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Missing LR files after moving to another external drive


New Member
Dec 6, 2016
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
I have apparently screwed something up royally. I am running LR CC on a Toshiba laptop with 8GB and 500GB HD . I have an external 5TB HD. My laptop was choked with photo files so I wanted to use the external drive as the main HD. To be safe instead of moving the images and LR info for the laptop, I decided to COPY the image file folders and the LR folder over to the external drive. I have checked to see that the original raw files were successfully copied to the external HD. I then deleted the originals on the laptop's HD.

But now LR cannot "see" the copied files on the external drive. I tried the "missing images" function and redirecting the catalog location to no avail. Is there some way to back track so I can transfer/copy/move the originals to the new HD with full recognition. And also what is the safest way to make the move?

Any help will be much appreciated.
Feb 1, 2010
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
If when you copied the photo collection to the external drive you retained the same folder structure, then relinking Lightroom to those photos should be fairly simple. Don't try to relocate individual photos, instead open the Folders Panel in the Library module (all the folders should be "greyed out" with a "?" icon), then right-click on the top-level folder and select "Find Missing Folder". A file browser window opens, navigate to and select the corresponding folder on the external drive....and that will reconnect all the photos in all the sub-folders of that top-level folder. If you have more than one top-level folder, repeat until you've done them all (this is a good reason for having all photos under a single top-level folder).