I clicked on "Find all missing Photos" and turns out that I have over 2,600 missing photos. I'm sure that it is due to me moving files and changing folder names over the course of several years. Is there a way to have Lightroom automatically locate and re-link photos? I'm using the current version of Lightroom Classic.
Not totally automatically.
First look at the folders panel. If you have question marks on them, right click and Find Missing Folders, then tell LR where the folders are.
Then run Find All Missing Photos again. Fix one photo by clicking exclamation mark and notice the dialog box has a setting for nearby photos. Point to where the photo now is, and that setting with automatically find other missing photos in that folder.
In future, don't move stuff around outside Lightroom.
Don't be surprised if you've deleted some images somewhere along the way as well as moved them.
I replace my hard drives with newer, larger capacity hard drives every few years, by backing up old drive to new drive. This way all folders & images are organized in the same way as the previous drive. But, when I need to relink the LR catalog to the new location, it takes forever to select each and every folder to show LR the new location on the new drive. Is there a simple & fast way to have LR relink all the missing folders without manually having to do each and every one? I know if I select one image in a folder, it finds all the other ones in that folder, but I have a few hundred folders, and all of them are in different subfolders.
I know Lightroom can do pretty sophisticated things, so not sure why something relatively simple like this can’t be done, when the Finder has no problem doing it. It would be great if I could just point LR to the new drive, and let it search for all the missing images in the background, say overnight.
Or, if there was a script or plug-in of some sort to look for the exact same named folder in the same location on the designated drive, compare the image file names to make sure they all match, then relink all the missing files on that new drive.
There is no script or plug-in. However, your conclusion is wrong, because this is a built in feature of Lightroom Classic.
If it's just a new drive, the new drive has to have the exact same letter (Windows) or drive name (Mac) and then files will re-connect automatically. If the new drive doesn't have the same letter or name, then change the letter or name!!!!!
There's also a built in feature of Lightroom to re-link an entire "tree" of folders at once, as explained in this document (see Figure 4).
Interesting…thanks for both replies. I am often wrong about things ;). And Lightroom doesn’t make it obvious. I need the new drive to have a slightly different name, so I know I have updated the drive to a new one, so 3A becomes 4A, etc.
It is too late to change 18 years of file structures to add a top folder per se, but I can apply the same principal, just have to do it a few extra times. I showed the parent, which is a year’s worth of images, and relinked that one folder, which contained a bunch of subfolders, which seemed to work. But now I realized that instead of doing that 12 times, I could go up even one more folder, and link all the years folders at once, but when I tried that, I get a waring message:
"The selected folder or one of its subfolders is already in Lightroom. Do you want to combine these folders?"
I think it is referring to that one year folder I already relinked as per above, which is now one of those subfolders- if I say okay, will it mess up my structure in some way? Thanks.
"Combine" should be fine - but make a Catalog backup anyway, to be 100% safe.
"I need the new drive to have a slightly different name, so I know I have updated the drive to a new one, so 3A becomes 4A, etc."
Well, I would certainly recommend a little flexibility here to take advantage of this feature of Lightroom. But that's entirely up to you. You could change your scheme so that what was 3 becomes 3old, and the new 3 is named 3, and voila! Problem solved.
"Is there a simple & fast way to have LR relink all the missing folders without manually having to do each and every one?"
Yes. Have ALL your folders & sub-folders, that have image files, under one master 'Parent' folder. Then you only need to [Find Missing Folder] or [Update Folder Location] for this one parent folder, and all sub-folders will re-link as well.
This 'Parent' folder will also make it simpler to Copy&Paste from old to new drives (using the OS). And it is convenient for 'Backup' software.
Option #2 in this article might be help for your question-