BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Betty Sartori

Lightroom: How to Find Missing Pictures

How can I find all the missing photos in Lightroom which say offline or missing, and when I find them say file is associated with another photo. I will be taking the BetterPhoto Lightroom course in November and feel I will be at a loss. I have about 1200 photos in Lightroom, do not understand the program, do not have them in catalogs and have about 300 missing or offline photos. Appreciate any help in easy to understand language. Thank you.

To love this question, log in above
10/12/2009 7:21:00 AM

R K Stephenson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/5/2007
  Please be careful not to delete any photos and consider backing up your hard drive before doing anything, including following this advice:
If the photos are "offline", there isn't really a problem. Photos on external hard-drives will be accessible (again) when the external drive is connected to the computer.
Missing photos is a more difficult matter. One common way photos become missing is to move or rename them with something other than in Lightroom - e.g., if you use the file manager in your PC/Mac to move images, LR will lose track of them and report them missing. Same thing applies to renaming the images and to renaming the folders containing images.
If you're going to use LR to manage your photo collection, you should always use LR to move or rename images and folders.
You can fix this by moving them back to where LR thinks they are.
If the images are scattered or you have been managing them with something other than LR for a while, you can also remove the references to the photos from LR and then re-import them back into LR.
If you go this route, I cannot stress enough that you should pay attention to the warning dialogs. LR will tell you if you are deleting images or only deleting the catalog reference.

To love this comment, log in above
10/12/2009 7:39:31 AM

Betty Sartori   Thanks so much for your detailed answer. My One Touch external drive is connected, now I've just to figure out how to move them back into LR. I can find them there. I almost wish I could start all over and remove everything from LR until I start taking the 4 week Lightroom course.

To love this comment, log in above
10/12/2009 8:07:42 AM

Craig W. Myers
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/1/2008

One minor addition to RK's excellent response. If I've had my computer on for a while, sometimes my external drive goes into "hibernate" mode. If I then open LR, it reports the hibernating drive's images as missing. I have to close LR, click on the hibernating drive's icon to wake it up, then reopen LR which now can find the images.

To love this comment, log in above
10/13/2009 2:24:11 PM

Betty Sartori   Thanks Craig.

To love this comment, log in above
10/13/2009 3:25:39 PM

Debra Booth
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/2/2004
  If the folder is missing from Lightroom because you moved it, you can update the location in Lightroom. (The missing folder will have a question mark by it.) Just right-click the missing folder and choose the option for finding missing folder (don't know the exact words because I don't have one missing right now). That option lets you navigate to the new location and restablishes the connection to Lightroom. If you've moved a lot of folders, however, it may take quite a while to reconnect each one.

To love this comment, log in above
10/14/2009 6:43:12 AM

Betty Sartori   Thanks Debra, I've got so much to learn. Betty

To love this comment, log in above
10/14/2009 12:11:38 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.