Question marks on thumbnails

New Here ,
Mar 17, 2022 Mar 17, 2022

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I recently installed Elements 2022 on Windows 11, and Organizer seems nearly useless as probably hundreds of the photo thumbnails have the dreaded question mark on gray background. There is no way that I'm going to initiate a missing file search for each individual photo. So it seems that I will have to import each photo I want to edit, from elsewhere in my computer. Lame. Am I missing some obvious setting or something?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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You say you are seeing the dreaded question mark on a grey thumbnail.  A screenshot of what you are talking about would be helpful.

 

Missing files that previously had a thumbnail will show only a yellow question mark icon in the top left of the image, as in the following example:

Ashampoo_Snap_Thursday, March 17, 2022_23h49m26s.png

 

IIRC, a question mark alone generally indicates that the thumbnail won't show because the file exceeds the limitations of the Organizer or the Editor.  If that is the case, perhaps you need to make the registry adjustments suggested in my linked article.   If that is not the case, we need more information from you about how you transferred your catalog to the new machine and whether you changed the path to the files.

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New Here ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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Thanks for the reply, Greg. The photos in Organizer were put there by the installation process. Here's a shot of the question marks. As for the photos with the little question mark in the upper left of the thumbnail, could it be that they are photos that have been edited and hence their size too big for the thumbnail limits?questionmarks.jpg

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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No.  Those are all missing files.  Since I do all of my file management within the Organizer, I don't often get to see a missing file with no thumbnail.   So, now we have to figure out how the files in your catalog became missing.

 

The first thing to do is select one of the missing files and look in the Information panel.  The file location where the catalog expects to find the file will be presented by the Location heading.  If you click on the Location link, it will take you to the folder in Windows Explorer.  Only you can tell us why the file is no longer there.

 

 

And when you say that the photos showed up as part of the installation process, that suggests to me that a prior catalog has been converted to Elements 2022.  Do you have another version of Elements installed on the same computer?  Does that version also have the same missing files in the catalog?  What we really need to know is how the files were originally stored, and how the files were moved by you.  Or whether this is something that happened during an upgrade of your computer from Win 10 to Win 11. 

 

Do you have any backups of your catalog?

 

 

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New Here ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Thanks again, Greg. Yes, I have a catalog in my Elements 11 program. I had been thinking that there was no override between Ell and E2022 during the installation. I also have photos in Windows 11 Photos, as well as in an old pre-Windows 10 catalog. 

So it sounds like I need to do some consolidating as well as using the file Information Panel to see where the various photos are being stored in my computer, a large and tedious process, but if I don't do it it will bug the heck out of me.

Not being a programmer, I made the assumption that things would be made simpler and smoother with an up to date version. I guess we're not there yet.

Thank you for the ideas. I will let you know if I have any success.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 19, 2022 Mar 19, 2022

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Susan, this should not be a complicated process, but you need to answer my questions specifically.  I understand that you have both Elements 11 and Elements 2022 on your current computer.  Please confirm.  If so, please answer the following questions:

 

  1. If you open the Elements 11 Organizer, are you showing any missing files?
  2. How many files are in your Elements 11 catalog.  The number shown in the lower left status bar will suffice.
  3. Do you have approximately the same number of files in your Elements 2022 catalog?
  4. If the two catalogs are about the same size, do they both have the same number of missing files?
  5. Have you changed computers and/or moved your photos around on different computers?  Please give details of what you have done.
  6. Is your Windows 11 computer new or did you upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11?  If the latter, did you do an upgrade without reinstalling the old programs and data, or did you do a fresh install of Windows 11 and installed all of your old programs. 
  7. How was all of your data (photos etc.) transferred to the Windows 11 computer?
  8. Do you have a working Elements 11 program with a catalog that doesn't have missing files?
  9. Do you have any Backups of your Elements 11 Organizer catalog?  In other words a backup created through the Organizer's File>Backup Catalog process?

 

I'm sorry if some of these questions are duplicative but I don't have a good handle on how you got to the situation you are in. 

 

And just to clarify some common misconceptions about the Organizer:

  • The Elements Organizer catalog does not store copies of your files.  It merely keeps a record of where you have stored the files on your computer.
  • Each version of Elements has its own catalog that uses a different format.  When you install a new version of Elements on your computer, the program makes a copy of the old catalog (which can still be used with the old version) and it converts the old catalog to the new format for use in the new version.  All catalog information (almost) such as tags, face recognition and albums will transfer over to the new catalog.  If you had missing files in the old catalog, they will still be missing in the new catalog.

 

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