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I have messed it up (migration from Classic to Cloud)

Jun 13, 2020
Randers, Denmark
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 9.3 / Lightroom Cloud 3.3
Operating System
Windows 10
Hi all,
I have messed it up! Didn't do as the good recommendations in the book and on this site. Thought I was smarter ... I wasn't.
I wanted to take the migration slow, so I thought: I'll export a year at a time to another lightroom classic catalog and the migrate that exported catalog while still have my main catalog with all the images in.
Additionally I also Smart-preview sync'ed all images from my main catalog.

This lead to that I had e.g. original files from year 2019 in Lighroom Cloud and Smartpreviews of previous years. That was the plan anyway.

Something wen't wrong. Somehow the main catalog got confused and started creating virtual copies. I panicked (rule #1: Don't panic), removed synced files, did it again - another set of virtual copies..

Well, in other words: My main catalog now has at least 2 virtual copies of every main image + the additional virtual copies that I had created while using Lightroom Classic
(I like virtual copies to try things - and will miss that feature in the cloud version).

I now have a clean slate. I have removed all images from cloud, have separate backup of all image files and catalogs and are now ready to start the complete migration instead of this "one-per-year" nonsense I came up with.

My question is: What to do with the virtual copies? My image library is basically 3x the size and it is my understanding that virtual copies will be created as separate images in cloud.

I can pretty much narrow down when this happend - it has been in July and I haven't used Lightroom Classic in this period. Is there a way to search for Creation Date for Virtual Copies so I could delete these Virtual Copies before I'm migrating the whole lot (and still maintain my "real" virtual copies that contain edits I want to keep)?

Thanks - and sorry for the long post!

Feb 1, 2010
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Were any of your "real" virtual copies synced to the cloud? If not, select the All Synced Photographs special collection in the Catalog panel, then use the Library filter to filter for VCs only.....that should isolate all the VCs that have been created by your migration process. Ctrl+A to select them all, switch to All Photographs (ensuring that you don't lose that multi-selection of the VCs), right-click on any one of the selected VCs and click on "Remove Photos".

By the way, the reason that all the VCs were created is because when you migrated a catalog which contained a sub-set of the main catalog images, once those images are in the cloud and you then open the main synced catalog in Classic, the cloud makes those "new" images available to Classic to download. However, as the images are already in the Classic catalog the duplicates detection process recognises that fact so it creates a VC to prevent a duplicates clash and to preserve the original Classic edits. The result is the new VC in Classic is synced, but the original is not.