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Peter Fishley

New Member
Apr 8, 2017
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Operating System:IMAC - macOS Hight Sierra
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info):Lightroom Classic Version 7.2 on my IMAC

Relatively new to Lightroom (12 Months) and am enjoying BUT-

Purchased an external hard drive that I keep plugged in and running all the time .

Tkat the SD card out of my camera and put in card reader on my computer and transfer the photos directly into my hard drive as follows-

on my external hard drive I have a single folder called Lightroom Photos
Inside that folder I created more single folders - Events / Holidays/ Misc Shoots / Family

So for example my UK Trip 2017 ( about 400 photos ) went into a new folder called UK trip 2017 in a new folder within the Holidays folder .

Then opened Lightroom and on the left hand dide imported the 400 photos of my UK trip - edited them and closed Lightroom and when i Checked the UK trip 2017 folder on my external hard drive ( a G DRIVE ) i noticed that at the botton of the 400 photos there was a new folder created called UK trip 2017 ie Lightroom now seems to have created a new folder which is basically a repeat of my original folder & being a bit eager to have things cleaned up I transferred the new folder to trash and then deleted them.

When I opened lightroon again I was met with an unpleasent surpise with my 400 photos that i had edited and was very proud off - THE FILE CANNOT BE FOUND . It appears to me that Lightroom had linked the edits I made to the new Folder that it had created.

This has happened twice in the last two weeks and its frustrating and I must sole the problem before I start editing photos again.

It seems to me that I have set something up incorrectly on the Left Hand Side of Lightroom under File Handling .

Any suggestions or a link to help me set up above to solve the problem.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Peter Fishley

PS Have followed The Scott Kelby Lightroom CC book for digital photographers & followed its suggestion on using an external hard drive .


Senior Member
Nov 27, 2013
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Classic 8
From your explanation it sounds to me that you have used the "COPY" option when you imported the photos into the Lightroom catalog.
The "Copy" option would read the photos where you first transferred them (UK trip 2017 in a new folder within the Holidays folder), and then make catalog references to the second 'Copy' of the files. Deleting these 'copies' makes Lightroom think they are 'missing.'

So two things-
1) Open the Import dialog and check what option you have used at the top of the central window. (Copy as DNG,Copy, Move, Add)?
2) Use Finder to search for the original {UK trip 2017} folder to see if any images still exist in that folder.

If the photos are still in the original folder you can open Lightroom and correct the links so that Lightroom sees the photos in their original location.
Details here-
Lightroom thinks my photos are missing—how do I fix it? | The Lightroom Queen

If the photos are nowhere to be found, your only options might be to restore them from Trash, or download again from the SD card.

Denis Pagé

Lightroom Guru
Staff member
Lightroom Guru
Nov 1, 2007
Boucherville, Québec, CANADA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic 7
Peter, normally, we do not copy photos from cards then open Lightroom but open Lightroom first then "import" the photos from there. If from an SD card, the option is generally to copy (or move) to a given folder that you can create at that point.

Going beyond what you asked, we generally create the naming with keywords and collections and let the system take care of folder naming and hierarchy at import time...