Moved images on disk, lost all collection data. Anyway to restore?

New Here ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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Using Lightroom Classic.  I moved a gallery from a folder to a subfolder in windows exporer, then went back to Lightroom and "synced" that folder.  It asked if I wanted to delete/import all missing/new images, I (shudder) clicked yes.  Then realized that I lost all the images in two collections that were tied to the original folder.

 

It had all my client notes and ratings from our sales session.  Is their anyway to get back the xmp data that was specific to those collections or restore the collections?

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LEGEND ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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Synchronizing a folder is pretty much the same as importing the folder ... Lightroom Classic things that these are brand new photos which it has never seen before, and are not part of a collection.

 

When you move folders outside of Lightroom Classic, the proper way to handle this is to tell LrC where the folders are now located; see Figure 3 and Figure 4 of this document.

 

If you have a recent backup, before you did this, all of your information is in there. Also, you may have multiple copies of each photo (I don't really know, I avoid synchronizing folders like the plague) in your LrC catalog, if so, your information is in there. Your .xmp may also be in the new folder where you moved things to, did you look? Even if your .xmp is there, you won't find collection information in .xmp, as .xmp never contains collection information.

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New Here ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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Thanks for the response... yes, xmp is all intact, which is why I thought all my ratings/colors/etc were good.  And in retrospect I agree, this was NOT the best way to move files.  So the collection data is only stored in the LR catalog, is that right?  There's no external sidecar-type file on the hard disk anywhere? 

 

In the meantime I'll try my last backup, not sure if it was before or after the sales session.  And probably rely less on collections going forward... that's too much info easily lost by user error if it only exists inside the catalog.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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So the collection data is only stored in the LR catalog, is that right?


Correct.

 

And probably rely less on collections going forward... that's too much info easily lost by user error if it only exists inside the catalog

 

I never understood why many people choose to use collections instead of keywords for this purpose. If you had used keywords, and you write the metadata to xmp, then all your keywords are intact in the xmp.

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New Here ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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I never understood why many people choose to use collections instead of keywords for this purpose. If you had used keywords, and you write the metadata to xmp, then all your keywords are intact in the xmp.

 

Collections are SO convenient for sales sessions... all the images you want in one place, without the rest of the gallery you culled out of the way.  Especially something like this, which was an extended family session with several different family groups with their own sales meeting, so they each got their own collection.  It's also super quick and easy to hit flag/rate/color with one stroke as you're walking through them with a client, compared to keywords which are multiple strokes and not as quick to sort on.  But in this case, k/w would have been the clear winner 😂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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My thoughts on your dilemna-

"I moved a gallery from a folder to a subfolder in windows exporer, then went back to Lightroom and "synced" that folder."

You committed two acts that are each considered 'Dangerous'.

Correcting these actions will be difficult but possible with the suggestions from @dj_paige 

You will need to-

1) 'return' to a backup catalog that contains all the Collections you have 'lost', and then

2) In File Explorer- Move the "subfolder" files back to their original location- where the Catalog believes them to be.

This will restore everything back to the time of that Backup, but you will lose any work you have done since the backup.

And two more links that may be helpful-

RESTORE PARTIAL from backup catalog?

Dangers of Synchronize Folder

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 11.3.1 Photoshop 23.3.2, ACR 14.3, Lightroom 5.3, Lr-iOS 7.0.2, Bridge 12.0.2, Windows-10.

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