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Images grayed out - can not import

Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2012

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Have seen other threads on this, but no answers. Stunning. This issue renders Lightroom completely useless.

I click a folder, see all images, then select "import".

Worked once, never again.

I am selecting a folder of images in the same subdirectory as the one I sucessfully imported, but all the images are grayed out.

Why?

Usually one sees this, when LR believes the images are already imported. You are certain that your Catalog does not already include them? On my PC, when I hover over one of these greyed-out images, I get a tooltip which (among other things) explains that "this photo has already been imported". Also if you change the selector at the top of the Import dialog grid from "all photos" to "new photos", if the thumbnail grid then becomes empty, that is your explanation. LR doesn't think these are new images.

I believe that the "don't import suspected duplicates" option - which is turned on by default - will also reject images that appear to be mere extra renames of the same original camera file - due to showing the same original capture file name in the EXIF metadata.

But in order for "don't import suspected duplicates" to activate, there have to be images present which these new ones would be duplicates of. So I would advise first checking for any LR filters, or other selective viewing that might be currently stopping you from seeing these if they are within LR.

Repeatedly importing files is likely not the answer; once should be enough AFAICT.

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Images grayed out - can not import

Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2012

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Have seen other threads on this, but no answers. Stunning. This issue renders Lightroom completely useless.

I click a folder, see all images, then select "import".

Worked once, never again.

I am selecting a folder of images in the same subdirectory as the one I sucessfully imported, but all the images are grayed out.

Why?

Usually one sees this, when LR believes the images are already imported. You are certain that your Catalog does not already include them? On my PC, when I hover over one of these greyed-out images, I get a tooltip which (among other things) explains that "this photo has already been imported". Also if you change the selector at the top of the Import dialog grid from "all photos" to "new photos", if the thumbnail grid then becomes empty, that is your explanation. LR doesn't think these are new images.

I believe that the "don't import suspected duplicates" option - which is turned on by default - will also reject images that appear to be mere extra renames of the same original camera file - due to showing the same original capture file name in the EXIF metadata.

But in order for "don't import suspected duplicates" to activate, there have to be images present which these new ones would be duplicates of. So I would advise first checking for any LR filters, or other selective viewing that might be currently stopping you from seeing these if they are within LR.

Repeatedly importing files is likely not the answer; once should be enough AFAICT.

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Import and export, Problem or error

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Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2012

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All the images are there, in that folder. Why will LR not import them?

lightroomnotworking.jpg

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Mentor ,
Aug 29, 2012

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Usually one sees this, when LR believes the images are already imported. You are certain that your Catalog does not already include them? On my PC, when I hover over one of these greyed-out images, I get a tooltip which (among other things) explains that "this photo has already been imported". Also if you change the selector at the top of the Import dialog grid from "all photos" to "new photos", if the thumbnail grid then becomes empty, that is your explanation. LR doesn't think these are new images.

I believe that the "don't import suspected duplicates" option - which is turned on by default - will also reject images that appear to be mere extra renames of the same original camera file - due to showing the same original capture file name in the EXIF metadata.

But in order for "don't import suspected duplicates" to activate, there have to be images present which these new ones would be duplicates of. So I would advise first checking for any LR filters, or other selective viewing that might be currently stopping you from seeing these if they are within LR.

Repeatedly importing files is likely not the answer; once should be enough AFAICT.

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New Here ,
Aug 30, 2016

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Turning off the 'do not import suspected duplicates' just gave me back so many photos I thought I lost. Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2016

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If you find images greyed-out during re-importing - Tick off the "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" in the File Handling option, that you will find on the right side of the screen, in the Import dialog. (See attachment)
Duplicates.jpg

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2016

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If you find images greyed-out during re-importing - Tick off the "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" in the File Handling

Except that it doesn't solve the problem. It makes the problem worse.

Now you have two copies of the image somewhere in your Lightroom library, one with whatever edits and metadata you applied previously, and the newly imported version which have no edits or previously applied metadata.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2016

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Now you have two copies of the image somewhere in your Lightroom library, one with whatever edits and metadata you applied previously, and the newly imported version which have no edits or previously applied metadata.

Generally, after importing to LR, if the source files are moved in the Windows Explorer - The reference to those files are corrupted. Unless, the files are removed from the disk, there are still three workarounds.


1. Ticking off the "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" in the File Handling option (works for few projects)


2. To regain the old edits : Create the same physical folder structure in the explorer, as it was when files were imported to LR, And move/rename back the source files to their original locations . Now you can find the old edits still embedded on them in the Catalog > Previous Import.


3. If you cannot move the source files and create the original folder structure. Remove the conflicting images in Catalog > All Import. You can sorted the files by View > Sort >Added Order, to make it easier to locate. After removing it from the catalog, the conflicting images can now be re-imported. There will be no more older instances of the file.

Cheers.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 21, 2016

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Generally, after importing to LR, if the source files are moved in the Windows Explorer -

The best solution is to not move the photos using your operating system.

But if you have moved or renamed the photos, then regarding your three solutions, the proper solution is to point Lightroom to the new location of the photos. This document explains the details of how to do this: Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders

Your solution 1 and 3 don't solve the problem at all. You lose your edits and user-supplied metadata. Solution 2 is possible but if you return the photos to their previous location using your operating system, the photos don't show up in Lightroom under Previous Import, although they are in the library module with edits and user-supplied metadata intact.

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2016

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None of the above solutions worked for me but then it looks like there isn't one solution for all. In my scenario, I imported all photos into a new collection, fine. Then, I went through and removed some photos (rejects and such) from that collection. I later noticed that some photos, which I didn't want removed, had also been removed from the collection (probably didn't realised I had multiple selected or something).

Ok, so far, mundane stuff. I then figure all I have to do is Import those photos back into the collection. Boom! the ones I want are all greyed out and no measure of checking/unchecking of settings could change that. I also hadn't moved any files on my OS.

So, I found a solution for me: In the Collections panel, under Smart Collections, there's a set of options/filters - named something like: Colored Red, Five Stars, Past Month, Recently Modified, and so on.

I clicked on Past Month and found the original batch of photos shown there. I then drag and dropped the photos I wanted to add to the Collection I created. The only issue I had was that sometimes the drag'n'drop didn't "work/stick" so I had to keep trying several times on just one photo! I tried to drag'n'drop multiple files but that didn't work 😕

So, for me I found a way, and I hope that helps someone out there... BUT, in my opinion, this whole "method" is nonsense; if I choose to import files I want to be able to access ALL of my photos, regardless of whether or not I've previously imported them or not.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 28, 2016

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DigitalHardware wrote:

None of the above solutions worked for me but then it looks like there isn't one solution for all. In my scenario, I imported all photos into a new collection, fine. Then, I went through and removed some photos (rejects and such) from that collection. I later noticed that some photos, which I didn't want removed, had also been removed from the collection (probably didn't realised I had multiple selected or something).

Ok, so far, mundane stuff. I then figure all I have to do is Import those photos back into the collection. Boom! the ones I want are all greyed out and no measure of checking/unchecking of settings could change that. I also hadn't moved any files on my OS.

So, I found a solution for me: In the Collections panel, under Smart Collections, there's a set of options/filters - named something like: Colored Red, Five Stars, Past Month, Recently Modified, and so on.

I clicked on Past Month and found the original batch of photos shown there. I then drag and dropped the photos I wanted to add to the Collection I created. The only issue I had was that sometimes the drag'n'drop didn't "work/stick" so I had to keep trying several times on just one photo! I tried to drag'n'drop multiple files but that didn't work 😕

So, for me I found a way, and I hope that helps someone out there... BUT, in my opinion, this whole "method" is nonsense; if I choose to import files I want to be able to access ALL of my photos, regardless of whether or not I've previously imported them or not.

Importing is not the solution, if you have only removed the photos (accidentally) from the collection. The photos are still in Lightroom! All you have to do is click on All Photographs, find the desired photos in Lightroom, and add them to the collection again. You can add multiple files back to your collection this way. It's incredibly simple, just select all the photos, drag and drop into the collection.

Lightroom is designed to import the photos once. Yes, you can override this but that causes other problems, not recommended.

It is not the method that is nonsense, it is that people don't understand the system. Importing is done once! That's a very simple workflow! From then on, Lightroom can perform all the tasks needed.

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Explorer ,
Apr 01, 2017

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I currently have this problem with importing from a card.

LR imported a handful of images (it was actually a random selection - not sequential) and it didn't import them all. I know the advice here says that they were imported but aren't being shown but that's not the case. There were hundreds of images on the card and the import was only 82 images.

When I put the card in I get a grayed out thumbnail but can't come up with a way to import the images. I have tried clicking off the
"allow duplicates" toggle but nothing changes - the images are still grayed out. There's no way the images were imported because there wasn't enough time to import the entire card. The import was just a minute.

So this seems like a bug or problem with LR. Is there a work around or solution?

Gregor

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LEGEND ,
Apr 02, 2017

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Obviously, you have not read this thread where several people have said that Importing is not the solution.

Please do the following search in Lightroom, performing ALL steps (not some of the steps) in order

  1. Click on All Photographs in the Lightroom Library module, it's on the left under Catalog
  2. Turn off all Filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)
  3. Expand all stacks (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)
  4. Search for the photos by file name using the Lightroom Filter Bar

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Explorer ,
Apr 07, 2017

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Obviously? In fact I did your four steps and it didn't work.

My question has to do with importing.

A clean formatted card is used in the camera.

New images are shot.

The card is inserted to the computer and "import" is selected.

"Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" is unchecked.

Some of the images are grayed out and some aren't.

I've not imported anything.

I thought perhaps LR was seeing the raw camera file name and rejecting the image on that basis but if I search for the grayed out files name it finds the image on the card but not in the library - which makes sense as it's not been imported. 

So, this seems to be a bug or a fault with this version. I can't see how else to explain it.

Gregor

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New Here ,
May 05, 2017

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dj_paige

dj_paige just keep saying what you shouldn't do and that everything is wrong, but nothing about giving a clear answer to your problem. Obviously, dj_paige doesn't have a clue either

I had the same issue and create a new 'catalogue' and problem solved. Check about how Catalogues work in LR if you are interested, but create a new one, it's a quick fix

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2017

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The solution has worked for others in this forum, and once you find the photos via that method, the problem is solved, there is no need to import.

The method you have stated, starting a new catalog and importing, causes you to lose the work you have done these photos in the first catalog.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2018

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Same exact problem... what is happening?!  i formatted my card, shot new images for a magazine feature, and I am on a deadline... Put the card in the card reader, open lightroom, click import and a good section of my images are greyed out... They have never been imported so they are NOT duplicates.  It seems like a lot of people are having this problem and it's a BIG problem!!!  I am on a deadline to get these photos into the magazine and I can't even get them into LR.  Someone please help!!!

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New Here ,
Apr 07, 2018

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This is probably too late, but create a new folder on your hard drive.  Move the new photos to that folder and import from there.  It needs to be a new folder with a unique name that you haven't used before.  Don't "sync" or do any other actions before importing.  That's the only fix I've found works.

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New Here ,
Apr 06, 2020

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Thanks so much for this! It was the only solution that's worked for me with this issue. Luckily I was also able to select multiple (the 15 photos that were being difficult) and drag them all into the Collection I wanted them to go in one move. Hope everything is running smoothly for you again!

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New Here ,
Jun 26, 2020

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2. To regain the old edits : Create the same physical folder structure in the explorer, as it was when files were imported to LR, And move/rename back the source files to their original locations . Now you can find the old edits still embedded on them in the Catalog > Previous Import.

 

This is an important point. I have been searching for ages how to re-edit an old dng file so that LR reinstates the original edits. I could of course edit my Photoshop image but I want to return to the edited LR image.  Turning off "Don't Import Suspected Duplicates" didn't work as LR knew this was an image that had previously been imported so was still greyed out. So how to get to the edited dng image?

In the bottom left hand corner of Lightroom (next to the two opposing arrows) you have a menu that by default will be set to 'Previous Import' - change to 'All Photographs' then a thumbnail of every photo catalogued by LR will appear complete with edits. It's that simple - but darn hard if you don't know how.

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Explorer ,
May 06, 2017

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This problem was resolved with the last update of the CC suite. I think given the improvement and resolution of the issue through the update that this wasn't an issue due to anything done by the user but was in fact a issue with the software. LR doesn't seen to be as well developed at Photoshop - in fact the different ways that similar tasks are approached makes me wonder if the two teams ever talk to each other.

Regardless, the issue was resolved for me with the most current update. Unfortunately I have lost some original files due to the glitch.

Gregor

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LEGEND ,
May 06, 2017

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I am not aware of any bug fix to this issue, or problem being resolved, in the last update. Could you provide a reference?

As stated above by myself and RichardPLondon, this is not an issue that needs to be resolved, as Lightroom is operating as it was designed to operate, the default being to not import duplicates. Furthermore, there was really no intention to have Lightroom and Photoshop behave the same way on many issues, as Lightroom is an independent design.

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Explorer ,
Jun 15, 2017

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It's happened again today so I guess it's not fixed.

Explain to me how this can be happening:

A card is inserted into the laptop. The images were just shot, the card was formatted before. The images flow into the import window and all are clear and then, when the laptop has read them all half are suddenly grayed out - at random. They have not been previously imported because they were just shot. Why are some not grayed but others are grayed out - taken at essentially the same time.

Screen Shot 2017-06-15 at 9.49.17 PM.png

I'm at a loss. If I open the card and drag the images onto the desktop and then import them from there they will open fine.

What could be the reason? Is it possible that the camera naming is duplicated from some previous import or a camera counter rollover or repeat? That shouldn't make any difference...

Interestingly I can double click the grayed out images and they are there. I can right click the grayed out images and I am given a pop up menu that says "import this" with a check in front of it. If I click that it will import it singly.

Somehow Lightroom thinks that these images are imported already but of course they aren't if this is the first time the card is introduced to the machine.

Gregor

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New Here ,
Jun 19, 2017

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Experiencing the same thing - no idea why.

My solution has been to copy the files from the SD card to a temporary folder on my computer, then to import from the local folder using the "Move" option instead of the "Copy" option. All images were active (not grayed out).

Best of luck.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 20, 2017

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Seems like this is a bug in Lightroom, that somehow the new photos have been confused with previously imported photos (which shouldn't happen). One thing that may trigger this bug is to always start your photo shoots at photo number 0001 or 0000, which is an option you set in your camera. Other than that, I don't really have an explanation.

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New Here ,
Jul 28, 2017

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Had the same issue when Importing from the Card. I transferred all images to my External drive then imported in Lightroom. Its a work around but Needs to be fixed for subscription based software.

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New Here ,
Jan 02, 2018

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I have the same or a very similar problem and I believe this to be a bug in 6.10.1.

The Lightroom import screen showed all photos in a certain folder as having already been imported and greyed out. That folder was not showing in the navigator at all however. So I searched All Photographs for one of the photos shown as already imported, by file name. It was found. I right clicked and selected Go To Folder in Library and all photos in the folder that had previously not been showing magically appeared.

A folder adjacent to this one, which I had previously been able to see in the Navigator disappeared, however.

Suspect my catalog is very corrupted or LR has a dreadful bug.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 02, 2018

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If the catalog was corrupted, you would not be able to open it. So you do not have a corrupted catalog.

If it is a bug, you are the first to report such a bug (that I am aware of).

Could you please explain further this part ...

So I searched All Photographs for one of the photos shown as already imported, by file name. It was found. I right clicked and selected Go To Folder in Library and all photos in the folder that had previously not been showing magically appeared.

When you see the folder that had previously been missing, is it in the exact same part of your folder hierarchy that you expect it to be in and the exact same part of the hierarchy where other folder now magically disappear, or is it elsewhere in your folder hierarchy, where other folders would not be present? The symptoms you describe could match the case where you ​accidentally​ tell Lightroom to import to some other parent folder, somewhere else in your folder hierarchy, not realizing that you did this.

In other words, tell us the full folder path of the folder found by this process (according to Lightroom), and the full folder path of the folder (according to your operating system) that you claim has disappeared.

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New Here ,
Jan 02, 2018

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It's in the LR hierarchy exactly where I'd expect it to be.

I recorded my screen showing this happening.... it seems to be consistently reproducible:

lightroom_problem.mp4 - Google Drive

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New Here ,
Jan 02, 2018

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Just noticed something very odd (and significant!)

LR shows my D drive, which is where all my photos are physically stored *twice*. But the content shown in Navigator under each is not the same. The "missing" folder is in one, not the other so when I search I'm finding it in the duplicate D drive entry in Navigator which I hadn't realised existed. Sounds like a corruption to me, albeit not one which stops me opening the catalog.

lr_d_drive.jpg

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New Here ,
Jan 02, 2018

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Seems identical to LR shows one HDD twice

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New Here ,
Jan 02, 2018

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The second D drive entry contains only one folder, Pictures. I used Update Folder Location to point it to a folder on my HD that contains no photos. The phantom D drive disappeared. I imported one of the missing folders again and... the phantom D drive reappeared with the imported folder inside it. For some reason LR thinks the parent drive of this folder is not the same as the drive containing other folders.

The example "missing folder" which appears in the phantom D drive is not the only one....

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New Here ,
Jan 03, 2018

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If I select Show Parent Folder right clicking on the folder that has appeared in the second copy or phantom version of my D drive I get this error.

lightroom_error.png

That's clear evidence of a corrupt database. A corruption (AKA data integrity violation) would not necessarily prevent you from being able to open the catalog. There are degrees of corruption possible.

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New Here ,
Apr 02, 2018

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Exactly the same problem. I cannot import photos. And if I copy them to the folder and update using "syncronise folder", the photos do not even appear in the library.

I just downloaded LR Classic two days ago. I never had a problem with my old LR 3.

It is absurd that Adobe cannot give a reasonable solution answer to this crucial problem

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LEGEND ,
Apr 02, 2018

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ck_buis  wrote

Exactly the same problem. I cannot import photos. And if I copy them to the folder and update using "syncronise folder", the photos do not even appear in the library.

I just downloaded LR Classic two days ago. I never had a problem with my old LR 3.

It is absurd that Adobe cannot give a reasonable solution answer to this crucial problem

Reasonable solutions have already been given, in this thread, which perhaps you might want to read and try. To summarize what has already been said:

Greyed out photos are already in the catalog. That is also why Synchronize Folder doesn't work, it can't synchronize the photos that are already in the catalog.

Search for the photo by file name, perform ALL FOUR (not one or two or three, but ALL FOUR) of these steps:

1.   In the Lightroom Library Module, on the left, under Catalog, click on All Photographs

2.   Turn off all filters (Ctrl-L once or twice)

3.   Turn off all stacking (Photo->Stacking->Expand All Stacks)

4.   Search for at least one of these photos by file name using the Lightroom Filter Bar

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