How to reverse accidental import of photos to LR Classic CC for Mac

rmargolis

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Jun 8, 2011
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Lightroom Classic CC
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macOS 10.13 High Sierra
I accidentally imported thousands of photos to LR Classic CC for Mac. The undo function doesn't work for this problem. Is there a way to deleter the most recent import? Can I do it with Current Import? Just highlight all and delete?
 

I-See-Light

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Take care-
If you select the 'unwanted' photos-Just highlight all and Right-Click to REMOVE. (Do NOT delete)

"Remove" simply takes the previews out of the Catalog. "Delete" will permanently erase the files from your hard-drive.

If they are your photos- I question- why you would not want them in a database for easy indexing and searching, etc.
 

rmargolis

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Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
11
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Beginner
Take care-
If you select the 'unwanted' photos-Just highlight all and Right-Click to REMOVE. (Do NOT delete)

"Remove" simply takes the previews out of the Catalog. "Delete" will permanently erase the files from your hard-drive.

If they are your photos- I question- why you would not want them in a database for easy indexing and searching, etc.

Thanks for the warning. I wasn't clear. These are photos on an external backup hard drive so they are duplicates. Its not a complete current backup. If I delete them from the Previous Import in LR and I choose "remove from the hard disk", it will remove them from the hard disk on my computer which is where it seems to have deposited them - deep in the Library. Don't know why they went there.

I think I will download the backup I just got from Backblaze, the online back up service I use. I'll download it to the external hard drive and make certain its ok. Then I'll delete the Previous Import.

For me the lesson again is to not work when I am tired and to pay attention to the detail.
 

LouieSherwin

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@rmargolis, Does the "Previous Import" collection contain all the images that you accidentally imported and you now want to remove from the catalog? If so don't see why you believe that you need to restore from BackBlaze.

The first thing I would do is make all the images in Previous Import a permanent collection so you don't accidentally loose track by running Import again.

The next thing to determine is did you use "Copy", "Move" or "Add" when you ran the errant Import. This will determine how you want to handle cleaning up your catalog.

If you used either "Copy" or "Move" then the imported image files were placed in folders defined in the Destination panel of the Import dialog. Both of these copy the files from the source location to the destination location. The difference being "Move" deletes the file from the source. You can double check the physical location of any image by hovering over the name of the folder displayed in "Folder" field of "default" metadata view. In either case you will probably want to use the "Delete from Disk" option.

If on the other hand you used "Add" as your import option Lightroom just adds it to the catalog and leaves the file in it's original location. In your case I think on the external backup drive. Then you can use the "Remove" option to just remove the image from your catalog and leave the image on the external drive.

Just a reminder that you cannot directly delete an image from your hard drive when the source is a collection. The simplest way to deal with that is to set the flag to "reject". Then go to "All Photographs" special collection and press CMD-Del. This will find all the rejected photos in your catalog and give you dialog where you can either "Delete from Disk" or "Remove" from catalog.

-louie
 

rmargolis

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Jun 8, 2011
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Beginner
What happened: The Iomega drive on which I had my photos for years failed. In August 2018 I had an issue with something else and decided to drag my photo files from the Iomega drive to a LaCie 6Tb drive that I have connected. Just a small safety measure. Its a newer drive and tests out as a healthy drive.

A few days ago I needed an older photo so went to the LaCie drive to import a single photo and hit "Import" in LR without realizing that all the photos were highlighted. So this huge import began and I elected not to abort it due to concerns that that would cause a problem. So that how I accidentally imported so many photos. Since the Iomega drive wasn't attached and the LaCie drive wasn't specified in the import, it seems when I check the Finder on my computer, I find that the photos are here. I don't know why. ( Image below of Finder where one image is located so thats where all the images are located. )

So as I said above, the LaCie drive doesn't have a complete back-up. I've isolated this partial Aug 18 backup in a Folder and have created another Folder on the LaCie drive for the Import of the backup I am currently downloading from BackBlaze, my offsite backup site.

When the downloading of the backup is complete in 4 days!! I will import it into Lightroom using the LaCie drive as the Source. Before I do the Import of the backup, I plan to delete all the images in Previous Import from the disk. That will remove them from my computer hard drive which, as you can see, is where they have been deposited.

I do understand that Collections are just pointers and know I won't do operations on them. I will work from my Catalog only.

Any other thoughts for me to consider?

I deeply appreciate your continuing to respond to my questions.

Best.. Roberta
 

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