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How to re-link edits (.xml files) after messing up file-system structure?

alexander.starbuck

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
4
Lightroom Version
10.0
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
Hi all,

I just messed up my catalogue, BIG TIME. I created some folders in Windows Explorer and sorted my existing source folders with original photos into these folders. Of course, this raised question marks inside Lightroom (meaning: the link to original source images was lost).

I didn't know how to solve this problem so I did the right click on the top folder in hierarchy and chose "Synchronize folders". This properly removed and re-imported all the photos, now sorted into my newly created subfolders by years BUT all the edits are now gone. No picks/rejects, star ratings, color labels, preset edits, nothing...

Is there a way to bring this back? Are there original .xml's stil present, can I somehow make Lightroom re-connect those or not?

Many thanks in advance!
Alex
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,838
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
As you've found, you do not use synchronize folders to resolve a problem. So where is your backup catalogue?

Once that is restored, fix missing folders by right clicking and choosing Find Missing Folder, and any remaining photos by clicking the missing photo icon.
 

alexander.starbuck

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
4
As you've found, you do not use synchronize folders to resolve a problem. So where is your backup catalogue?

Once that is restored, fix missing folders by right clicking and choosing Find Missing Folder, and any remaining photos by clicking the missing photo icon.
Dear John,

many thanks for your reply. I Might not have a fresh enough of a catalogue, but I'll investigate to see what was the last time I backed up. So, let's at least learn a couple of lessons, correct me with any of these which I might get wrong:
  • "Synchronize..." option removes source photos, ALONG WITH their respective .xml's (?) and re-imports the photos back into the catalogue;
  • "Find missing folder..." option simply re-syncs the source files/folders with existing edits (.xml's) still present inside the catalogue;
  • (Re)Sort source files from within Lightroom interface, NOT Explorer/Finder;
Cheers!
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
5,838
Location
London
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Yes, you've understood. A daily or weekly catalogue backup is a good idea.

Synchronize just makes LR like whatever is in the actual folders. It's got its uses, at other times, but when you're resolving a problem it often causes more problems. As you say, it removes missing photos and any work done on them, and imports whatever it finds in those folders, including any xmp files.

Find Missing Folder points the folders in LR to where they now are, and should therefore tell it where the photos are too. All your work in the catalogue is therefore re-associated with the photo in its new location. XMP files aren't relevant in this case. And yes, you fix the problem in LR - or put Explorer/Finder back how it was, which is harder.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,509
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Yes, you've understood. A daily or weekly catalogue backup is a good idea.

Synchronize just makes LR like whatever is in the actual folders. It's got its uses, at other times, but when you're resolving a problem it often causes more problems. As you say, it removes missing photos and any work done on them, and imports whatever it finds in those folders, including any xmp files.

Find Missing Folder points the folders in LR to where they now are, and should therefore tell it where the photos are too. All your work in the catalogue is therefore re-associated with the photo in its new location. XMP files aren't relevant in this case. And yes, you fix the problem in LR - or put Explorer/Finder back how it was, which is harder.
DAILY, DAILY, DAILY. DAILY.

You do the backup when you have finished working with Lightroom. Disk space is a lot cheaper than the time required to recover from catalog corruption.
 
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