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Import Destination folder not writable

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New Member
Feb 8, 2022
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic version: 11.1 [ 202112022200-7fd1f998 ]
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
I've always been able to import photos from an SD into LR Classic by inserting the SD into my iMac while LRC was on. The photos would appear, I'd check all, hit import, and they would all be imported quickly. Tonight, when I loaded the SD with 210 photos and hit Import, I got an error message:
"Could not copy a file to the destination folder because it is not writable (210). Then Items 1-100. Items 101-200, Items 201-210."

I've turned LRC off and on, and the iMac off and on, ejected an re-inserted the SD. Help!!??
I've never had to deal with a destination folder before. How do I determine what the destination folder is, and do I need to change permissions?
Can I designate a new destination folder?
How can I get these pictures into LRC?
Welcome to the forum. The destination folder is the place where you want your photos to reside. It can be on your internal drive or an external drive hooked up to your computer. You should ideally keep all of the photos under one top level folder wherever you do decide to keep your photos. You can use subfolders under that top level folder, but keeping them under it makes it easy if you ever need to back up or move your files. Ideally, you should not keep other files underneath that top level folder, just keep your images that you want to import into LR.

When you import images into LR classic, you identify the source, in this case the SD card that you have placed in your Mac's card reader. You then have the option to Copy as DNG, Copy, Move or Add the images. If you are reading hem from an SD card, Copy is usually the preferred option. Then you get to the Destination. I would recommend creating that top level folder prior to starting your importing and then selecting it in the Import dialog box.

Now remember, when you import images into LR classic, you are telling LR Classic where these images are going to be located (i.e. their Destination folder), but LR Classic does not put the images inside the program. The images live where you put them and LR classic knows that they are located there. If you move them outside of LR Classic, the program is not going to know they have been moved and it will flag them as not being where you told it they were located. So, pick a good location for your destination folder and leave it alone otherwise.

And, when you make backups of your LR catalogs, know that this process does not backup your image files. These need to be done by you, and I strongly recommend that you have some type of backup (or 2-3) on a different drive. Accidents happen and you will want copies of your images in the even that one does happen.

Hope this helps. Post with any follow up questions if something does not make sense. Also note that Victoria, aka The LR queen, has several ebooks that can help you with the basics. You may want to start at the home page and go from there - https://www.lightroomqueen.com/ .

Good luck,

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