Can LR Classic automatically re-distribute already-imported images to date-based folders?

Brent Harsh

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Nov 20, 2016
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Lightroom Classic version: 10.1.1
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  1. Windows 10
  2. Android
I've used LR since V2, and have 180,000 images in my catalog. All of these are sorted into folder structure created by LR (ie MasterPhotos/2021/2021-01-01) *except* for about 1000 images which were imported from 12/28/2018 to 4/18/2019 using LR Mobile sync. I didn't realize that Sync wouldn't just automatically import to my default Import destination and strategy - instead, it created a random hex-named folder and dumped every image in that flat structure. When I discovered that, I found the preference to set Sync to behave properly and it's worked fine ever since, it's just those first thousand cellphone photos which bug the heck out of me by not being in the same folder as my camera shots from those dates. (with such a large catalog, it's not really a good idea to use the metadata/filters on the entire catalog - I get much better performance if I can choose the year or even the dates in the folder view than the "all photosgraphs" of the catalog - I didn't even realize I was missing seeing the synced shots until a few weeks ago!)

Short of selecting that hex-named folder and "exporting as a catalog" first, then deleting all those images from my LR Master Catalog, and then re-importing using the manual import "from catalog"(I'm actually only afraid to do this because I don't *really* trust that I'm not going to lose metadata, keywords, edits, etc) is there any way to just right-click on a folder and say "redistribute" or something?

I actually have a similar, manually-created problem from back in the days when I only had 2TB hard drives - when I ran out of space, I just added a new drive and created a new destination folder "MasterPhotos2" - so a few years are kept in that folder and there are too many to manually move within Lightroom because it won't just "drop" into the year - it complains that the actual year/date photo exist for many of them (because indeed, they do... I wasn't consistent when the disks were filling up and after migrating to larger drives). I think I could drag/drop in Windows outside of LR but then I'd have to navigate to find the root of all those images again. So I haven't touched those either.

Suggestions welcome!
 
Solution
I agree with Johan- No simple way, but for a limited number of files it can be done 'manually' based on a 'Month' basis: Victoria has a blog article on this topic-
REARRANGE FOLDERS AS DATED
And I believe the method can be simplified even more by creating the 'new' dated folders AFTER selecting the photos- as follows-
1) Select 'All Photographs' in the Catalog panel.
2) Select the Metadata Filters
3) In the Date column, highlight a single month of photos
4) Select all of the photos in the Grid below
5) Now - {Right-Click} a Parent folder (Do NOT 'Select' it with a {Left-Click}!) where you want the 'Dated' folders and choose {Create a Folder...
Joined
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is there any way to just right-click on a folder and say "redistribute" or something?
Unfortunately not. Many people have asked for this over the years.

If those 1000 photos aren't in any collections, published collections (e.g. Flickr), stacks, or books, you could select all of them, do Metadata > Save Metadata To File, remove them from the catalog (not from disk), and then reimport them. Your keywords and other metadata will be preserved. But beware that a LR 10 bug (not yet fixed) will cause conversions to black-and-white and some crop information to be lost.
 
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I agree with Johan- No simple way, but for a limited number of files it can be done 'manually' based on a 'Month' basis: Victoria has a blog article on this topic-
REARRANGE FOLDERS AS DATED
And I believe the method can be simplified even more by creating the 'new' dated folders AFTER selecting the photos- as follows-
1) Select 'All Photographs' in the Catalog panel.
2) Select the Metadata Filters
3) In the Date column, highlight a single month of photos
4) Select all of the photos in the Grid below
5) Now - {Right-Click} a Parent folder (Do NOT 'Select' it with a {Left-Click}!) where you want the 'Dated' folders and choose {Create a Folder inside...current parent folder]
6) Give the folder its 'Date' name eg.2021-03-5, AND Check [Include selected photos].
7) {Create}. Done! you have 'moved' a Month of photos to a dated folder!
Repeat from Step#3 for each 'Month' to create and move photos.
 
Solution

dasuess

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Sep 21, 2015
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Take a look at exiftool - it has powerful naming features. I am on a Mac and I use scripts built around exiftool to copy, rename, create folders, and move raw files from an SD card before import into LR.


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Joined
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Take a look at exiftool - it has powerful naming features. I am on a Mac and I use scripts built around exiftool to copy, rename, create folders, and move raw files from an SD card before import into LR.
Exiftool is great, but unfortunately, once photos are imported into the LR catalog, it's not practical to use external tools to rearrange their folder locations or rename them, since then you'd have to reconnect each such photo individually with its new location/name in LR.
 
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