Hi, I'm sorry if this has been answered somewhere else but I've searched and searched and can't find anything.
When I try to export photos from Lightroom (the cloud based version, I moved away from Classic desktop) it says it can't find the originals. I expect this is because at some point I (stupidly) moved some of the original files from their hard drive location. I was under the impression that Lightroom had the full files backed up to the cloud, but obviously not.
I can't for the life of me work out how to re-link them, and everything I search for brings up re-linking in Loghtroom Classic.
I have the original files, I have the edited versions in LR, surely there must be a way to point the software at their location?
I have re-downloaded LR Classic but I'm a bit nervous about syncing it with the cloud version, I'll be completely honest I don't understand the warnings about which catalogue version I'm syncing with.
Please be kind, I'm sure I've been stupid somehwere down the line but I asked this question somewhere else and just had someone be horrible to me and totally unhelpful.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I can give more info if necessary. I think a big part of my problem has been not completely understanding the relationship between Classic and CC, and not understanding how CC works properly. I'm not even 100% sure I'm calling each one by the correct name 😞
The originals should be in the cloud, but if Lightroom thinks there is a local copy it will look for that. I'm not sure that you cam relink anything, except by placing the original back in its path (which you do not know). One way of solving this should be by rebuilding your Lightroom library from scratch. Move it out of your Pictures folder and start Lightroom. Because Lightroom can't find a library it will start as if this was a brand new install. Because all photos and edits are in the cloud, it should be able to reconstruct the entire library without any problems. It will just take time depending on how large it is and how fast your internet connection is.
I don't think it would matter if the locally stored copy of an original went "missing", Lightroom should still simply use the original in the cloud (in fact, if an original is supposed to be stored locally, but has inadvertently been removed/renamed/deleted, I think a new version will be automatically downloaded into the correct location when you attempt to export it). So I'd be more inclined towards the possibility that what's stored in the cloud is actually a smart preview originally synced from Classic.....did the message say that the original was "missing", or did it say that the original is "not available"? To check, in Lightroom (the cloudy version, it's not called CC any more) select the file that you were trying to export and open the Info tab (click on the "i" icon bottom right), then scroll down to view the "Sync Status".....what does it say is stored in the cloud: "Original" or "Smart Preview"?
I have a very similar problem to what Sarah reported. I changed computers, after backing up all my photos, and stupidly traded in my old computer before making sure all was well with the new computer. When I was making sure all my photos were backed up one last obsessive time, I did not "replace" thousands of photos it was telling me I already had backed up. I didn't realize at that moment that my Lightroom Classic Catalogue was backed up in a folder with all my Pictures. Consequently, my latest Lightroom Catalogue of October 2020, did not replace a backup from February, 2020, omitting March through October of Lightroom Classic (LRC) Collections that I had created and synced with Lightroom (LR). In Lightroom, my sync status is Local: Smart Preview; and Cloud: Smart Preview Only, presumably because it expects to sync with my LRC Catalogue. So that I don't lose all my editing work on the last six months of Collections, does anyone know if and how I can download my edits from LR to a new catalogue in LRC, so that I can link to all the saved raw photos I have? In other words, my photos are all safe and sound, and redundantly saved. But all the edits I have made to them in LRC are not saved, yet I can see my edits in LR. I have already tested by recreating a small collection of 12 photos in LRC with the same name previously created and synced with LR, hoping the two (LRC and LR) will sync again, but all the syncing does is add the 12 raw photos to the edited ones, making it a collection of 24 photos in one LR album--not helpful. I appreciate any advice, and hope there is a solution, rather than sorry, you just lost all your edits because you didn't back up your latest catalogue in LRC. Thanks in advance to any expert who can help.