Using smart previews when mobile

Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
11
Lightroom Version
Classic version 8.3.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.14 Mojave
Hi

I always create smart previews when I import into lLIGHTROOM CLASSIC but my actual picture files are stored on an external hard drive as the file is too big for my hard drive. I understand one of the benefits of smart previews is being able to use them (editing etc) when you do not have your actual picture file available (eg when travelling and don't want to travel with the external hard drive) as it the preview file stores locally. My problem is that I don't know how to access these previews when my external drive is not connected. I just get the file structure with a bunch of question marks on them as if the files are missing and that means I cant see any photos to edit.......... ANY help would be appreciated. Thanks

Gavin
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,195
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
The question marks on the Folders are expected when you disconnect the external drive.....but that does not prevent you from editing any of the images for which a smart preview has been generated. In the Library grid you should still see the thumbnails, and those for which a smart preview exists will show a white rectangle in the top right-hand corner of the thumbnail frame. That means that the image can be edited as normal. If a smart preview has NOT been generated, an exclamation mark will appear in place of the white rectangle, which means the image is missing and cannot be edited.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Messages
11
The question marks on the Folders are expected when you disconnect the external drive.....but that does not prevent you from editing any of the images for which a smart preview has been generated. In the Library grid you should still see the thumbnails, and those for which a smart preview exists will show a white rectangle in the top right-hand corner of the thumbnail frame. That means that the image can be edited as normal. If a smart preview has NOT been generated, an exclamation mark will appear in place of the white rectangle, which means the image is missing and cannot be edited.

Thanks Jim for your quick response

When i open lightroom some of the previews are available and some aren't but ALL of the photos in the grid in library view have an exclamation mark in top right corner (even the ones that have a preview) and when I go to develop mode - a message comes up saying file is missing and all of the sliders are greyed out. Any ideas?....... Thx
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
13,195
Location
West Sussex, UK
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
If the photos have exclamation marks, that means you haven't created smart previews for them yet. Reconnect the hard drive, select a bunch of images and generate smart previews for them (Library>Previews>Build Smart Previews). When done, close Lightroom, disconnect the hard drive, restart Lightroom and check those images again.
 
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