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How do I move my pictures to external hard drive?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 18, 2013 Apr 18, 2013

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I need to create space on my laptop hard drive. How do I move my pictures to an external harddrive? Terrified I will losse them or get the dreaded ...? Help!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

People's Champ , Apr 18, 2013 Apr 18, 2013
There is no need to be terriefied. The "dreaded "?" is not that bad. The best way to go about this is: 1) In Lr / Grid View / Folders panel (left side) put all your image folders under one parent folder. If this is already the case you can skip this step. To do this, just create a new folder and name it descriptively. Then drag-and-drop your image folders on top of this newly created folder. This will make all image folders sub-folders under the one parent folder. 2) Close Lr. In Mac Finder / Wi...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 22, 2015 Jun 22, 2015

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elosonegro wrote:

These aren't random files.  I'm choosing to keep my higher rated photos on my main hard drive.  I want to move unrated photos from many different folders catalogued in LR to a back up hard drive.

A matter of wording...you are moving files from many different "random folders" into one (1) new folder. If files are moved from outside LR using Windows Explorer or Mac Finder they will show inside LR with a ! icon indicating they are missing. This will require you to go into each and every folder, find the missing files with ! icons, and reconnect the as outlined here: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Help | Locate missing photos A better solution is to fix the drag & drop issue.

When you attempt to Drag & Drop images in LR to a folder on the "backup drive" is there an error message, did you just add the drive to your system, what type of drive? If on a Mac system you may have one of the issues listed here: http://www.cnet.com/news/solving-read-only-conditions-for-external-hard-drives/

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2016 Feb 03, 2016

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I move my files because I run out of hard drive space.... My main drive was running out of space, so I installed a second drive to store previous years' photos.

I had to do the same again last night, and got a weird result:

So I have a "2014" folder that I wanted to move from my main drive to a second drive installed internally in my computer. The drive was already set up in Lightroom, as it has 2011 and 2012 folders there already. So I dragged the 2014 folder to the external drive, and let it go overnight. When I woke up, the task was completed, except it couldn't move one photo, out f about 43,000 photos (I'm a sports photographer, and I take a lot pf pics...). I also noticed that even though all of the photos moved, and the folder structure was correct on the external drive, the folders were never removed from my main drive... they were still there, with zero pictures in them. For example, I had the "2014" folder... in that folder was a subfolder for the date the photo was taken. Well the folders fr all the dates in 2014 were still there, but with zero pictures.

Could this have been due to the one picture that couldn't be moved?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2016 Feb 03, 2016

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What operating system version and LR version and can you delete the empty folders? If all the files & folders were successfully moved to the external drive I wouldn't worry about it.

When moving a large number of files & folders in the future please look at my suggestions posted here:Re: How do I move my pictures to external hard drive?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2016 Feb 03, 2016

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Windows 10, and the latest CC version of Lightroom.

I didn't think it'd be a problem either, it was just weird. I removed the folders from within Lightroom, then deleted them from the originating drive. It all looks good now, but just never saw that before. And I have moved large amounts in the past, the drive that I did this move with has been in place since last year, and it had the previous 2 years of photos on them, so Lightroom was familiar with the drive.

Oh well... thanks for the reply, appreciate it..

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LEGEND ,
Feb 24, 2016 Feb 24, 2016

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I'd like to add my voice to those saying that you shouldn't move the photos using Lightroom (despite what Julianne Kost says).

I have compiled a list of examples where people have moved their photos using Lightroom and the photos disappeared. There is a consistency to these reports that certainly leads me to believe that it was not user error, but an actual bug in Lightroom (which as trshaner‌ mentions, sometimes cannot be reproduced under controlled circumstances).

List of forum posts with this problem:

Re: Transferring photos to an external hard drive, photos lost

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 20, 2015 Jul 20, 2015

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I need super detailed explanation of how to move all my pictures from LR to my external HD, What I've read here is over my head.  I have a Mac and am still not super familiar with that either, I know, I'm a mess!!!  My Mac HD is full!!  I have a Seagate external HD.  Please help!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2015 Jul 21, 2015

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Excellent video on the procedure by Julianne Kost:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/adobe-evangelists-julieanne-kost/how-to-copy-files-to-an-external-hard-dri...

It's really not that hard, but please follow my suggestion in reply #13. This will help to insure that the picture folders are properly copied to the new external drive so they are a mirror-image of each other:

Re: How do I move my pictures to external hard drive?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2015 Oct 18, 2015

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Hello everyone.  I tried the method of copying my files in Windows Explorer from my drive to an external hard drive, and now in the new hard drive, Lightroom is not displaying any of the flags that I had marked on the old drive.  Does anyone have any suggestions or can anyone help?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2015 Oct 18, 2015

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Did you use 'Update Folder Location' to reconnect the image files already in the LR catalog to those on the external drive?

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2016 Mar 31, 2016

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I've already "COPIED" all of my images, 3 tbs worth, to a new 5 tb drive using Windows Explorer. I may have missed this in the discussion but is there a way to now have LR recognize that new drive as the now primary drive? Some way to redirect the Catalog/Library?

I've watched the video by Julianne's video. LR CC recognizes the drive and I created a folder using LR but in the dropdown the "Photo Folders" where all of my images are stored which I copied to that drive does not show up. When I click on "Import" all of the images are there which I already knew. I'm assuming...or at least hoping that I don't have to re-import everything.

Thanks for any clarification!

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2016 Mar 31, 2016

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westlight wrote:

I've already "COPIED" all of my images, 3 tbs worth, to a new 5 tb drive using Windows Explorer. I may have missed this in the discussion but is there a way to now have LR recognize that new drive as the now primary drive? Some way to redirect the Catalog/Library?

I've watched the video by Julianne's video. LR CC recognizes the drive and I created a folder using LR but in the dropdown the "Photo Folders" where all of my images are stored which I copied to that drive does not show up. When I click on "Import" all of the images are there which I already knew. I'm assuming...or at least hoping that I don't have to re-import everything.

Thanks for any clarification!

If you have COPIED and not MOVED the photos, then you redirect Lightroom using the instructions in Part 2 entitled "Updating Folder Location" of this document: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

There is no Importing of photos involved. Importing photos is a completely wrong thing to do here.

There is no need to create a folder using Lightroom.

--

Paige

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2016 Mar 31, 2016

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Thanks for the quick reply and link. Could you please clarify something before I click on "Merge"?

The original "Photo Folder" contains many sub-folders and they're on Drive: K

Drive M now has the same folder and sub-folders which I had Copied via Explorer..

Using Windows, I would right click on that "Photo Folders" on the original drive and select the "Update Folder Location" correct? Then point it to the "Photo Folder" on the new drive M, correct?

The reason I'm asking is that when I follow those steps a dialog box opens stating "The selected folder or one of its subfolders is already in Lightroom... Do you want to combine these folders?" and I didn't want to click "Merge" button until I know this was right.

I tried doing this with one of the subfolders and did not get that message but that subfolder dissapeared from the original drive which surprised me. Of course the folder and images are still on the original drive, they just do not appear in LR.

Thanks again!

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2016 Mar 31, 2016

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Using Windows, I would right click on that "Photo Folders" on the original drive and select the "Update Folder Location" correct? Then point it to the "Photo Folder" on the new drive M, correct?

Using Lightroom, not Windows.

The reason I'm asking is that when I follow those steps a dialog box opens stating "The selected folder or one of its subfolders is already in Lightroom... Do you want to combine these folders?" and I didn't want to click "Merge" button until I know this was right.

Yes, this is fine, you should click on Merge.

I tried doing this with one of the subfolders and did not get that message but that subfolder dissapeared from the original drive which surprised me. Of course the folder and images are still on the original drive, they just do not appear in LR.

The folder didn't disappear. You told Lightroom that the folder is now on the M drive, that's where you find it. It's no longer listed on the K drive because you told Lightroom not to use that folder any more.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016

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I filled my hard drive about a year ago and keep deleting and compressing so that I have 35 TB free. But, I head to France in two weeks on a shooting expedition and that will be the end of my hard drive!

I understand the process of using Mac OS Finder to copy the folder and then tell LR to look in the new folder for the source files. As a lifetime CS engineer I agree 100% with this method vs. doing it from inside the app. Sure, I use the app to make small moves, but I would never move 500 gigs of images this way.

My question is this - my external drive is a Drobo NAS on wifi. How will LR react to this 1) day in and day out (performance is not very good) and 2) when I am not attached to the NAS and LR does not have access to the source files.

Thanks,

John

Canon 5Diii, the usual 2.8s and a few primes that I love.

Bangalore - Best of | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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LEGEND ,
Apr 30, 2016 Apr 30, 2016

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My question is this - my external drive is a Drobo NAS on wifi. How will LR react to this 1) day in and day out (performance is not very good) and 2) when I am not attached to the NAS and LR does not have access to the source files.

1) Since probably no one has an exact duplicate of your hardware and wifi, no one can say. You'll have to try it and find out.

2) Use Smart Previews (Lightroom 5 and later) to allow you to view and edit the photos even when the drive is not accessed.

Hint: since your two questions have nothing to do with the main topic of this thread, you'll get more and better answers if you had put this in its own thread with meaningful title.

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Contributor ,
Aug 21, 2020 Aug 21, 2020

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LATEST

This may be an old post but figured I would pass on what works for me.

I have found the best way is to create a folder or archive of “non-working” files on an external drive.  I use various “catalogs.”  Product, 2020, Interiors, by example.  Once you have the catalog on the external drive you simply import from your current working catalog (drive) and then move the folder within Lr to the external.  This keeps all you catalog settings and simply moves them to another drive.  I also recommened RAID and Backblaze.  

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