Lightroom won't find missing photos

New Here ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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Just upgraded to desktop as my laptop is out of space. Catalog is on external hard drive. Lightroom installed on desktop, open up lightroom, nothing is linked. Missing photo icon on every picture, every folder has a ?. Why can't I relink photos? When I open the external drive on laptop, I see the catalog with the lrcat exension. When I try to relink, the catalog with the lrcat extension doesn't show up. Not a computer geek...just want my catalog back. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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Where are your photos stored? What hard drive or other location?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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Double click on the .lrcat on the external drive to open it. 

 

You may need to manually assign the drive letter in the OS to match what the laptop saw. 

 

Sean McCormack. Author. Magazine Writer. Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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Missing photo icon on every picture, every folder has a ?

 

Please follow these instructions (see Figure 4 and related text): http://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_find_folder/find-folder.htm

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Explorer ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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To confirm, you've been using Lightroom our laptop, and you have installed the program on your desktop computer?
Your desktop version of Lightroom does not know where your photos live yet, which is why you can see thumbnails with that "?" in the top right corner. 
You will need to give Lightroom the map to where your images are. 
You can do this a few ways:
1. Delete all the folders in the left-hand panel of Lightroom (while in the Library panel), and re-import the folders you wish to work on. This will NOT delete your images. It will delete a location that is no longer relevant. 
2. Relink each folder individually. In the left hand panel (in Library module). Click a folder to activate it > RIGHT click and choose Find Missing Folder > navigate to the location of the image folder on your hard drive and click "Choose" or "Select" (Mac or PC). This will establish the link between Lightroom's calalogue system and the location of the images. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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To confirm, you've been using Lightroom our laptop, and you have installed the program on your desktop computer?
Your desktop version of Lightroom does not know where your photos live yet, which is why you can see thumbnails with that "?" in the top right corner. 
You will need to give Lightroom the map to where your images are. 
You can do this a few ways:
1. Delete all the folders in the left-hand panel of Lightroom (while in the Library panel), and re-import the folders you wish to work on. This will NOT delete your images. It will delete a location that is no longer relevant. 
2. Relink each folder individually. In the left hand panel (in Library module). Click a folder to activate it > RIGHT click and choose Find Missing Folder > navigate to the location of the image folder on your hard drive and click "Choose" or "Select" (Mac or PC). This will establish the link between Lightroom's calalogue system and the location of the images. 


By @JCVPhotography

 

#1 causes Lightroom Classic to think that all re-imported photos are brand new photos that it has never seen before. You will lose some information, and potentially all information, regarding your work on these photos. I would not recommend this.

 

#2 re-link the parent folder, this will also re-link all sub-folders. No need to do this one folder at a time.

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Explorer ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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Not exactly. Lightroom retains a backup file - when you exit Lightroom, unless it is disabled, Lightroom will create a folder containing edit and metadata information. 

Deleting the folders doesn't delete photos, nor does it delete the backup info; it only removes the directions to where the images are stored. If the folder is re-imported from the hard drive, that connection is re-established and the information from the backup Lightroom created is reapplied to those images. 

Yes, you can re-link the parent folder or the subfolders. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 14, 2021 Dec 14, 2021

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Not exactly. Lightroom retains a backup file - when you exit Lightroom, unless it is disabled, Lightroom will create a folder containing edit and metadata information. 

Deleting the folders doesn't delete photos, nor does it delete the backup info; it only removes the directions to where the images are stored. If the folder is re-imported from the hard drive, that connection is re-established and the information from the backup Lightroom created is reapplied to those images.

 

And as I said, re-importing causes LrC to think this is a completely new file it has never seen before, and you will lose some or all of your work. Don't re-import! (Backups are irrelevant to the original problem, and I'm not sure how they help in your proposal either.)

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