Recovering photos in catalog (I see are still there) after deleting from disk

New Here ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Using Lightroom Classic: I deleted a bunch of photos from my disk since they were taking up way too much room on the hard drive. I tested it out with 1 photo and saw that it still existed in the catalog, so I went ahead with more. I thought they'd be stored in the catalog library or in the cloud, which I do pay for.

Now I went to edit one of them and it says The File Could Not Be Found.

The cloud option on the top right is on and says everything is synced.

 

How/where can I recover this photo and re-download it again to my drive so I can edit?

- Can I only edit things if they're on a hard disk?

- If no, how do I save everything in the cloud only when I import, and then selectively add to disk and edit once I decide? I'm not finding it in Preferences

- Why do I still see them in my catalog if I can't edit them? 

 

Thank you

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How to, Mac, Sync

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

LEGEND , Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021
Photos are not stored in Lightroom Classic, nor does Lightroom Classic store photos in the cloud. You are seeing previews in Lightroom Classic. If you have backups, you can restore the backup of these photos by copying (not moving) the photos (using your operating system) to the location specified in Lightroom Classic. You might also want to look in the Recycle Bin for these photos, same instructions. If you don't have backups (why not?) and the photos are not in the trash, then the photos are g...

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LEGEND ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Photos are not stored in Lightroom Classic, nor does Lightroom Classic store photos in the cloud.

 

You are seeing previews in Lightroom Classic.

 

If you have backups, you can restore the backup of these photos by copying (not moving) the photos (using your operating system) to the location specified in Lightroom Classic. You might also want to look in the Recycle Bin for these photos, same instructions.

 

If you don't have backups (why not?) and the photos are not in the trash, then the photos are gone. You can recover the thumbnails (which are lower resolution version of your photos) via this plugin from Jeffrey Friedl.

 

Lightroom Classic does not make backups of your photos. Lightroom Classic cannot store photos in the cloud. You are responsible for creating and using a valid backup strategy and backup location for your photos.

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New Here ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Thanks.
It's interesting that the catalog just stores previews, since I can still
zoom in and see a lot of detail.
Is there any way to export those previews?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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I already explained how to recover the thumbnails (also called previews).

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New Here ,
Jun 22, 2021 Jun 22, 2021

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Got it. Is there any way to store photos *only* in the cloud then, without
also storing them on a disk?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 22, 2021 Jun 22, 2021

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Lightroom Classic does not store photos in the cloud.

 

The similarly named but very different software called Lightroom stores your photos in the cloud and makes backups of them as well, no need to store photos on your local disk. Lightroom has fewer features than Lightroom Classic.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Since you deleted the images outside the Catalog, is it possible that they're still in your Recycle Bin? You can easily restore them from there.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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You posted.

"How/where can I recover this photo and re-download it again to my drive so I can edit?

- Can I only edit things if they're on a hard disk?

Yes Lightroom Classic requires original image files or Smart-previews while working in the Develop Module.

- If no, how do I save everything in the cloud only when I import, and then selectively add to disk and edit once I decide? I'm not finding it in Preferences

Lightroom Classic only uploads Smart-previews to Adobe cloud storage, so what you are suggesting is not an option. When you import image files to your Lightroom Catalog there are three basis options.

a. Add, this option leaves the image file at it's current location it just stores data info about the image file.

b. Copy, with this option you have to select the destination for Lightroom to place a copy of the image file within your computer storage.

c. Move, with this option you move the image file from its location to the destination of your choice.

 

- Why do I still see them in my catalog if I can't edit them?

When you import image files to your Catalog Lightroom builds preview files which allow viewing your images in the Library and other modules things like editing, printing, exporting etc, require original files."

Just some basic thoughts.

 

 

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.5, LrC 10.3, Lr 4.3, Ps 22.4.3, Pr 14.8.0; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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