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How to find missing photos when photo location is unknown

Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2021 May 16, 2021

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Does Lightroom Classic provide the ability to locate all the missing photos in a catalog all at once? Recently I decided to import all catalogs into one master one. The catalogs are all from over the past decade and there were about 25 of them. I currently have 7500 photos in the master catalog with 6000 of them missing. I am positive that a large portion of them are still on my hard drive. I understand how to locate an individual missing photo but since I am missing roughly 6000 of them, some of which probably no longer exists, I was wondering if there is an option through Lightroom that will search for all missing photos in all folders of my hard drive.

Would love some insight into this issue.

Best,

- J

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Import and export, Mac, Sync

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 16, 2021 May 16, 2021

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Yes and possibly no. 

You have a folder location that Lightroom knows about (its actual location). You could use the Sync folder command for it to look for 'missing' photos in that folder structure. But if you had such a folder and moved it outside Lightroom, you've tricked it, behind it's back and so no, it can't find that folder until you locate it for LR. 

You could go to the root (top) folder and have it examine everything within it and all sub foldersbut then what happens if it calls up photo's you don't want (for example image files inside packages or images that are not yours or ones you want in the catalog)? Well you can go through the process of not importing them after asking to sync that but depending you your folder structure and what you do and don't want, this might be a lot of work. 

Having a dedicated hard driver for all your photo's, catalog(s) (one ideally) and Lightroom Classic presets etc is ideal and makes this pretty easy. 

 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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LEGEND ,
May 16, 2021 May 16, 2021

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Does Lightroom Classic provide the ability to locate all the missing photos in a catalog all at once?

 

Lightroom cannot find the new location of "missing" photos.

 

Your operating system has a feature that can search all disk(s) for photos of a given name. Once found, re-linking the missing photos (or an entire folder of photos, or an entire "tree" of folders) is simple. http://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

 

DO NOT RE-IMPORT. This is so important, I am going to say it three more times, in capital letters so you know its important: DO NOT RE-IMPORT. DO NOT RE-IMPORT. DO NOT RE-IMPORT. DO NOT RE-IMPORT. DO NOT RE-IMPORT. 

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