I have been using various versions of PSE for many years. I have backed up old photos on DVDs and external hard drives. I now have a list of very old folders in the PSE Organizer that no longer are linked to those old photos. I would like to delete HUNDREDS of old folders. I can delete all the files in one folder at a time. That would take a very long time. Is there a way to delete all the unlinked photos, and their folders, any more easily?
You could use the Find>All Missing Files menu command. All of the disconnected files will then appear in the grid. Select them all (Ctrl+A in Windows) and then press delete. That will remove all of the missing files from the catalog. And if the containing folder is empty, it will also disappear from the Organizer's Folders panel. But the empty folder will still remain available in Windows File Explorer.
The organizer can't remove from disk files which are not in a catalog or which are disconnected for some reason. Deleting media file trees has to be done from the Explorer or Finder. You can delete a whole folders tree in one command, and it's much, much faster than deleting thousands of files from the organizer.
To play safe, first check that your current catalog(s) don't have disconnected files and create full backups for each.
You could delete all your files from the explorer and restore from the backups, but it would be safer to restore the backup to a new location (different drive or different master folder) to check that the backup(s) are ok before deleting. I recommend storing your library under a master folder outside of the default 'My Pictures'. Storing the library on an external (or different internal) drive is also a good choice.
A different idea instead of the backup and restore would be to use the organizer and to move trees or parts of trees to another location. You can move folders with all their subfolders by drag and drop from the folders tree view on the left panel, but that also moves files NOT in the catalog.
You suspect a whole folder tree is no longer managed in your catalog. To be sure, do the following.
- start with a catalog without disconnected files
- from the explorer, rename the master folder of that tree.
- search for missing files.
If there are none, you can delete from the explorer.