• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom Classic questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. And better still, the eBooks are updated for every release, so it's always up to date.

Is there a way to compare folder contents?

Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
84
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
One way to do that is to temporarily mark each folders photos with a separate label colour. Then create a collection and add all the photos of both folders into it. So you will see together there all the photos from both folders, easily distinguishable by label colour. You can sort these photos on the grid by capture date or filename etc if that helps to group and compare them. Or use the Library filter to view only the photos of a certain file type or camera model.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,629
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Try Beyond Compare, from www.scootersoftware.com . It's my "daily driver" for this sort of utility. Great interface, lots of display options.
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Messages
1,396
Location
Dublin, Ireland.
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
I am a big fan of Beyond Compare. Use it for lots of different scenarios. It is available on Mac and Windows. Use the Folder Compare Option. The interface is fairly intuitive, but time spent getting to understand its various features will be rewarded.

If using the synch or copy features to copy images from one folder to another then you can subsequently use the Lr Synchronise Folder option to import the images. However, if you move or delete files outside of Lr, using Beyond Compare, then the usual painful experience of dealing with the mess created will follow (ie use the copy rather than move or delete features). Consider your own approach as to how you wish to deal with duplicate images in your catalog.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
684
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
In recent years, folder comparison has become a feature in more backup programs, so if you use a robust backup utility, check it to see if already has that feature. In backup programs you might not see folder comparison as a top-level feature, but as a necessary part of other features such as previewing a backup, or previewing sync in one direction or the other, so you can see what the folder differences are before some files are replaced or deleted during the actual action.

Just remember that, as already noted above, any kind of folder modification outside Lightroom Classic will break links to those images in the catalog. Of course it would be much nicer if Lightroom Classic had folder comparison built in, but it doesn’t… So for now, Y.K’s solution is a clever way to get it done inside Lightroom Classic.

If there are not a lot of differences, like just a few images, the best thing to do is go into the Lightroom Classic catalog and manually reconcile them there. For example, if you discover two duplicates, you want to see in Lightroom Classic if one has better edits or more complete metadata than the other, then you know which one is better to keep. An outside application won’t know those things, and might delete the wrong one.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
4
I am a big fan of Beyond Compare. Use it for lots of different scenarios. It is available on Mac and Windows. Use the Folder Compare Option. The interface is fairly intuitive, but time spent getting to understand its various features will be rewarded.

If using the synch or copy features to copy images from one folder to another then you can subsequently use the Lr Synchronise Folder option to import the images. However, if you move or delete files outside of Lr, using Beyond Compare, then the usual painful experience of dealing with the mess created will follow (ie use the copy rather than move or delete features). Consider your own approach as to how you wish to deal with duplicate images in your catalog.

One way to do that is to temporarily mark each folders photos with a separate label colour. Then create a collection and add all the photos of both folders into it. So you will see together there all the photos from both folders, easily distinguishable by label colour. You can sort these photos on the grid by capture date or filename etc if that helps to group and compare them. Or use the Library filter to view only the photos of a certain file type or camera model.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks all!!
My challenge was comparing the content of folders maintained within the lightroom classic world. So Y.K.'s color label approach sounds like an eloquent solution to comparing two lightroom folder contents - I'll give that a go. PhilBurton - Beyond Compare sounds like a great tool outside the lightroom world. I'll keep that on my list of useful utilities. As Conrad suggested - I might end up "breaking" links in the folder content maintained within lightroom if you used it beyond discovery!
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
2,629
Location
California, USA
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
[ ...] PhilBurton - Beyond Compare sounds like a great tool outside the lightroom world. I'll keep that on my list of useful utilities. [ ...]

I selected BeyondCompare because it was a lot easier to use than similar utilities. Much better interface, lots of options for display and actions.

Beyond Compare allows manual synchronization of folders. For automatic synchronization of folders, on the same system or on different systems, I use the paid version of www.goodsync.com.
 
Top