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Recover photo edits in Lightroom Classic

New Here ,
Mar 06, 2023 Mar 06, 2023

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To save hard drive space on my Mac, I moved all my raw files to an external hardrive and deleted them off my Mac. After doing that, in Lightroom, I syncronized my folders. Now, I need to make addittional edits some of my older photos, so I reloaded the DNG files to the original location and syncronized the folders in LR, but none of the original edits are restored.

 

Did I do something wrong? Can the edits be recovered? 

 

How should I remove the raw DNG files from my Mac in the future while preserving the edits?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 06, 2023 Mar 06, 2023

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For the future, if unable to add an additional internal drive, consider keeping an external drive as the destination for the photos. The photos do not need to be on the same hard drive as the catalog. The photos do not need to be on an internal drive. The photos do not need to be on a very fast drive. So, if those RAW files are eating up your current hard drive space, just move them to another drive, perhaps external.

 

Moving the photos is best done from within LrC, but it can be done outside of LrC followed my correcting the folder location(s) in LrC.

 

P.S. the catalog can also be on any local hard drive, internal or external, but fastest hard drive preferred for the catalog.

 

P.S Remember to backup both the catalog and the photos, those are seperate backups.

 

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LEGEND ,
Mar 06, 2023 Mar 06, 2023

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Returning to the issue about edits missing.

 

When you moved the photos, was that using LrC, or using Finder?

In LrC, did you ever select those photos and select remove photos?

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 06, 2023 Mar 06, 2023

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If you move photos from your hard drive to another drive, and you do that outside of Lightroom, then Lightroom will not know what happened. If you then use 'Synchronize Folder', things will go wrong. That is not what this menu is for! What (probably) happened was this: Because Lightroom did not see the images in that folder any longer, it suggested to remove them from the catalog. And because edits are stored in the catalog, that will have removed the edits too. If you decide later that you need a certain photo after all, put it back into that folder and use 'Synchronize Folder' again, then the image will be added to the catalog again as a new image. The edits cannot be restored that way. Does this sound like what you did? Next time, either move the images by dragging amd dropping them within the Lightroom folder panel. Or move an entire folder outside of Lightroom, and then right-click the now missing folder and choose 'Find Missing Folder'. Navigate to the new location and select it.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Expert ,
Mar 07, 2023 Mar 07, 2023

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@TBax04  FYI-

Dangers of Synchronize Folder

MOVING PHOTOS- 2 Methods

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 12.2 Photoshop 24.2, ACR 15.2, Lightroom 6.2, Lr-iOS 8.0.8, Bridge 13.0.2, Windows-11.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 07, 2023 Mar 07, 2023

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@TBax04 ,

Just my thoughts on your issue. You have already received valuable info from several users.

There are two issues at play.

Situation 1. By default while you are working in LrC all the work you do is recorded and saved in the Lightroom Catalog file and other support data files. If you select an image or several images then click the delete key there will be a pop-up with two options, Remove from Lr Catalog or Delete from disk. If you use the the first option the images will be removed from the Catalog and all your work done will be deleted and the images will remain in the disk where they reside. If you reimport or synchronize the folder you will not recover your metadata and other work done in Lr.

Situation 2. However there is an option in Lr Catalog Settings to "Automatically write Metadata to xmp" or there is a manual menu function Metadata > Save Metadata to file. These options will save your work with the image files via .xmp sidecars for raw files and to the file headers for tiff, jpeg, and other rendered images. In this situation if you click on delete key and select the first option in the pop-up the data in the Catalog will be removed but the data written to the file will remain. If you then reimport of sycronize the folder you will recover the metadata and previous edits. However there are things that are specific to Lightroom Classic like Collections, Publish service, syncing to Creative Cloud etc that will be lost.

 

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.7.4 BigSur,; LrC 12.2.1, Lr 6.2, Ps 24.1.1,; ACR 15.2,; Camera OM-D E-M1

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