Question: What happens when moving photos inside Lightroom Classic?

Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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Hello, I have the following question:

 

(To clarify, I am talking about moving raw photo files from one folder to a new one on the same Network / NAS drive for organizational purposes. - By using the "Folders" Window inside the Lightroom Classic "Library".)

 

I often find that I want a different organization after getting deep into at least one project... Naturally, at that point, it is critical not to lose any of my previous edits. I am inquiring about a pop-up warning that I am getting claiming that "no changes can be undone" once the move proceeds. I am confused about this, since I thought that the whole point of moving everything from within Lightroom Classic was to ensure that the catalog remained linked to the photos... and if this is the case, shouldn't the edits remain editable / nondestructive? To be clear, I am referring to edits made with the "develop settings", settings that may include Adobe Raw editing, and the addition of Lightroom Presets (color grading effects). - Forums talking about this seem inconclusive. Some claim that this warning can be completely ignored; others claim that the previous edits are basically "flattened" and cannot be undone... Though I find that suspicious; since from what I understand everything done with the catalog can be removed from the original raw (by reverting to original), as this is a key point of why to use Lightroom. Perhaps the "editing history" is completely removed though? - Is it an "all edits" or "no edits" kind of deal? Thank you in advance for clearing this up! (I also suggest making that warning easier to understand.)

 

Details: The catalog itself is located on C; not on the external drive, and I do not plan to move that anytime soon. However, there is a folder of "Lightroom Backups" that are showing up near my photos on the external. I think I picked that location, but I am unsure of how to change it, since the catalog settings only show the location of the master catalog. Do you know where I can find this setting?

 

Thank you in advance for your help! I look forward to better understanding this.

Sincerely,

April

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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When you move files from one location (folder) on your system to another from within Lightroom you are ensuring that Lightroom know where the actual files are located. All the data and edits remain where it’s stored in the Catalog file.

The warning is so you are aware there is no undo button to return the files to a previous location. You will need to use the same process to move them if you change your mind.

See the link below for info on the Lightroom Catalog file lots of info there and a series of articles on the Catalog.

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/what-is-a-lightroom-catalog/

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.6.5,; LrC 11.4, Lr 5.4, Ps 23.3.2-ACR 14.4,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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Understood, but you didn't mention anything about the edits that I was referring to... the warning specifically says something to the effect of: "all previous edits cannot be undone". Can you please specify what is meant by this?

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LEGEND ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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I have no idea what Adobe meant by this part of the warning message. If you move a photo as you have described, entirely in Lightroom Classic, all of your past edits can be modified and new edits can be applied.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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Understood, but you didn't mention anything about the edits that I was referring to... the warning specifically says something to the effect of: "all previous edits cannot be undone". Can you please specify what is meant by this?


By @aprilk31527202

 

The warning message when moving files on my Mac system does not mention "edits" at all, so I would be interested in seeing a screenshot of the exact message that you are receiving. The message I receive explicitly states that "neither this move nor any change you've made prior to this cannot be undone", and what that really means is that once you do a change which is not "un-doable" (such as the move) then the "undo" chain is reset so that any prior changes (made in the current Lightroom session) also cannot be "undone" using the "undo" feature.....but any edits can still be "undone" by using the edit history panel, as that remains intact. Same would apply to metadata changes, the "undo" function not being available means you'd have to revert the changes (if that's what you wanted to do) manually in the same way that you applied them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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Quote "Details: The catalog itself is located on C; not on the external drive, and I do not plan to move that anytime soon. However, there is a folder of "Lightroom Backups" that are showing up near my photos on the external. I think I picked that location, but I am unsure of how to change it, since the catalog settings only show the location of the master catalog. Do you know where I can find this setting?"

That option is available each time you decide to create a backup, which is in the last popup dialog, see the screen capture.

When you make a change and complete the backup, it should remain “sticky” for future backups.

 

Screenshot 2022-01-13 at 8.28.46 AM.png

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.6.5,; LrC 11.4, Lr 5.4, Ps 23.3.2-ACR 14.4,; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2022 Jan 13, 2022

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This was discussed here (I suspect you have seen this) https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic-discussions/why-does-moving-a-file-on-disk-cause-pr... . I had never noticed the wording of the warning saying that previous edits could not be undone - I always assumed it was just the moving of the folders/images that coouldn't be undone. I have just moved a few images and folders around and can confirm that I was able to access all the previous edits (back in the develop module of course). But I was only moving a few files and I didn't get the warning dialogue (I may have previously clicked "do not show again", I don't know).
Why not try moving some and confirm that you can still access the previous edits. I agree that the wording is peculiar.

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