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Help: Lightroom deletes develop settings when moving folders

New Here ,
Oct 10, 2022 Oct 10, 2022

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I'm running into a situation where when I transfer my photos to an external hard drive outside of Lightroom, then sync the drive to relocate the folder, lightroom seems to delete all develop settings but retains the rating. .XMP files are stored alongside the original raw photos.

I haven't had this issue until a few weeks ago.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2022 Oct 10, 2022

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"Sync the drive" if I underestand correctly what you have done, does not relocate the folder - it imports that again. You should not need to rely on what's in XMP files, which include only a partial copy of the Catalog's own metadata in any case. So that must miss out on virtual copies, collections, stacking, and such other Catalog specific matters.

 

Just re-browse the top level folder for the affected images by right-clicking in the LrC's folders panel after moving / copying the images. In the context menu choose 'Find Missing Folder' (if moved) or 'update Folder Location' (if copied), whichever one shows. This lets you properly alter all the images' file paths to reflect their new storage location, while preserving all the work you have done - organisationally, develop settings, everything.

 

And without duplication. You cannot do the above re-browse until you have first removed from the Catalog (but not from disk!) any newly duplicated image versions that have arisen from using Import / Sync Folder.

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2022 Oct 10, 2022

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Good info, Thank you.

Lets say that I do however rely on XMP files (I never use virtual copies, Stacking nor collections) Should they not "reimport alongside the photos when I Sync the drive? All that I am looking for is the develop settings such as - Exposure, Curves, HSL, calibration etc.

When the missing folders are shown (greyed out) I typically right click then remove the folder - as I have already moved it and all of my pertinent info should be stored within said folder.

Within Preferences Always write changes into XMP has been selected. Ijust discovered that that is a pausable action and may be the culprit. When clicking the LR icon at the top left, you have the option to resume or pause "Saving XMP" and i found that it was paused

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Community Expert ,
Oct 11, 2022 Oct 11, 2022

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You can of course use LrC in that way but it is messy IMO and arguably harder work. A lot of this sort of micro-management is simply avoidable - unless, you actively enjoy it!

 

If I can make an analogy: every citizen has an official number assigned for tax etc purposes, and government records refer to this number, including a postal address.

 

Then some of these citizens move to different addresses. What to do about that?

 

Method A: assign each of these citizens a new (initially blank) official record, under this new postal address, requiring a fresh official number to be assigned. Research their present tax situation and begin afresh from there. And periodically work out which files have been duplicated, and then in each case, choose whether to delete the basically empty one which has the right postal address, OR to delete the old one with the person's full history but the wrong postal address.

 

Method B: correct these people's addresses within the files that already exist. Each person continues under the same single official number as before, which continues to link into both their latest information and all their prior history.

 

Which method is the more efficient? If you consider a given image within the Catalog, its drive and folder location are merely one rather incidental fact among many others. Just as, the tax authorities don't treat where you currently live, or your current name even, as a primary identifier - that is what your official reference number, your date of birth, such unchanging data are for. They just need to maintain your address info correct for communication reasons. You don't cease to exist as a valid citizen just because that info might be momentarily outdated within the official records.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 11, 2022 Oct 11, 2022

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XMP files will not contain certain catalog information (not a complete list)

  • collection membership
  • virtual copies
  • edit history
  • pick flags
  • book membership
  • web page membership

 

So, using XMP as a method of backup, or method of transfer, is not recommended unless those things on the list (and some other things, as I said it is a partial list) are not important to you. And also, there are other disadvantages, as the others have mentioned.

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 11, 2022 Oct 11, 2022

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Like @richardplondon says, you use a cumbersome method that is totally unnecessary because there are built-in options in Lightroom for this situation. It should work, but there are two ways this can go wrong:

1: Lightroom does not save settings to XMP automatically, unless you specify this in the preferences. Maybe you did not do that, or it got turned off for some reason.

2: If you normally apply a develop preset on import, then this will happen now too if you do not remember to turn it off. That preset will override the XMP settings.

The second possibility seems to most likely one, because you say you do not lose ratings (so these are in the XMP file). Ratings will not be overwritten by a develop preset.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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