All my virtual copies disappeared

Explorer ,
Apr 11, 2021 Apr 11, 2021

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When I opened LR, I found that all of my virtual copies had disappeared. I restored the backup from a few days ago and they were back.

 

Question is this: Using the attribute filter, I had previously selected all of my virtual copies in a collection. Then I exported them all to a specific file location using the Export function. When I did this, did this somehow delete or move my virtual copies? 

 

I haven't experienced any type of errors and didn't move the catalog. I'm trying to figure out what I did that could have caused this. Is there some setting I should look at that I somehow set to filter out virtual copies?

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Explorer , May 23, 2021 May 23, 2021
Ok I think I figured it out but will test somemore to confirm. After importing images into a Collection, I'm guessing that previous versions of LR used to automatically select the Collection that was created during the import. It leads you to believe that as your images all show up but what I discovered after answering your request for screenshots that the new Collection was NOT selected and the VCs were being created in the All Photos (I guess location??). Until you left the current quick colle...

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Explorer ,
Apr 11, 2021 Apr 11, 2021

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I just loaded images from a shoot yesterday and noticed that some of the shots already had virtual images created? If I open the virtual image, I can see that there are no adjustments made to the image and I don't think I created the virtual copies in my sleep?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2021 Apr 11, 2021

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Did you perhaps have a collection selected when this happened? If you hit the Delete key while being in a selection, all the selected images or virtual copies will be removed from that collection. Because they are only removed from the collection, and not from the catalog, you will not get any warning. It's easy to think they have been removed completely, however.

 

Removing virtual copies from the catalog will generate a warning dialog first, so that is something you can't do without noticing it (well, there actually is a "splat delete" keystroke combination that can do this, but because that entails no less than four keys, it is not something you could press by mistake).

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2021 May 22, 2021

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I'm trying to watch that I don't do this as its never been a problem in the past. The biggest fat finger issue I have is when I'm initially starting to post process. I do a lot of model shoots and often with multiple models. So I'll go in and select all of the shots of one model and update the Keywords with her name. This is often hundreds of shots and leaves them all selected. Then I'll click on the first image I want to post process and create a virtual copy. The problem is that if you're not careful, LR will not deselect all the images and you realize that it's creating several hundred virtual copies instead of one. It would be nice if LR would ask do you really want 300 virtual copies.

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Explorer ,
May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021

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Thanks for your input and you were correct but I didn't recognize it at the time. Apparently before 3/6/21, LR automatically selected the new Collection created when you import images into a new Collection specified during the import process. Newer versions do not do that OR I forgot that I selected the Collection after Import.

 

Now LR just puts the images into the Collection but does not explicitly select the Collection. This means when you create a virtual copy it is placed in all photographs and not in your Collection. The VCs show up in your current LR session as I guess that since you created them in the session. When you leave the Collection and then return to the Collection, your VC's are not displayed as they are not part of the selected Collection.

 

After my Ah Ha! moment, I went back and found the VCs by doing global searches for the source folder name and moved them into the collection. Luckily, when I import images into LR, I always add the source folder name as a keyword, ex 123EOSR5. So it was a simple matter to do a global search for VCs with the folder name and move them into the appropriate Collection. LR doesn't seem to mind if you drag a VC that is already in the Collection and I'm assuming just skips it.

 

There may be more elegant methods to move VCs not in a collection to their appropriate collection but the brute force method worked for me. Once I understood the fallacy in my methodology, that shouldn't happen again. Thanks to everyone for their input and helping me understand the stupid mistake I was making.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2021 Apr 11, 2021

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I think you have a major mis-understanding of the nature of 'Virtual Copies'.

As the name implies, they are NOT physical files that you can 'Move' separate to the 'Master' Original file.

They are only an alternate view (Preview) of the original camera file referenced in the catalog.

You can however, Export from the Virtual Copy and you then create another new 'physical' file with the Develop edits you have applied to the VC baked in to the exported file.

And, yes, there is a way to "filter out virtual copies" using the [Attribute] filter there are three small icons to selectively show/hide  'Originals / Virtual Copies / videos'-

2021-04-12-Window.jpg

Strange that VCs are appearing randomly. They are easily created by the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl+' ]

And when creating a Collection of images there is an option to [Make New Virtual Copies], which might be your experience.

(But not to exclude Catalog corruption from the possibilities 😞  )

 

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.3, Photoshop 22.4.2, Lightroom 4.3, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2021 May 22, 2021

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Thanks for your response. I know that VCs do not actually exist but are only instructions which tell LR how to process a master image.

 

What would be helpful would be a way to dump the contents of the catalog and see if it showed virtual copies existed or possibly LR didn't record them when exiting the program?

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Explorer ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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I think my explanation of what is happening is not clear to everyone. What I'm trying to say is that my virtual copies are not showing up in the library. If you look at the example screenshot below you can see that the selected image clearly says "Copy 2" yet the first virtual copy does not display. The original image is the one to the left and the image highlighted is the second virtual copy created. What it should show is two virtual copies and not the second virtual copy by itself. I've tried unstacking but that option is grayed out and I didn't have stacking selected. I've tried clicking the show/hide virtual copies but nothing shows up. If I select virtual copies the only copies that I created during this session are displayed and not those from a previous session. LightRoom knows there is an original virtual copy but it is not displayed because it tells you how many virtual copies have been created. What I do is make virtual copies of all images that I post process. That way I know which images have been post-processed as the bottom left corner is folded. So when I load a collection, I can easily tell which images have been post-processed. This has always worked in the past and now just works on the current session. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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Is it possible you are creating one Virtual Copy in the Library Grid View, and another in a Collection Grid View?

If so this is what you would see-

The Collection View- Only {Copy 2} showing-

2021-05-20 15_24_51-Roberts Catalog-v10 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

The Folder View-  Both VCs showing.

2021-05-20 15_21_43-Roberts Catalog-v10 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.3, Photoshop 22.4.2, Lightroom 4.3, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Explorer ,
May 21, 2021 May 21, 2021

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I don't understand the difference between "Collection View" and "Folder View." When I do a photoshoot I copy the images to my network drive, then import the RAWs into a new LR Collection for that photoshoot and leave the RAWs in place in the original folder. I work inside the collection and create a virtual copy for every photo that I post process and export out to a model's folder. As far as I know, I'm not switching between Collection and Folder view and don't know how to switch between them. This has always worked up until the last few months when virtual copies stopped showing up when I exited LightRoom and started it the next day. Once I restored from a backup and my virtual copies reappeared but the next exit cycle they disappeared.

 

How do you switch to folder view? I don't create any folders beyond the original folder that I copy my images to from the memory card. Once they are in that folder, the files are not moved or touched.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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Virtual copies are not automatically added to your collections. They are always added to your folders, and they are added to a collection if you are in that collection when you create the virtual copy.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
May 21, 2021 May 21, 2021

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I always create a virtual copy inside of a collection. Everything stays in the collection and I can see the virtual copies when I'm working. It's when I exit LR and reopen it that they disappear?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 21, 2021 May 21, 2021

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I am beginning to (maybe) understand your problem! So where & why your VCs are disappearing might be a mystery! (or Catalog corruption of some nature)

Looking closely at your screen-clip  I notice that the 'Master' image (Index 18#) does not exist in a Collection. There is no 'Collection' badge on the preview. (only a tag/KW badge)

I cannot see if the VC (Index 19#) is in a Collection as the pop-up info panel covers the preview.

2021-05-22 14_23_26-All my virtual copies disappeared - Adobe Support Community - 11962193 — Mozilla.jpg

It is possible to delete Virtual Copies and any remaining VCs retain their "Copy#" name.

eg. Create 2 VCs-  File-Copy1, File-Copy2. Then [Delete] File-Copy1 and  you will see only File-Copy2 remaining with the Master (in Folder view). But as stated above you will not see a VC created from 'Folder' view in a Collection unless you add it to the Collection by some (manual) method.

Example-  Two VCs created- (Folder view)

2021-05-22 14_36_37-Roberts Catalog-v10 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

The 'Copy1' now deleted-  (Folder view)

2021-05-22 14_37_00-Roberts Catalog-v10 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

And- the difference between "Collection View" and "Folder View."- You can see the Grid of photos from the Folder panel, or the Collections panel- Folder view shows you all the imported 'physical'  images in the Folder. Collections are 'Virtual' and only show images added to the Collection.

2021-05-22 14_24_21-Roberts Catalog-v10 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg2021-05-22 14_24_33-Roberts Catalog-v10 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

'Folder' view is not visible if you are in the Develop Module.

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.3, Photoshop 22.4.2, Lightroom 4.3, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2021 May 22, 2021

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See my long winded response to another helpful person and I won't repeat it.

 

Now I see what your talking about "Folders" and "Collections." The only time I use Folder view is when I import images into LR. I think I've explained my methodology but repeating. I copy the image files CR3 from my Canon EOS R5 into a network drive. Each set of image files is copied to a separate folder named with the folder name from the camera such as "127EOSR5." I then import them into a New LR collection with "Add" mode where the images are not moved for the original spot on my NAS drive. Once in a Collection, I go through and post process the shots I like. I create a virtural copy for each shot that I want to use and then post-process the VC and export it to an outside folder. This way when I look at the shots I take of a model, I can see which ones I've previously worked on by the virtual copies.

 

Last night I discovered that Collections created on or before 3/6/21 have all the VCs intact. But Collections made after 3/20/21 the VCs are gone. At this point, I think an update to LR between 3/6 and 3/20 caused the problem. Or that I somehow changed some setting that caused this. Hopefully, someone will try this on their machine and tell me if the same problem exists or not. This will tell me if it's my setup or common to LR users.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 22, 2021 May 22, 2021

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@Lyle157F wrote:

I always create a virtual copy inside of a collection. Everything stays in the collection and I can see the virtual copies when I'm working. It's when I exit LR and reopen it that they disappear?



It might help if you posted some screenshots from those two situations and included the entire screen in that screenshot, not just a small portion that only shows a few thumbnails.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
May 22, 2021 May 22, 2021

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I'll do that, maybe it will help you. Last night, I worked with Adobe tech support and they cleared my preferences which didn't help and asked for me to try an experiment with an image on a local drive and not the network. I copied an image to my my E: drive which is an internal 4tb drive on my Win10Pro machine. I created a new collection "LRTest" and tried to import the copy of the file but had to rename it as LR said it was a dupe which raised another question that I'll return to at the end of this post. In my new collection LRTest I created a virtual copy of the image and it to make sure it is apparent.

 

What I found interesting is that the original image showed up with a 2 at the left top of the master, which I assumed told me that there were two copies as I don't ever remember seeing this before. I've added the screen shot which showed the master and virtual copy to this post. I opened another collection and then went back to the LRTest collection and my virtual copy was gone. As a test I created another virtual copy and sure enough if you point to it the pop up says "Copy 2" which tells me LR knows that an initial copy exists but doesn't show up.

 

Attached is also a copy of the entire window per your request. If you zoom in you can see that the one virtual copy is marked Copy 2 which says that it's the second virtual copy. The original copy does not show up?

 

Finally, I started going back through my collections and discovered that the virtual copy problem started between 3/6/21 and 3/20/21. On 3/6/21 and older, all the virtual copies show up. My next collection was created on 3/20 or 3/21 and the virtual copies have disappeared.

 

That tells me that apparently there was an LR update sometime between 3/6/21 and 3/20/21 which caused this problem.

 

It would be helpful if you could do the same test and tell me if your virtual copies disappear when you leave a collection and return to it? I can't believe that no one has notice this and assume I have some setting wrong but discovering that before a certain date my virtual copies exist and afterwards almost all are gone? My methodology did not change neither did my hardware. It happens if my original RAW CR3 files are on my network or a local hard disk.

 

My work last night highlighted another potential issue that I couldn't find much about. My Canon EOS R5 will only number images up to 9,999 then goes back to zero. I never thought about this as I would never have two different images with the same number in a hard drive folder but after copying a file to my local hard drive, LR refused to import it as being a duplicate. I had to rename the file to import it.

 

According to one post, LR ignores identical file names if they are in different folders yet LR recognized that the image in my local drive test folder was identical to an image on my network drive, gave me pause to think about this. Could identical image file names even in separate file folders be part of the problem?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 22, 2021 May 22, 2021

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OMG This is not helpful at all, this is information overload. What I need to see is two screenshots of complete screens. The first screenshot should be taken right after you have created the first virtual copy. The second screenshot should show the problem, i.e. the situation where the virtual copy has disappeared.

 

By the way: A "2" in the upper left corner indicates a (collapsed) stack of two images.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2021 May 23, 2021

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Ok here it is in 4 screenshots.

1 - I imported a image into a Collection "LRTest2." You can see the image and that the Collection is selected.

2 - I created a virtual copy.

3 - I switched to a different Collection and back. The virtual copy is gone?

4 - I created a new virtual copy and you can read that it says "Copy 2" so LR knows there is another copy but doesn't display it?

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2021 May 23, 2021

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Ok I think I figured it out but will test somemore to confirm.

 

After importing images into a Collection, I'm guessing that previous versions of LR used to automatically select the Collection that was created during the import. It leads you to believe that as your images all show up but what I discovered after answering your request for screenshots that the new Collection was NOT selected and the VCs were being created in the All Photos (I guess location??). Until you left the current quick collection or whereever, the VCs showed up. Now I can see that the Collection is not automatically selected during the import process and either I was lucky before 3/6/21 or an update changed the operation of LR?

 

This lead me to assume they were gone as they didn't show up. Now I need to do a global search for the VCs and see if they are indeed somewhere else. Assuming this is my error and now that I know to explicitly select the Collection after creating it, my problems will be solved!

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2021 May 23, 2021

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Just confirmed that this was the problem and I've rapped my knuckles with a ruler to make sure I remember it. All of my lost virtual copies were under "All Photographs." Luckily I always Keyword each photosession with the folder name where the RAW files are located. I then turned on Show Virtual Copies only and searched for the folder name in the Keywords. Then selected everthing found and drug them to the proper Collection. Thanks everyone for their input even if I ended up solving the problem myself. LOL

 

The questions from other members got me to thinking and that's when I realized that LR does not select the Collection images were just imported into. I'm assuming that this is a change in programming that I never realized until I went step by step and examined what I'd done.

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Explorer ,
May 23, 2021 May 23, 2021

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Thanks for your response, which ended up being the correct answer except I wasn't smart enough to realize it. After a lot of head banging I realized that apparently there was a change in LR between 3/6/21 and 3/20/21 where importing into a Collection did not select the Collection that was imported into.

 

After going over and over the process, I realized that now you have to explicitly select the Collection before making Virtual Copies. I don't think this was the case before 3/6/21 as I never did it previously and my VCs always ended up in the Collection.

 

After looking at the screen shots of the import process, I realized that the new Collection was not selected. While I can't swear to it, I never remember having to select a Collection after creating it during an import but now you have to.

 

I went to All Photographs and searched for my lost VCs and moved them to the proper Collections. Problem solved! LOL The VCs were all outside of a Collection and I thought for some reason LR wasn't displaying them!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 24, 2021 May 24, 2021

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Glad it's solved. Here's how to fix it so Lightroom behaves again like it was. Lightroom has a preference setting where you can set the option to automatically switch to the 'Current Import' (which becomes 'Previous Import' after the import has finished) collection during importing or not. Turn it off, it apparently got reset after that update. I already suspected this was the problem, so that is why I asked for full screen screenshots.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2021 May 20, 2021

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Removed.

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.4, LrC 10.3, Lr 4.3, Ps 22.4.2, Pr 14.8.0; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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