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Library module Lightroom is creating virtual copies of synced photos, why?

Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
14
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
Why is Lightroom Classic all of a sudden creating virtual copies (copy 1) of mobile photos that synced? Should I unsync photos that were added to Lightroom mobile in my phone? I am thoroughly confused. Please help.
 
Solution
No apology necessary and I did not mean to insult you. I am sorry if I did.
That said, your clarification both helped me to understand what might be happening and know I need to do more research. To put it simply, I think the issue might be in part because I didn't understand how to prevent LrC from recreating a location I had previously used for storing synced mobile files. I kept disabling the storage location in preferences but didn't disable the top level function. As a result, LrC kept recreating the folder.
Since I now understand how to prevent that, I think the problem may be solved, however, I will need to sync more files to see if that is the case.
In the meantime, I synced the original file version and deleted the VC copies...
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
12,761
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Why is Lightroom Classic all of a sudden creating virtual copies (copy 1) of mobile photos that synced? Should I unsync photos that were added to Lightroom mobile in my phone? I am thoroughly confused. Please help.
If you look at the master image and the VC in the grid, do both of them show the sync icon in the top-right corner of the thumbnail, or does only the VC have it?
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
12,761
Location
West Sussex, UK
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Lightroom Version
I think you have selected multiple mobile platforms (iPhone, iPad) to sync images to Lightroom. Choose only iPhone
That shouldn't matter. The system is designed to allow multiple devices to sync at the same time (I currently have 2 x phones and 2 x tablets syncing with my cloud account).
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
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I think you have selected multiple mobile platforms (iPhone, iPad) to sync images to Lightroom. Choose only iPhone
I apologize for the very delayed response. I thought I had already responded. Anyway, multiple mobile platforms is not the issue. I only have one device, my Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with Lightroom Mobile. I believe it has something to do with Lightroom automatically assigning a location for synced photos and then when I move them to another folder a virtual copy gets created. I have deleted the location that Lightroom was using for saving synced files but at first it kept coming back until I figured out I had to also disable "Specify Location for Lightroom's synced images" see the attached screen shot. But Lightroom Classic continues to create virtual copies.
 

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Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
12,761
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
I am so sorry it's taken so long to get back to you. Only the VC show the sync icon.
Generally speaking, that situation (VCs created in Classic via syncing, with the master image not synced and the VC is synced) can usually occur when:

1. An image that exists in Classic is not currently synced (thus does not exist in the cloud), although the Classic catalog IS synced.
2. That same image is imported to one of the cloud apps, LrMobile on Android in your case. Because it doesn't exist in the cloud, it is not seen as a duplicate and so is imported OK (even if the image had, as is likely, been imported before).
3. After upload to the cloud from your tablet, the image is synced down into the Classic catalog.
4. There, Classic's duplicates detection recognises that the new image is the same as the unsynced one in the catalog. In that circumstance it automatically creates the new image as a VC of the original. The VC is synced, the original is not.

Without a detailed understanding of your workflow, I can't say why you are effectively importing images into LrMobile which have previously been imported. One explanation might be if you are importing from an external device into the tablet which contains both new and previously imported images. But why the original has been unsynced in Classic only you can say (as a space saving measure do you routinely remove files from the cloud after the initial import and syncing down into Classic?). I suggest you have a look at your workflow in light of the way Classic works to see how you can stop it happening.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
14
First, let me thank you for taking time to try to help. I truly appreciate your efforts. That said, I apologize but I don't understand your response. It is a bit disjointed.
So I'll try to respond to some of the points I find unclear or provide answers to your questions or points.
3. After upload to the cloud from your tablet, the image is synced down into the Classic catalog.
I am syncing to LR MOBILE from an android phone NOT a tablet. But why is LRC creating a VC because the image has not previously been synced nor imported?
4. There, Classic's duplicates detection recognises that the new image is the same as the unsynced one in the catalog.
As I said in response to your #3, the image synced from my phone does not previously exist in the catalog.

You asked, as a space saving measure do you routinely remove files from the cloud after the initial import and syncing down into Classic?
No, I don't but after the file has been synced with LRC I do move the file to another location (folder) on my hard drive. Before you ask I do the move inside Lightroom Classic NOT from Windows Explorer.

You said, I suggest you have a look at your workflow in light of the way Classic works to see how you can stop it happening.
There is no "workflow" per say to look at. It's simple. I have a photo that I took with my phone or that was sent to my phone from someone else, which I save on my phone internal drive or SD card and then add the image to LR MOBILE. That's it. Now, I may go back to LR MOBILE and move the image to an album or to another folder inside LR MOBILE. And as I already said, once image is synced with LR Classic I will move the image from the synced location to another more appropriate location within my folder structure but always doing so inside LRC never from Windows-10 Explorer.

I hope I've clarified or explained my process. Any other insight you or anyone else may have would be greatly appreciated as always.

Regards,
GEGJr
 
Joined
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Messages
12,761
Location
West Sussex, UK
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Lightroom Version
I'm sorry if you found my response disjointed or otherwise unhelpful. I was simply trying to provide a possible explanation to the issue that you are having.

To be clear, I can only think of three possible scenarios (in the cloud syncing environment) in which LrC could automatically create VCs:

1. Migrating a Classic catalog to Lightroom in which not all the images in that catalog were previously synced to the cloud, and then after migration sync is re-enabled back in the migrated catalog. That can result in a lot of VCs being created in LrC of all the images that were not previously synced. We can discount that in your situation.
2. Creating a duplicate of an image using one of the Lightroom apps. That would create a full copy in the cloud, but only a VC would be created when that copy syncs to LrC. In that situation, both the original and the VC would show the sync icon in LrC, so again we can discount that.
3. The third situation is a variation on the first one, and is the one I was trying to explain in my previous post. Basically if an image exists in LrC but is not currently synced, adding that image to any of the cloud apps should result in a VC (synced) being created in LrC alongside the original (unsynced). Obviously that's the closest to your situation, but if you are certain that cannot be the case (and if the images in question are new phone captures, then it's difficult to see how that could be the cause), that tends to suggest you are hitting a bug of some description (though not one I've ever come across).

Moving synced images from the download location to a different folder using LrC should not cause this problem. Many users routinely do that without any issue. Similarly moving or copying images between albums in the cloud should not cause this problem.

Unless anyone else has any suggestion as to other possible causes, the only thing which may be worth trying is to reset the LrC preferences file (see How do I reset Lightroom's Preferences? | The Lightroom Queen), as that can often clear up strange behaviour. But if that doesn't do it, then I'd suggest filing a bug report to Adobe using the link at the top of the page.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
14
No apology necessary and I did not mean to insult you. I am sorry if I did.
That said, your clarification both helped me to understand what might be happening and know I need to do more research. To put it simply, I think the issue might be in part because I didn't understand how to prevent LrC from recreating a location I had previously used for storing synced mobile files. I kept disabling the storage location in preferences but didn't disable the top level function. As a result, LrC kept recreating the folder.
Since I now understand how to prevent that, I think the problem may be solved, however, I will need to sync more files to see if that is the case.
In the meantime, I synced the original file version and deleted the VC copies and at this point the VCs have not been recreated.
Since I don't use the cloud version of the Lightroom ecosystem I really don't understand some of its idiosyncrasies. Frankly, at this point in my life I don't have the desire or the patience to learn it. So, I may just stop trying to use mobile all together.
Sincere thanks for your effort.
 
Solution
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