photos about 4K are noted as "missing". I have the photos. I've started re-linking them but whew after about an hour I've re-linked only a couple dozen.

Almost all of the photos to be re-linked need only to a new drive and/or folder.

Is there some way to do the remapping bulk-wise rather than by individual photos? For instance, the missing photo is xdrive/xfolder and the needed map is ydrive/yfolder. Do I need to do this individually or is there some intelligent way to do a bulk remapping?

Thanks for your help.

Lee
 

Jim Wilde

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
10,852
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
#2
Is it just individual files scattered across lots of folders, or is it that some folders are missing (which of course means all their contents are also missing)? Check your Folders Panel, are any of the folders "greyed out" with the "?" icon showing on them? If so, if you relink the folder (right-click and select "Find Missing Folder" then navigate to the correct location in the resulting file browser), all the images in that folder will also be relinked if they are still there.
 
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
79
Location
Hillsborough, NC
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
#3
Thanks, Jim. None of the files or folders are really "missing." They are at locations different from their original home.

What created the problem is long-term mismanagement of my photo library. I'm consolidating all my photo collection onto one portable HDD. When I moved my lrcat file to the portable HDD most of the files transferred with my move, but about 4K remain outside the portable HDD in 4-5 locations. These have the filename that Lr is looking for but different locator data (e.g., previous location was E:/folder/subfolder/filename and I need it to be at L:/same folder/subfolder/filename). I can re-import the photos but then I lose my edits, keywords, and other metadata.

I've begun remapping the files as you suggest, but with ~4K missing files the individual moves can take forever. As you mention, finding one missing file will also find the others in that folder, but each folder contains only 1-10 files, so I need to repeat the process hundreds of times. I am hoping that there is a shortcut that I haven't found.

The "missing" files/folders are scattered on other drives/folders. The vast majority of the missing files are on only 4-5 parent folders but there are hundreds of daughters (subfolders).
 

Laura Shoe

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Lightroom Guru
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
90
Location
Seattle
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
#4
Hi Lee,

If the folders have question marks, then right-click and use Find Missing Folder to reconnect the folders. If the child folders are still in the old parents (and the images are still in the old child folders), then when you find the missing parent folders, LR will automatically find the child folders within them - so always do Find Missing Folder at the highest level possible.

Otherwise, how do you feel about losing some or all of your LR work on these photos? My thought is to consider removing these missing files from LR and then reimport them. If you were automatically writing to XMP as you worked on these photos (in Edit (PC) or Lightroom (Mac)>Catalog Settings, on the Metadata tab) - or manually doing so, then you would just lose pick/reject flags, virtual copies, and collections. If you weren't, then you would lose all your work on the photos.

In the future, do all your file reorganization from within Lightroom, using the Folders panel, so that files don't go missing. Watch my first video tutorial on this page for a lesson in all the file reorganization tasks.
 
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