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Moving files on external drive

Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
7
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 10.2
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
This has probably been discussed before but there are so many threads on the file structure with Lightroom Classic my head is spinning! I want to re-organize my external drive to simplify the photo folders but have no idea how to make sure that Lightroom can find them. How do I do that?
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,311
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
This has probably been discussed before but there are so many threads on the file structure with Lightroom Classic my head is spinning! I want to re-organize my external drive to simplify the photo folders but have no idea how to make sure that Lightroom can find them. How do I do that?
If you are going to do lots of re-organizing, I would create the folders on the desktop (i.e. outside of LR), but move the files in LR. This way LR will know where the files are now located as you move them.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
17,422
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
This has probably been discussed before but there are so many threads on the file structure with Lightroom Classic my head is spinning! I want to re-organize my external drive to simplify the photo folders but have no idea how to make sure that Lightroom can find them. How do I do that?

If you are moving whole folders around you can do as reply token suggests and create the new folder structure out side of Lightroom. If you are moving image files into a new folder structure, DON’T do this outside of Lightroom. Instead create new folders and sub folders inside the Lightroom Classic folder panel and drag the images that you want to each folder.

Lightroom maintains a file path to each file in the catalog. If you break that you have to relink using the find missing folder If you are moving files around into other folders you need to relink individual files using the “Find missing Photo” option If you use the “drag and Drop” method in the Folder panel Lightroom will update the path in the catalog to the new relationship.


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Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
7
Thanks for the help folks. Being new to Lightroom I want to make sure I understand completely. I have thousands of photos that I have moved from my laptop to an external drive to free up memory. And yes, I had to relink everything in Lightroom and it was a nightmare. But it's all done, thank goodness, and now I want to get more organized about moving originals from my laptop to the external drive on a regular basis. If I set the folders up in Lightroom that I want, then move the previews where they current exist in Lightroom to those folders, won't that "unlink" them again? Do I have to mimic the Lightroom structure on the external drive and move the existing pictures already on my external drive into those Lightroom-based folders? Hopefully these questions make sense - I'm not sure they do!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
17,422
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
If I set the folders up in Lightroom that I want, then move the previews where they current exist in Lightroom to those folders, won't that "unlink" them again? Do I have to mimic the Lightroom structure on the external drive and move the existing pictures already on my external drive into those Lightroom-based folders? Hopefully these questions make sense - I'm not sure they do!
If you do everything in the Lightroom Folder panel, You can create new folders and a new folder structure in the folder panel then drag images from their existing folders to the new folders. Or who folders of images to a new parent folder. Since this is a Lightroom operation, Lightroom will automatically update the path stored in the catalog file when it moves the image files or folders. That way you do not need to have a nightmare of relinking manually.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
7
If you do everything in the Lightroom Folder panel, You can create new folders and a new folder structure in the folder panel then drag images from their existing folders to the new folders. Or who folders of images to a new parent folder. Since this is a Lightroom operation, Lightroom will automatically update the path stored in the catalog file when it moves the image files or folders. That way you do not need to have a nightmare of relinking manually.
Thanks for all the help everyone. One more question - when I upload photos from my memory card to my laptop, they go into a Lightroom folder with that day's date under the parent folder for the laptop hard drive (MacIntosh HD). My plan was to build folders on the Lightroom panel in the external drive parent folder (My Passport for Mac) that correspond to the Collection folders, where I put my photos after I've imported and sorted. Then I was going to add the photos from the individual Collection folders to the corresponding external drive folder. IS that too much manipulation? Should I just have a folder on my external drive for each year and throw the whole imported date folder in there every time I import? (Also, I'm assuming when I'm moving photos out of the dated folders in the Lightroom panel I can just delete those folders that end up having "0" photos in them?). My brain is fried!
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2007
Messages
2,311
Location
Puget Sound
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Classic
Thanks for all the help everyone. One more question - when I upload photos from my memory card to my laptop, they go into a Lightroom folder with that day's date under the parent folder for the laptop hard drive (MacIntosh HD). My plan was to build folders on the Lightroom panel in the external drive parent folder (My Passport for Mac) that correspond to the Collection folders, where I put my photos after I've imported and sorted. Then I was going to add the photos from the individual Collection folders to the corresponding external drive folder. IS that too much manipulation? Should I just have a folder on my external drive for each year and throw the whole imported date folder in there every time I import? (Also, I'm assuming when I'm moving photos out of the dated folders in the Lightroom panel I can just delete those folders that end up having "0" photos in them?). My brain is fried!
What are you going to do when a photo is in two collections? For file management purposes, my preference is to use a date-based folder system and then use LR to create collections (and/or use keywording). There are other methods that folks use, but I prefer date-based folders and names. No file has the same name, and if I need to do backups, I find that this arrangement is easier for me. And if I send somebody a file, I can easily locate it years later if it has a date-based name and I have a date-based folder structure. I acknowledge this is not everybody's cup of logic and arrangement, but variations on it are quite common among forum members. YYMV.

Good luck,

--Ken
 
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