Can't relink missing folder in Lightroom

New Here ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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When I went travelling I copied some important image files onto a portable hard drive, and pointed my LR catalogue to them so I could work on them while I was away. Now that I am back and I have removed the drive and its folders from the catalogue and am trying to relink back to the main image location (another large external drive) but it won't work. When I click the greyed out folder and relink, nothing happens at all. If I try to relink a single image, it says it's already associated with another image in the catalogue. Which is not true as I have already removed the duplicate version from the catalogue. How can I relink my images please? Thank you!

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Community Expert ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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I'm puzzled by the workflow you describe. It's certainly not how you do something like that, and I wonder if you described all the details correctly. Try to describe it in more detail, step by step. How did you 'point your catalog' to the copies? 

 

If Lightroom says the image is already associated with an image in the catalog, then it sounds like you are trying to relink the image with the wrong original. Or you didn't remove the duplicate from the catalog like you thought.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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Before I went away, I copied the whole folder of images to a portable drive. Then when I was away, Lightroom could not find the original folder because the main drive was at home. So I did 'find missing folder' and pointed it to the duplicate copy of the folder on my portable drive. 

When I got back, I unplugged the portable drive, removed it from the catalogue (definitely did this) and plugged back in the main drive, and am now trying to re-point Lightroom to the original folder, which it won't recognise.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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quote

Before I went away, I copied the whole folder of images to a portable drive. Then when I was away, Lightroom could not find the original folder because the main drive was at home. So I did 'find missing folder' and pointed it to the duplicate copy of the folder on my portable drive. 

When I got back, I unplugged the portable drive, removed it from the catalogue (definitely did this) and plugged back in the main drive, and am now trying to re-point Lightroom to the original folder, which it won't recognise.


By @bellaf95161709

 

Don't remove the portable drive from the catalog! If you do that successfully (you were lucky that apparently you did not do that successfully because you say the problem is solved), then that will remove the images from the catalog as well. After you have relinked the images, the removable drive should disappear all by itself because there are no folders or images in the catalog that are linked to it (a restart may be needed before it does disappear).

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Expert ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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A safer method is not removing drives or disconnecting them. If you right-click on a folder that is not missing, then obviously you won't get the 'Find Missing Folder' menu, but you do get an 'Update Folder Location' menu. That is exactly the same function, so that allows you to relink a folder to a copy of that folder in another location.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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Sadly not disconnecting drives is not an option when I travel. I take my laptop with me, but I'm not going to carry a 5TB hard drive around.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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@bellaf95161709 wrote:

Sadly not disconnecting drives is not an option when I travel. I take my laptop with me, but I'm not going to carry a 5TB hard drive around.



I meant not disconnecting the external travel drive on return home. You can relink folders without having to make them missing first, by using the 'Update Folder Location' menu in that case.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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Except I did do it successfully. And it's not an issue as the main hard drive was still in the catalogue so all I needed to do was relink to that.

It turns out that restarting Lightroom solved the problem anyway. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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@bellaf95161709 wrote:

Except I did do it successfully. And it's not an issue as the main hard drive was still in the catalogue so all I needed to do was relink to that.

It turns out that restarting Lightroom solved the problem anyway. 

 



I'm still puzzled by what you say, and I still believe you are not correctly telling what happend. If you manage to remove a drive from the Lightroom catalog, then you will remove its folders from the catalog and thus the images in those folders. That means there is nothing to 'relink' anymore, because it is all gone completely. So what I think you mean is that you just disconnected the drive, which will not remove it but make it show as disconnected and make the folders show as missing. Anyway, if the problem is solved then it's solved.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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If I try to relink a single image, it says it's already associated with another image in the catalogue.

 

This message indicates the photo is in the catalog somewhere, and you have to find it. Please perform all four of these steps in order, and let us know the result.

 

1. In the Lightroom Classic Library Module, on the left, under Catalog, click on All Photographs
2. Turn off all filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
3. Turn off all stacking (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
4. Search for at least one of these photos by file name using the Lightroom Classic Filter Bar

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2022 Sep 09, 2022

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Thank you. Obviously I had searched properly before coming here to seek help. Anyway I restarted Lightroom and my computer and the problem has fixed itself.

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