Isolating unwanted RAW files for deletion?

New Here ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Hello, first post so please forgive any formatting issues. I'm trying to free up hard drive space and am wondering if it's possible to use Lightroom to batch locate files on my hard drive so I can delete the 85% of RAW files I don't need (the ones that weren't keepers). My attempts to do so have so far involved right-clicking the unwanted images in Lightroom with my hard drive turned off and clicking "Show in Finder," but this option is greyed out with multiple images selected.

 

My only idea for an alternate method would be locating files manually based on file name one by one, and the prospect of doing this for 4TB of data is daunting. Any other methods for isolating unused RAW files for deletion would be greatly appreciated.

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Contributor ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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You should be able to:

  1. In Library, select the photos you want to remove from LR and delete from disk.
  2. Choose Photo->Remove Selected Photos (right clicking on one of the selected photos should be bring this up)
  3. In the dialogue box, click on 'Delete from disk'. This will remove the photos from LR and delete them from disk

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Thank you! Will this work on an external drive as well? I should have specified I'm trying to clear space on an external.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Have you taken advantage of the Reject flag?

 

The idea behind it is that you can quickly flip through lots of images in lots of folders or collections (like by pressing the left arrow and right arrow keys), mark some as Rejects (by clicking the Reject icon or pressing another shortcut key like X), and when you’re done, you simply choose Photo > Delete Rejected Photos.

 

When you use the Delete Rejected Photos command, one of the choices is Delete From Disk, so if you marked 857 photos as Rejects from all over your catalog, you can delete all of those original files from both your storage volume and your catalog in one click, without having to find out where each one is stored.

 

At any time, you can preview the images that are about to be rejected by using the Library filter to show only rejected images. This gives you an opportunity to check for images you didn’t intend to delete; then you can un-reject them before doing the mass deletion.

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Wow, thank you! Just to be clear, will this work on an external drive as well, as long as it's connected and the files are synced? 

 

I currently use the star system - is there any chance this works on unstarred photos instead of just rejects? If not I'll just go batch select my unstarred and add the reject flag.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Yes, it doesn’t matter what volume the originals are on. The only problem I can think of there is if the volume has some sort of permissions restrictions that don’t allow deletion or modification, but you can easily test for that. Try deleting one or two test images from an external; if that works then you know you are good to go. If it doesn’t work then look into the permissions or Lock status of the volume or any subfolders containing the images.

 

And you are right about how to convert stars into flags. You can simply use the Library filter bar or a Smart Collection to isolate all images with a specific star rating, then Select All and toggle their Reject flag.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Any images that you cannot delete are because LRC doesn't know where they are becuase you deleted them in the Finder/Explorer. 

 

ANY time you do things in the Finder to images that are in the LRC Catalog, no matter how well intentioned, are messing up LRCs value. If you move a file, delete a file, adjust in PS or ACR and you do this outside of LRC, you will subsequenty see little exclamation points (!) in the thumbnail. That means that LRC doesn't know what happened to the image and it's "lost."

 

One quick thing you can do is to in the Library mode, go to Library (menu) and select "Syncrhonize Folder..." If there are any images that you've done things to that LRC doesn't know about, this will help get them back. 

 

Now, as far as your external HD being filled up, sounds like you need a bigger HD. FWIW, I have a 4 TB hard drive that ALL of my images are on as well as other important files. I also have a 2nd HD that I back up the first HD to. I do this backup at least weekly. (And in case of fire, I also use a Cloud service — yeah, I sleep well at night.)

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Thanks Gary, but my issue isn't disconnected files - I'm just trying to use the Locate in Finder feature within Lightroom to highlight which of my RAWs I didn't end up editing and can delete to clear space. I just filled my 4TB drive and have another full 2TB excluding my backup drives. I'm hoping that I can reclaim about 80% of this drive space simply by deleting the RAWs that I'll almost never need.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2021 Jan 11, 2021

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Using LrC, it's possible to go through your images either in library or develop mode and when an image is highlighted simply press the X key to Mark the image for deletion. If you are doing this on a large scale basis I wouldn't worry about deleting each individual image. Just browse through your images and Mark images that you want to get rid of. When you decide you are finished marking for that session, simply press Ctrl+BkSpc and Lightroom will then highlight all of the images you have marked for deletion and give you the option to remove them from Lightroom or delete them from disk, and you can delete them all at once.

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