Can't import images onto lightroom because the "add" button is greyed out

Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2020

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I've been using lightroom fine for a couple of weeks, however recently I can no longer import the images from my SD card onto lightroom through "add" it's greyed out. I'm forced to make a copy of the pictures somewhere so it can add the images to the catalog. This is extremely frustrating and time consuming. I've looked everywhere for a solution but of no avail. Would someone be able to help?

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Correct answer by gary_sc | Adobe Community Professional

Hi CameraWiz,

 

To answer that, let's look at what the four options are for:

-Copy as DNG is only relevant if your original images are raw images. If your original images are JPG images, ignore than.

-Copy means that it will take the images, whereever they are and make a copy of them to a new location, one that you want all your images to be located at.

-Move means that it will take the images from where they are to a location where you want all of your images.

-Add means that it will leave your images where they are but they will still be recorded in your catalog.

 

The option to Add is great if you do not care where your images are located. This is because LR doesn't care where the images are located, it just needs to know so that it can follow your activities. If you do care where they are located, then you need to Move or Copy them because I keep all of my images together in the same location. 

 

My guess is that your images might still be on your camera/phone and as such LR thinks that that's not a viable location.

 

Keep in mind taht if you move your images in the Finder/Explorer, LR doesn't have a clue as to where you've moved them to. You can show LR where they are later on but that's a lot of extra work. It's much better to move images within LR to avoid those complications. That's also why I keep all of my images inside one folder (and many subfoldes).

 

Let us know if this helps you.

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Bug, How to, Import and export, Problem or error, Windows

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Can't import images onto lightroom because the "add" button is greyed out

Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2020

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I've been using lightroom fine for a couple of weeks, however recently I can no longer import the images from my SD card onto lightroom through "add" it's greyed out. I'm forced to make a copy of the pictures somewhere so it can add the images to the catalog. This is extremely frustrating and time consuming. I've looked everywhere for a solution but of no avail. Would someone be able to help?

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by gary_sc | Adobe Community Professional

Hi CameraWiz,

 

To answer that, let's look at what the four options are for:

-Copy as DNG is only relevant if your original images are raw images. If your original images are JPG images, ignore than.

-Copy means that it will take the images, whereever they are and make a copy of them to a new location, one that you want all your images to be located at.

-Move means that it will take the images from where they are to a location where you want all of your images.

-Add means that it will leave your images where they are but they will still be recorded in your catalog.

 

The option to Add is great if you do not care where your images are located. This is because LR doesn't care where the images are located, it just needs to know so that it can follow your activities. If you do care where they are located, then you need to Move or Copy them because I keep all of my images together in the same location. 

 

My guess is that your images might still be on your camera/phone and as such LR thinks that that's not a viable location.

 

Keep in mind taht if you move your images in the Finder/Explorer, LR doesn't have a clue as to where you've moved them to. You can show LR where they are later on but that's a lot of extra work. It's much better to move images within LR to avoid those complications. That's also why I keep all of my images inside one folder (and many subfoldes).

 

Let us know if this helps you.

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Bug, How to, Import and export, Problem or error, Windows

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Jun 13, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Jun 13, 2020

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The correct behavior of Lightroom Classic is to not allow "Add" when photos are on a camera card. Only "Copy" or "Copy as DNG" are allowed.

 

If at some time in the past you were able to "Add" photos from a camera card, this is a bug that has appeared from time to time. What you are seeing now is the correct behavior of Lightroom Classic.

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Jun 13, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Jun 13, 2020

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But then, what is the purpose of the "add" button? 

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Jun 13, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Jun 13, 2020

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"Add" leaves the photos exactly where they are, it doesn't move or copy the photos. It is really only useful when the photos are already on one of your hard disks or network drives, and you want to leave them in the folder where they are currently located.

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Jun 13, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2020

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CameraWiz,

 

See my answer below

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Jun 13, 2020 1
LEGEND ,
Jun 13, 2020

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It is for IF You Copy images to your hard drive, in Exactly the Drive & Folder you want them in and then want to import them into the LR Classic Catalog.

 

The Add option leaves them where you placed them and just Adds them to the catalog file.

 

The Catalog file is just a Database file that a Record, a Reference, is placed in the database as to what drive and folder they are stored on and any edits you have made to each image.

 

There are No actual photos in the LR Catalog file.

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Jun 13, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2020

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Hi CameraWiz,

 

To answer that, let's look at what the four options are for:

-Copy as DNG is only relevant if your original images are raw images. If your original images are JPG images, ignore than.

-Copy means that it will take the images, whereever they are and make a copy of them to a new location, one that you want all your images to be located at.

-Move means that it will take the images from where they are to a location where you want all of your images.

-Add means that it will leave your images where they are but they will still be recorded in your catalog.

 

The option to Add is great if you do not care where your images are located. This is because LR doesn't care where the images are located, it just needs to know so that it can follow your activities. If you do care where they are located, then you need to Move or Copy them because I keep all of my images together in the same location. 

 

My guess is that your images might still be on your camera/phone and as such LR thinks that that's not a viable location.

 

Keep in mind taht if you move your images in the Finder/Explorer, LR doesn't have a clue as to where you've moved them to. You can show LR where they are later on but that's a lot of extra work. It's much better to move images within LR to avoid those complications. That's also why I keep all of my images inside one folder (and many subfoldes).

 

Let us know if this helps you.

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Jun 13, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Jun 14, 2020

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Ohhh that makes a lot of sense actually. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to help me understand!

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Jun 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2020

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Two video tutorials that illustrate the use of 'Copy' and 'Add'-

http://youtu.be/lYKzz2a5Mts

https://youtu.be/--nEKNEH_1I

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.1, Photoshop 22.1, Lightroom 4.1, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.
The product featured in this video is Lightroom Classic CC, previously known as Lightroom CC. For more information, please visit: https://adobe.ly/2gNcw59.D...
The product featured in this video is Lightroom Classic CC, previously known as Lightroom CC. For more information, please visit: https://adobe.ly/2gNcw59.D...

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Jun 13, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Jun 14, 2020

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Thank you! I'll definitely give those videos a watch so I can further understand the difference. Maybe in the future I'll also be able to help others!

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Jun 14, 2020 0