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I have a catalog which says folders and files are in one place - but they are not, in Explorer you can see they are in a different place entirely.
When I try to tell Lr to move these displayed floders to the right place it says it can't because a folder already exists there. So how do I correct these orphaned files?@
I have tried syncronising folder structure. Optimg the catalog and updating the folders.
What else can I try please?
Your description would suggest you may have 'imported' the photos (in one folder) to the Catalog by using the "COPY" option (to another folder).
The result of this that the Lightroom Catalog is showing you the folders and files that it 'copied', while Explorer is showing the Folder location of the 'source' files. ie. You now have two separate folders of the same files.
Try a test- Select and View one photo in the Library Grid- [Right-click] on the photo and choose [Show in Explorer]. Note the Folder location.
Now report back in a reply-
1) Which Folder is Lightroom referencing the photo in as shown by the [Show in Explorer] ? and
2) Which Folder do YOU think the photos are in?
Include some screen-clips to show us the Folder & File paths that you see. These will help a diagnosis.
If any Folders in the Catalog show the [?] or Photos in the Grid view show [!], then you have another problem that needs further answers.
Do NOT 'Synchronize' folders- This can cause further problems!
Thanks - see reply to ManiacJoe
If Explorer is showing the files in the desired location, the in LR library module, go to the Folders panel, select the folder containing the "wrong" location files, and do a "relocate folder".
If a second copy of the files still exist, you can delete the "wrong" location files to the recycle bin until you are sure that they are truly not needed any more.
Sorry - Pressed wrong button and answer lost - will rewrite now
After poting here it was late and so I went to bed closing down the computer to reboot today. I did not perform a backup
Today a lot of the problems had disappeared!. However I was left with a folder which appears just under "last Import" which contained images "no longer in Lr" - yes they were! In addition there were the files coming off the root - according to Lr which were actually elsewhere. These images date from 11 and 12/2019 and 1 and 2/2020. They are not recent imports - They have been ok until now.
So I tried "Updating Folder Location" on one of the folder and it worked it appeared in the structure just where I expected. So then I wondered if a batch change would work - I highlighted several folders. But it didn't.
So labouriously I updated each misplaced folder. Most just worked but three of them gave a message "Folder exists do you want to merge?". So I said yes and they worked too.
At this point 40 of the 'missing' images had gone from the error folder leaving three.
I searched for these and in explorer they were present and in the correct place. So I removed the error images from the catalog. This also removed them from the structure but the error folder went.
So at this point I syncronised the folder with the three missing images - They came back.
Long and short is - I think I have recovered. I'm just not sure how these errant folders went missing/misplaced.
Thanks to everybody for the replies/suggestions. I'm very grateful - I didn't know about the update folder command.
>> I have tried syncronising folder structure. Optimg the catalog and updating the folders.
Here you'll find a lot of informations about your questions
Thanks very interesting. Have read them. See above for my solution via ManiacJoe