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"FInd Nearby Missing Photos" isn't working in Lightroom V12

Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2023 Oct 01, 2023

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I am helping to recover an absolute mess created when moving images from a Mac to a PC, all done outside of the Lightroom Catalogs. Everything is worst case scenario. I have about 8,000 images in about 300 folders that are missing but the folders are not missing. So I have to work at the image/file level, NOT the folders. When I select an image and "Locate" it, I have "Find nearby missing photos" selected. However that does not work - it just finds the one single image I had selected. I have to do each image in the folder individually, which is not feasible for almost 8,000 images. Does anyone have a way to make this work without doing each individual image? (In this specific case, the catalog is looking for the images in the root directory, when in fact they are all in subfolders off the root.) Very occasionally the "Find nearby missing photos" will work, but rarely. This is on a Windows 10 system, Lightroom V12.

Thanks for any help! Linda

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Contributor ,
Oct 01, 2023 Oct 01, 2023

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Linda, When you say the folders are not missing, I take that to mean you have about 300 folders that show up in LR Library module but the files in the folders are there but shown as missing. I also assume in Windows Explorer the files are shown in the folders, and the files in the folders are the  same as the missing files in the LR LIbrary folders. 

 

If the folders are present in the LR Library module I believe you can right click the folder and select "Update Folder Location...", and then select the location in the Explorer widow that opens.  Once that is done LR should update the Folder location and update the missing files that are in the folder and any subfolders and files in the subfolders.  That has worked for me when I move folders that may be full of files and subfolders without using LR to move them.

 

I hope that helps.

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2023 Oct 01, 2023

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Thanks for the response. Yes, you are right that the folders are there and not shown as missing, just the files in the folders. And yes, in Exlorer the files are in the folders and are the same.

Well, I tried to right click on one of the folders and Update the Location and it didn't seem to resolve anything. Then I did the same on what used to be the  higher level folder and now have a bunch of missing folders that I have to clean up. Some are ones that had missing files, some not. So I am not sure if I am ahead. Will resolve them all and see how many of my missing files are now resolved.

But thanks, that is the kind of workaround I was looking for. I need to carefully watch what is happening.

I was also wondering about moving all the folders outside of Lightroom, into a higher level folder,which will "break" any that have been resolved. But then all the folders would be "broken/missing" and maybe I could resolve all of them by clicking on the higher level folder. I am afraid to try anything drastic and make it worse!

Thanks again, Linda

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Oct 01, 2023 Oct 01, 2023

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In the Folders panel, make sure you see the parent. The folder issue might be higher up than what is currently shown in the panel.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2023 Oct 01, 2023

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Thanks, but there aren't any missing folders at all. That would make it easier - the only thing missing are the files within the folders, that is why I am trying to use the "Find Nearby Missing Photos" option to resolved allt he files within a folder at once....

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Contributor ,
Oct 01, 2023 Oct 01, 2023

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For this to work the structure of the folders and files in the LR Library Module and the structure of the folders and files in Windows Explorer need to be identical.  If they are not, use Windows Explorer to organize the folders and files to match LR.  Then try the "Update Folder Location..." on the highest level folder(s). 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 02, 2023 Oct 02, 2023

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If the folders are not missing in Lightroom (but the images are), then the best solution (if humanly possible) is to move the images back into their original folders using Windows Explorer. After that, you won't have to do anything in Lightroom, because Lightroom will find that the images are right where it thinks they should be.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Contributor ,
Oct 02, 2023 Oct 02, 2023

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Linda, You say the folders are not missing in LR.  In the LR Library Module, do the folders in the left hand side panel have a question mark on them?  If the folders have a question mark they are missing (i.e. LR does not know where the folder is located). 

DClark064_0-1696269731976.png

In this example the folder 09 Thanos is missing, the others are not (I moved the folder in Windows Explorer).

 

You say that the folders are not missing in LR but the photos in the folders are missing, and you also say in Windows Explorer the folders are present and the photos are in the folder.   Those two statements don't seem to be consistent.  As Johan says if the folder is in LR without a question mark, and photos are in the folder, LR will find the photos without any need for you to do anything. 

 

I think the folders are in fact missing (there is a question mark on them).  That is why I am saying helping LR locate the folders is the problem. When you moved the files from Mac to Windows the location in the file structure changed.  You need to use Windows explorer to make sure the folders and files match what is in LR and then use LR to update the highest level folders.

 

If I am wrong about the folders being missing I am out of ideas on how to help.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 06, 2023 Oct 06, 2023

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DClark, thanks, but yes the folders truly are NOT missing but all the images in them are (or in some cases only some of the images). I agree, it is very messy. And this is only part of the problem (MANY duplicate file names for different images, and the same image in duplicate folders).

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 06, 2023 Oct 06, 2023

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Thanks for this response - "if humanly possible" is an understatement! I moved a folder structure to where Lightroom expected it, and it didn't help. Again, none of the folders are marked as missing, but all the files are. If I "locate" missing files and point to that structure, it will continue to resolve that one file, but none of the others in the same folder. I am still dealing with 7000 missing files in this one catalog (of 3) and can't do better than resolving a single missing file at a time. Someone else recommended "Update Folder Location" and I did that on both the highest level folder and the lowest, where the files are located. Neither helped. I can import the new folder structure but I suspect that will give me all duplicates, and I might lose the edits and keywording that have been done on these images, especially the keywording. Any other ideas?? I really need some help! Thanks!!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

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I already understood that the folders aren't missing, so what I said that you need to do is move images (not folders) to where Lightroom thinks they should be. That can be a daunting task if they were spread out all over the place, but perhaps they were reordered in a way that makes some sense and also makes it possible to move them back in batches. Reimporting images will indeed make you lose all the edits. How were the images originally organised? If they were organised in dated folders, then there is a neat trick to restore that.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

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Johan, thanks for the response. (The fact of the folders not missing was in response to someone else's post....) The more recent folders were not named/organized by date - all have random names like "shark on top." And they are all in the root of D: But LR thinks the images are all in D:\, so when I move the images from the folders to the root they are automatically resolved, a folder at a time. Very tedius but is better than an image at a time. I am working through those. The older folders from 2010 and 2011 are kind of organized by date. So what is the trick to restore them? It might possibly help with those. Thanks for hanging in with me!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

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I don 't care what the recent folders are named. I only need to know exactly what Lightroom thinks they should be, so I need to know the old folder hierarchy. Are you suggesting that some images were in dated folders, but other images were just in the root of the drive, so not in any folder? That would be bad, because then the trick does not work.

 

Let me explain how the trick goes, then you can find out yourself if this would work. What you do is create a temporary new empty catalog, and then import all the images using 'Move' to move them into dated folders. That means that Lightroom will move all the images from where ever they are into a dated hierarchy. Then you quit Lightroom, trash the new catalog, and start it again with the current catalog. If the current catalog expected the images to be in dated folders, then it will discover that all the images are indeed in dated folders again, so all the missing images are no longer missing.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

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Thanks, I am going to have to think that through! I will try and set up a small test.And yes, there are files in the root of the drive, and others in subfolders. 

In the meantime I would like to clean up what I have done so far. I have one clean catalog, all the missing files are resolved. I want it to be the "final" catalog. I have the one I am working on, with about 25,000 files and still about 800 missing files where I can't find a way to resolve them except one-by-one which is not feasible. But can I import the second catalog into the first and what will it do with the missing files? Import them as missing? Or leave them in the old catalog? Will this just cause more issues? I understand that importing files into the catalog (as opposed to the catalog) doesn't preserve the keywords, which is critical.

Thanks, Linda

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 07, 2023 Oct 07, 2023

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I think I can answer my own question about the catalogs. In order to preserve the keywords, etc. I need to export the files as a catalog to an "intermediate catalog" then import that catalog into the final catalog. I believe this will preserve everything associated with the files.....

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Community Expert ,
Oct 08, 2023 Oct 08, 2023

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If you import a catalog that contains missing photos, then indeed the photos will still be missing photos in the catalog you imported them. In the dialog will wil notice that there is no option to move the images during import. That is obviously because Lightroom can't move images it can't find in the first place.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 14, 2023 Oct 14, 2023

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Thanks, Johan, I am still working on this! I have consolidated the three catalogs except for about 5,000 missing photos. I am looking at your "trick" above re the folders by date. My problem is that the date folders are about 6 levels deep .... for example: Volumes\backup plus drive\uw-photos\G-drive\lightroom-raw\2012\ then the individual folders per date (for 2012 there are about 40 subfolders, for example). And LR expects to find these files in the same hierarchy. Can I move the date folders up to the top level (outside LR) and work through that with your trick?

It is weird, I was trying to work through a folder at a time. For about 4 folders it will resolve all the photos in the folder. Then for no apparent reason it will quit, and only resolve one at a time. I tried closing LR, and also re-booting, and couldn't make it handle the who folder. But randomly it will for a very short time....

Again, thanks for all your help!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 15, 2023 Oct 15, 2023

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What you can do is use the trick to place the images in dated folders, and then manually move those dated folders to where the main Lightroom catalog thinks they should be. Another possibility is 'relinking' the folders in the main catalog. The folders will show as missing, but because the images are now inside the correct folders, you should be able to reconnect all of them by reconnecting their folders. 

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/lightroom-photos-missing-fix/

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 15, 2023 Oct 15, 2023

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LATEST

Thanks for sticking with me through this. I was finally able to resolve the missing photos .....None of the many folders were marked as missing, but they all showed zero files. I was eventually able to force it to update them and recognize their contents, and all the missing files were magically resolved. It took quite a few gyrations; it was not a single straightforward operation. But whatever it takes! 

Linda

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