I am using Elements 2022 on a PC. I have gone through many iterations. I have one catalog but my photos are scattered all over my disk in different sub folders. I want to consolodate my photos in one folder on my hard disk but maintain the sub folders under the new top folder. My guess is that this involves some combination of "moving" to a temporary disk and then "moving" back to my original disk (as opposed to using back up and restore which might organize the photos in one place but leave all the pre-restore photos in place). If somone could walk me through the steps I would appreciate it. I find the directions on Adobe somewhat opaque and this is too critical a project for a mistake. Thank you.
You know you can use the left 'folders' panel in tre mode to move a folder with its subfolders to a new master folder by simple drag and drop? Obviously, that can take time if you move to a different disk. So, that's a simple job that you can do progressively if you have many folders to move.
The usual backup and restore may be advisable if you have many folders to move; it offers maximum safety and efficiency. The only problem you have already noted is that it's a copy, not a move, so you'll have to delete the original files when you are happy with the result of the restore. Deleting all files from disk from the organizer may be extremely slow. Sometimes, you have to delete by smaller baches. That's why it's better to delete those original files from the Explorer if you can find them easily.
Just to add to what Michel has said, it is probably easier to use the Backup/Restore function in your situation. Yes, the Adobe Restore Catalog Instructions are a little opaque. What I would suggest is that you create your New Photos Folder in Windows Explorer. Then, at Step 4 of the instructions, specify the New Photos Folder as your destination and DO NOT select the Restore Original Folder Structure box. This should restore (a copy of) your photos to the new folder in a flat sub-folder structure.
It has been a long time since I have actually used this option, and I seem to recall that the main folder of your current structure may get restored under the new folder. So, if your current structure is My Old Photos with numerous sub-folders or even sub-sub-folders, the restored catalog photos will appear under My New Photos>My Old Photos>with all of the sub- and sub-sub-folders in that flat directory structure. I'm not sure about this. Maybe @MichelBParis can correct me if I'm wrong.
And if you use the Backup/Restore method, you will have an entirely new catalog with the new structure. So, you can delete the photos in the old structure from Windows Explorer rather than use the Organizer to do it.