Failures to Export Issue(s)

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Aug 4, 2010
Surrey, England
Lightroom Experience
Having spent hours doing a detailed cull, Develop, crop and re-order of images (going from 490 to 297), I tried to Export them to my Photos Folder.

All appeared to go well, until at the end, I discovered that 37 had "Failed to Export".

Could not figure out why (still can't).

Then tried to repeat the entire Export only to find that LR cannot find the Images that I want to Export (despite them being still where they were 20 mins earlier), AND the Images in the Photos Folder to which I had exported 260 earlier, are NO Longer there.

Advice would be most welcome, and in language suitable for a technophobe Beginner (NOT kidding)

Many thanks

Terrified of losing these Photos !!


PS. Using LR 3.6 in case that helps/is relevant
Hi Safariholic

Be reassured it is unlikely that your originals, LR edits or your exported files are gone. The exports are just hiding and you have to seek.

First find your successfully exported photos - assuming that you have just mislaid them rather than deleted them. Go to the export dialogue and see what Export Location was chosen before (Click on the horizontal arrow to open the drop down choices for any of Export settings). Exported files will not reappear in LR because they have been exported - with your edits (presumably) they will only reappear in LR should you want to re-import them. Use Explorer/Finder to confirm their whereabouts and safety. Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong folder location/disk/place in the folder heirarchy - LR will not change the location on its own. You need to be looking at the right file type (extension) for example .jpg or .tif.

Now the failed to Export set. In Library (Grid view - press G) re-select this complete set either in the film, there is a temporary collection under the catalogue with them in. Select File Naming convention, may have thrown you, because if it is the same for your later efforts they could be overwritten. Rreset the name to create a unique name or accept LR's suggestion. Next File Settings this may be the source of the 'fail to export' problem. If you have selected JPEG high quality and limited the file size LR may have been unable to compress files small enough, either leave file size unchecked or set a higher limit.

Good luck

Thanks, but I may be in more trouble than I (or you) thought.

I now, having tried to Exprt a 2ns time, have NIL Succesfully Exported and 297 IN Failed.

ALL 297 remain visible in LIBRARY.

Help appreciated.

And at the risk of being a total pain - treat me as a total simpleton. Idiot proof instructions will be needed .
NO Offence will be taken !!
Can you take a screen shot of your lightroom, with the photos you want to export on screen as well as the folder bar on the left (In Library Mode). Thanks!
So all 297 are safe then because you found them in Library. There are no '?' marks in the thumbnails in Library module are there? Be reassured the failed collection is just a 'tag' - a field associated with the photo in LR's database, nothing has changed in the file itself. I guess there's a setting wrong in the Export dialogue or possibly something such as a disk location not available at the moment or a drive letter changed on an external drive. Any other message on failure?

I would direct you to a video tutorial if I found one which tackled the basics well but I have not found one (yet) which I could watch all the way through.

The Missing FAQ for Lightroom 3 or 4 by the Lightroom Queen, Victoria Bampton (owner of this forum) has a section on Export.
See (copy and paste the address into your browser). Either would be a sensible investment and Export has not changed much (if at all) between 3.6 and 4.1.

If you can post the settings for Export which you are using (location, name, file format etc.) we might be able to help more.
Example Export dialogue

How does this compare with your Export dialogue? This is set to export 7 files to my hard disk at a specific location, specific name and sequence starting at 1, in JPEG format at 80% quality with no file size limit and no image size settings. (Ignore the LR Mogrify panel in the bottom left corner.)

LR Export dialogue .png

Thanks, but How does one do that exactly (in serious levels of simple step-by-step detail).

Thanks again.

Off to The Open (Golf at Royal Lytham St Anne's shortly, so there will be a few days delay in my reading and taking the next steps/action.


ALL 297 are in "All Photographs" (grid display) AND in "Photographs that failed to Export" AND they all have a '?' mark

It appears that Zero have been succesfully Exported.

I'd take a screen shot to show you, but dont know how ......... ?

Thanks once again for your time and advice.

Hi Sefariholic,
I'd take a screen shot to show you, but dont know how ......... ?
Have a look over here:

AND they all have a '?' mark
Might it be possible, that LR simply doesn't find the fotos on your HDD? (Did they probably have been moved or an external HDD is not available or something?)
Try a rightclick on one "?" image and select "Show in Windows Explorer" (or similar, I don't have an English LR over here) to see, if the image path in LR is correct.
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If the files have the '?' mark, that means that they are missing as far as Lightroom is concerned. If a file is missing, it cannot be exported (or developed) as this requires the actual file to be available and not the preview that you may see in the Library.

So, do you know where the files are? If so, you should be able to relink them back to Lightroom to enable them to be exported.

To take a screenshot, see here.
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Fotografo Steel

Sorry, but no idea what an 'HDD' is or looks like, much less an External One (Hard Drive ........... ? If Yes, then NO, the Images were not exported to an HDD. My intention was to export them to a Folder/File , which is still on my PC).

ONLY later when the entire collection (album of the trip in question) was edited, tarted-up etc would they be copied to the External Hard Drive etc.

Will try and send a screen shot next few mins. Could not do till now, as Sniping Toll is not available with XP.



Tried a Right-click on the ? symbol, and it tells me that the Image in Question was in another File (ex-LR)
I now have "Ilivid" on my system (laoded as a means of allowing screenshot(ing), but HOW odes one open it etc

ALL I am getting is an Option to maximie it in the TASKBAR.

Thanks once again for patience


PS. Total Panic here as worried that I have lost all my Shots/Images etc or nearly as bad the Hours spent Editing etc have been wasted !!
The '?' tells you that the photo has been moved from the location LR was expecting.

Perhaps you moved or re-titled the files or folder for example when getting ready to export by gathering them together under a different folder. Is there a folder with a question mark when you look at the left hand panel in folder view (click on the horizontal arrow to expand the folder view).

If you have not changed the file name (just changed the location) find a test photo using Windows explorer, make a note of the folder name and its place in the folder tree. Return to LR right click on the '?' by the folder or parent folder. Choose 'find missing folder' and navigate from within LR to the folder where you found the test photo. Select the folder and all the photos in that folder should be reappear within LR.

If the pictures have been separated from their 'sidecar' files they will have to be reunited to recover crops and edits.

If you have renamed the files accidentally life will be more difficult reuniting images and 'sidecar' files but hopefully this is not the problem.
If the pictures have been separated from their 'sidecar' files they will have to be reunited to recover crops and edits.
This is not true. LR uses the same information stored in the catalog. Sidecar XMP Files are always optional..

Safariholic, Click on the (?) on one of the images that is showing in the Grid view. the Messagebox will show the location of where LR thinks the image should be located. Please paste a screen shot of that message in your reply.

From this we can determine where to look for your 297 (missing?) images.

LR Screen shot location revealed.png

However, when I looked in that Folder (in my C Drive Master Copies of Pictures) they are not there.

As I had planned to Export them to a Folder called 2013.03.XX Vietnam Only, their appearance in 2012.03.21 Hong Kong is a mystery.

'Sidecars' are something one attached to a motor bike !! Idot proof directions needed and assume I know Zilch !!

Seriously though, you'r efforts are much appreciated.

Try this (if you're on Windows 7, and maybe Vista):

Bring up Computer (That will open a Windows Explorer window.)
Then, in the upper right corner, where theres a box labeled "Search Computer", type the name of that image that is missing: IMG_0345.jpg
The computer will think a bit and then come up with a list of all files with that name, with a line underneath that tells where the file is located.

Where is that location?

If you're on Windows XP, there is a Search facility in Windows Explorer that you can use to do the same thing.

Like I said, there's a search facility in Windows Explorer on XP. It isn't all that hard to use.

Your problem is that you moved your images (or renamed them, or renamed the folder they were in, or deleted them) using some app that wasn't Lightroom. And now Lightroom doesn't know where they are. It only knows where they were when you imported them.

Searching for a missing image is the easiest way to find out where they got moved to. Once you know that, it will be easy to tell Lightroom their new location.

Here's how to do it on Windows XP:

Sorry Safariholic, "HDD" is simply a hard drive, whether external or internal. (HDD is the abbreviation for "Hard Disc Drive").

Any way, as Hal wrote: Lightroom can't find your files anymore and therefore can't export them. Try the Windows search (Windows key + F or using Windows Explorer) and make a full search (all drives) for the file from your screenshot: "IMG_0345.jpg".

BTW: I don't think the Windows Desktop is the best place to store your images... ;)

Whatever I did and wherever I looked, I could not locate where the images are.

Have given up and started the whole process all over again (was only 8 hours to have thrown away) - relaoding original images from where I still had a copies, redoing all the edits etc.

I may be utterly cheesed off, BUT Thank You anyway.

Case Closed !

Have given up and started the whole process all over again (was only 8 hours to have thrown away) - relaoding original images from where I still had a copies, redoing all the edits etc.

Umm... So you still HAVE the images anywere. So you can simply copy them back to the "old" location LR is still thinking the images should be and ... fine. LR will find them once again and everybody lived happily ever after... ;)
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