Today I went to open my catalog and LrC reported that it was missing. On further investigaton the entire folder structure is there, the lrcat file is missing and ton of my photos are gone. I thought maybe I deleted the thing somehow but considering the fodler structure is still all there I don't think so. I've seen this reported elsewhere. If this is a "bug" in Lr this is a complete show stopper. I can't be completely livid because I don't know if I did something but I don't think so, Lr was open, I closed it a couple days ago and now this. If Lr lost all my photos of my baby.........................
I'm on an M1 mac.
Yesterday my Lightroom folder was 15.97GB in size and today it was 859MB... Thank god for Carbon Copy Cloner which has a backup of my entire library.
Seriously though, if this is an issue with Lightroom somehow I am never going to use this product again, all my subscriptions are cancelled and I will trust anything from Adobe again and if anyone ever asks me I will tell them exactly this story. I'm sorry I'm being such an a#$ but this has come completely out of nowhere and I'm completely blindsided by what has happened here. I have zero recollection of going into my Photos folder yesterday and deliberately deleting the photos I cherish the most. How is at all even conceivable that the software would go onto my filesystem and delete files.
The first thing I would do is to scan the hard drive for bad sectors and other problems.
Lightroom Classic will not do that to your files. You should have your computer checked at a service facility. And, of course, keep it backed up.
Seems to me that something else is happening because your image files are not "in" the Lightroom catalog. They are in folders on your computer. The catalog simply points to the images and references where they are located.
As long as your original photofiles are preserved somewhere, such as on your back up drive, you are OK. Sounds like something was misplaced upon reopening, LR.
Ya but that's not really the point, the point is it all vanished for no good reason.
You can blame Lightroom for this, but that is extremely unlikely. Lightroom can't run without a catalog, so if you say that Lightroom reported a missing catalog, then this must have happened while Lightroom was not running. Same for missing photos. Unless Lightroom was running in the background all the time, there is no way that Lightroom could have caused this.
I would start by checking all your MacOS settings. Do you use iCloud Drive, for example? Does it sync your Documents and Dektop folders and did you store your Lightroom catalog and photos in one of these folders?
My pictures folder isn't sync'd to anything its just there.
I work in software so I know the drill, it's never the software until it is. And since it probably can't be reproduced there you then it's not the software. Nothing else on my drive has been misplaced except the files under the Lightroom directory and all the photos that Lr imported. Lucky enough I have a backup so I put everything right back to the same spot and we'll see if this happens again.
SO if I undestand correctly your Pictures folder still has all the photo files in it but the Lightroom Catalog is not showing them? anymore?
IS it possible you have two lightroom catalogs where one is the full one and the other is a smaller one? I had a client for whom that was the case.
Have you done a FInder search listing precisely the name of the bigger catalog to see if it is still somewhere on your computer?