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How can one move folders / images wihtout losing the develop settings and without needing to import the moved images again?

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Biff

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Joined
Sep 7, 2018
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545
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Lightroom Version Number
75
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  1. Windows 10
How can one move folders / images wihtout losing the develop settings and without needing to import the moved images again?
 
The risk when moving images is that the reference location stored in the LR catalog gets disconnected with the edits and other metadata associated with those images.
The safest way to move images so that LR can change the new location is to use the Folder panel in LR to move the images. LR can then update the reference location stored in the LR catalog.
Another way to move the images is to do it using Windows Explorer. When you use Windows Explorer, the reference location stored in the LR catalog no longer matches the new location and the cataloged images or the folders in the folder panel show up with the "missing" indicator. This is not a bad thing because LR gives you an opportunity to "find" the missing images and a method to update the reference location stored in the LR catalog. When these images have been scattered and moved from the reference location folders stored in the LR catalog, it can get tedious and complicated to find the new locations for each individual image.
Either method works. Making block moves using Windows Explorer can be managed easily if you understand what you are doing. Moving the images using drag and drop and the Folder panel in LR is perhaps safer, especially if you are not clear on understanding how the reference path is stored in the LR catalog.

The worst thing that you can do is reimport the images. Never do this unless you have exhausted all of the other chances to preserve your edits and metadata changes.
 
Just drag drag folders around using in LR's Library page. If you use the OS make sure you open and re-establish links whenever you see a ? beside a folder.
 
Sorry Cletus. Your post came up as I was writing.
 
Many thanks!

So finally transferring, renaming folders / files in Lightroom works the same as doing it in the Explorer, if I see it right, very easy.

After dragging and dropping a folder over another folder this appears:
887JhPR.png

What does this "nor any change you’ve made prior to this can be undone." mean? What change made prior? Changes / edits to the images?
 
When Lightroom shows images to be missing, how could I make Lightroom automatically link them with those images being in a new folder now?
 
Last edited:
What does this "nor any change you’ve made prior to this can be undone." mean? What change made prior? Changes / edits to the images?
Lightroom uses the computer Operating System to move folders, but Lightroom cannot send an "undo" command to reverse the 'move'. If you move folders and want them back to a previous location you have to do another 'move' yourself. If you have done several folder 'moves' in Lightroom, you cannot step back through the "prior changes" to folder locations by repeating an 'Undo' command.
Nothing in this error message refers to "edits to the images".
 
When I took basic classes they taught us to do this using LR. One reason might be is people forget to re-establish links. I think is may be one reason why updates involving catalogue changes causes grief for some. Too many catalogues and folders with broken links. Like I-See-Light said it is up to you to manage any moves but always make sure all the links are maintained.
 
Too many catalogues and folders with broken links.
Yes, having more than one catalog can so easily upset the folder links in catalogs.
It is like this analogy-
You have two Address Books, Your friend moves house, you change the address in one book.- Now the other address book is wrong, it does not have the updated address.
Likewise with multiple catalogs- you move a folder with one catalog, you must also update the new location in any other catalogs, or the links are broken with 'missing' folders '?'
 
What does this "nor any change you’ve made prior to this can be undone." mean? What change made prior? Changes / edits to the images?
Lightroom uses the computer Operating System to move folders, but Lightroom cannot send an "undo" command to reverse the 'move'. If you move folders and want them back to a previous location you have to do another 'move' yourself. If you have done several folder 'moves' in Lightroom, you cannot step back through the "prior changes" to folder locations by repeating an 'Undo' command.
Nothing in this error message refers to "edits to the images".
Alright, thank you, this was irritating me: "any change you’ve made PRIOR to this"

OK, it is the best only to use a single catalog.

What kind of files, folders are these:
EV4po3t.png

Can I remove them (to release space)? Do they belong to the catalog somehow?

Lightroom made a back up of the catalog, it (Lightroom Catalog.lrcat.zip) only is 62 MB big, for about 20000 photos. Can that be correct? Lightroom Catalog.lrcat is 146 MB big.
 
I want to move images from a folder existing in the folders panel to a folder not exsiting / shown in the folders panel. How can I get the none existing folder shown in the folders panel without importing any images?
 
How can one paste (from the clipboard) the folder path in the destination panel (and in the source panel) instead of clicking through all the folder to get to the destination folder:
IHQ1Z3K.png
 
Don't use the import screen to move images that already exist in the catalog. If the folder exists in the OS but not in Lightroom's folder panel, you can either import a new image from the folder, or move the image outside of Lightroom (using Windows Explorer) and then, when Lightroom reports the image is missing, tell Lightroom where the image is.
 
Don't use the import screen to move images that already exist in the catalog
Yes, I don't do it, I wanted to import some photos which remained in one of the folders I moved the other photos from to another folder. In the destination and soucre panel one has to click through all the folders, I cannot find a way to just enter the path to and from a folder.

or move the image outside of Lightroom (using Windows Explorer) and then, when Lightroom reports the image is missing, tell Lightroom where the image is.
I unfortunaltely had move many images outside of Lightroom. Does one have to tell Lightroom the new location of each single photo or can one tell Lightroom where (in which folder) it should look for all or a part of all of the missing images? I cannot get the nearby missing option working:
cFIsb5x.png

Although in the same folder are all of the images or many of them Lightroom does not finde them automatically. Is there anything I could do to make Lightroom find and link those images automatically?
 
This dialog means you are only half way. You have to manually select “IMG_5111.CR2”. Lightroom won’t do that. Only after you selected this missing photo, Lightroom will try to automatically reconnect the nearby photos.
 
I'd still recommend that you read Victoria's blogs on all of this (referenced above).
 
Just picking some questions-
"Temporary Import Data......Can I remove them (to release space)? "
Yes they can be deleted. The 'Temporary....' files only!

"Lightroom Catalog.lrcat.zip) only is 62 MB big, for about 20000 photos. Can that be correct?
Yes. Mine is 56,000 photos 1,016 MB fullsize and 441 MB in zip.

"Does one have to tell Lightroom the new location of each single photo or can one tell Lightroom where (in which folder) it should look"
If you have used the OS to 'randomly' move files to random folders, then Yes, you will have to know where they are now to re-link each photo 'one-by-one'.
If you moved complete folders of images, then the job is easier to relink the folder by the [Update folder location] method. The "Nearby" option is not very smart:(.
 
This dialog means you are only half way. You have to manually select “IMG_5111.CR2”. Lightroom won’t do that. Only after you selected this missing photo, Lightroom will try to automatically reconnect the nearby photos.
Yes, yes, I had manually selcted “IMG_5111.CR2” but LR does not (re)link any other images although they are in the same folder. What does nearby photos mean? Photos in the same folder? Or neighbour photos in the same folder only? Or other folders additionally?
May be there is another way to make LR link missing photos automatically instead of having to do it one by one.

I'd still recommend that you read Victoria's blogs on all of this (referenced above).
Yes yes, of course, I had already done it after that post / link above.
 
"Temporary Import Data......Can I remove them (to release space)? "
Yes they can be deleted. The 'Temporary....' files only!
OK, the Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata" folder uses most of the space. Can I move it to another place on another drive?
UxAufbz.png


"Lightroom Catalog.lrcat.zip) only is 62 MB big, for about 20000 photos. Can that be correct?
Yes. Mine is 56,000 photos 1,016 MB fullsize and 441 MB in zip.
OK, good. Three times as many photos but an eight times bigger zip file than mine. I could imagine the size among other things depends on the kind and amount of the develop settings and such.

If you have used the OS to 'randomly' move files to random folders, then Yes, you will have to know where they are now to re-link each photo 'one-by-one'.
So even if one has moved a part of the images of the same folder, e.g. 100 photos of 500 one has to do it one by one.

If you moved complete folders of images, then the job is easier to relink the folder by the [Update folder location] method.
So when pointing Lightroom to the moved (and / or renamed) folder it automatically (re)links the photos (if it really are the missing photos) recognized by their names, I assume. And if it cannot find any missing photo in that folder nothing happens.

The "Nearby" option is not very smart:(.
Ah yes, so that's why it does not work here.
 
So when pointing Lightroom to the moved (and / or renamed) folder it automatically (re)links the photos (if it really are the missing photos) recognized by their names, I assume. And if it cannot find any missing photo in that folder nothing happens.
Relinking a folder does just that; it relinks the folder. If the images in that folder are still the same as Lightroom thinks that it should be, then that will relink the images as well. But if you moved or renamed individual images, so they are no longer in the folders like Lightroom expects, then the result is that the folder is relinked, but the images are still missing.
 
OK, so I guess, I rather should try to relink a folder instead of using the "nearby" option.
 
OK, so I guess, I rather should try to relink a folder instead of using the "nearby" option.
As long as you did not rename the images or move them around into different folders, then relinking folders is indeed the method to use.
 
OK, the Lightroom Catalog Previews.lrdata" folder uses most of the space. Can I move it to another place on another drive?
The Previews Cache must be located with the Catalog (of the same name).
So you can move BOTH the Catalog and its Previews to another drive, but not the Previews alone.
If there is not a Previews folder next to the Catalog (moved or deleted) Lightroom will re-build it.
 
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