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LR Not Recognizing Duplicates


New Member
Apr 9, 2019
Northern California
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
When I travel, I start with an empty LR Catalog on my laptop and use that to import/edit images on the road. When I return home, I export all of the images (and LR edits, etc) from the laptop as a catalog. I then import that (exported) catalog into my main desktop LR catalog. Works really well and all of the edits I made on the road are preserved in my desktop LR system. Before I format a memory card, I attempt to import all of its images into my desktop LR system, expecting (hoping) that the Import Dialogue will find no new photos (Don't Import Suspected Duplicates option is checked). However, that has not been the case with any images that were originally imported into a laptop LR catalog and subsequently exported as a catalog and imported into the main desktop LR catalog. None of the images are recognized as duplicates. All relevant metadata in LR matches that on the memory card (filename, dimensions, capture date and time, exposure settings, camera make and model). Also, if I attempt to import images from the memory card into the original (Travel) LR catalog on my laptop, they are correctly flagged as duplicates. Not an insurmountable problem but eliminates a sanity check I use before formatting a memory card. (Hope I've explained this with some semblance of clarity). Thanks for any help.
Jun 20, 2009
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
I think what the “Import from Another Catalog” is doing is simply merging the travel catalog with the master catalog and not checking for duplicates as it is really checking for history of matching files. If the develop history is different between the images in the travel catalog and the master catalog, Virtual copies are created.

Now, I have a question on duplicates. When you merge catalogs, are you ending up with duplicate files? This might occur if you are not matching folder structures between the master catalog and the travel catalog. If so, then there may be a problem we we need to look into further.

When I used a travel catalog before I switched to Lightroom on an iPadPro, I always used a date named folder scheme on both the master and travel catalogs. I never had a problem with duplicates.

Some tips that you might find useful:
1. Copy the master catalog without images from the master computer to the travel computer. This preserves the Smart Collections, Collections, Plugins keywords and Publish Services that are useful when traveling. You can remove all of the old cataloged images from the copied catalog but this is not really necessary.
2. If you make your Pictures folder in the travel catalog a sub folder of the Lightroom Folder, then you are duplicating the contents of the “Export as a Catalog” structure. Then you don’t need to take that “Export as a Catalog” step in your workflow. You can simply take the Lightroom Folder including the catalog file, Pictures folder and Previews and copy it to the master computer and use that as the “Import from another catalog”.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk