Lightroom: Cannot undo delete

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I accidentally deleted some photos in Lightroom 6 and it appears it cannot be undone. Undo is greyed out. I had to revert to a backup to get my pictures back. 

Must be something I am doing wrong, because I cannot imagine any software would lack an undo for deleting data.
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Hans Douma

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Posted 2 years ago

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avpman

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I understand your frustration and if you search the threads this has been brought up before. But if you delete a photo from the disk LR hands that operation off to the O/S and there is no way to undelete it in most O/S'. This is true for programs other than LR as well.

However, if you only deleted the photo from the catalog, and not the disk, you could use the "Synchronize Folder" option and pick the photos you deleted from the catalog and get them back in. Unfortunately, you'll still have to recreate any keywords, or metadata that you might have changed.

There could be a case made for an enhancement to LR to preserve that info for a period of time when a photo has only been deleted from the catalog and not the disk and provide an undo operation.
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Just Shot Me

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In all of the modern operating systems there certainly is a way to Undelete a file you have deleted.
It is called the Recycle Bin on Windows and the Trash Can on a Mac. With either you can Restore the file to exactly where it came from on your hard drive.
So I have no idea what you are talking about.
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Roger Ashton

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Because this does not restore all of the edits done to the possily hundreds of photos that were deleted
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eric george

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"just shot me"  that comment wasn't very thought out and makes you look ignorant.  Lightroom itself should have an undo command for this, so that all the edits are restored as well.
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Just Shot Me

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LR is not as File manager. It is a image Digital asset manager. Once you delete from disk in LR the files are moved to the recycle bin, Windows, or the Trash, Mac, and can be restored to the folders they were originally in.

Not even Windows or Mac/OS X's file manager can restore deleted files. You have to go to the respective trash system to restore them.

Once you delete files in LR it throws away, deletes forever, any edits you made to those files.

Simple if you don't want to delete those files then don't do so.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"Not even Windows or Mac/OS X's file manager can restore deleted files. You have to go to the respective trash system to restore them."

Both Windows File Explorer and Mac Finder let you undo a file deletion to the recycle bin/trash.  After deleting a file, in File Explorer type Ctrl + Z, and in Finder do Edit > Undo or type Cmd + Z.
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Just Shot Me

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When you Remove Photo (Or Photos) in LR a dialog box pops up asking if you want to "Remove" (Button), which means just from the catalog only, or Delete from disk (Button).
Even if you select Delete from disk those images are placed into either the Recycle Bin or the Trash can (Windows Mac respectively) and can be put back where they were. That is before you Empty the Bin/Trash.
With either option the "Reference" to that image is removed, deleted, from the LR catalog file and all corresponding edits are also removed.

I suggest you think long and hard before you start deleting images from the LR catalog. A Trash can is no place to store anything you might want or need in the near or far future. I certainly hope you don't do that in your kitchen.
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Hans Douma

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Thanks for reacting.

"I suggest you think long and hard before you start deleting images from the LR catalog. A Trash can is no place to store anything you might want or need in the near or far future. I certainly hope you don't do that in your kitchen."

The whole purpose of a trash bin and the undo functionality is to roll back unintended deletes. The very idea that I would try to keep something in the trash for future use  is of course utter nonsense. We do not all come straight from kindergarten.....

That LR is not able to undo a delete is a serious omission. Of course I can undo the action by re-importing the deleted images from the trash, but I have not yet come across any serious software where this action is not part of the application itself. E.g. coming from Aperture I did not have that problem there. 
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Just Shot Me

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How do you unintentionally remove images from just the catalog or both catalog and hard drive in LR? I've never had that happen to me.

Again I suggest you review the images you have marked with a X or selected before you start the Remove Photo/s command.
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Michel DELFELD

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All depends on how you deleted the picture within LR
I may only confirm what has been said!
The suppress command have two different effect:
1 delete only out of the data base
2 delete out of the HDD

If you used the 1st solution you can always recover the picture by using the common "synchronise"

I you used the 2nd the picture is deleted on the HDD and sent to the trash bin. To recover from there it all depend on what kind of computer you are using

You also recover it if you have a Backup of your pictures
 
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avpman

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This operation would be a great idea for a Plug-In which could move the image(s) temporarily to another folder and thus save the mettadata. Maybe tag them as rejected and have the plugin move those images tagged as such? The user could later examine the temporary folder within LR and decide to permanently delete them or "Undo" the move.
(Edited)
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Just Shot Me

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No need for a plug in for that. You can do that now with the reject X and the filter bar Attribute section and creating a folder to move the images to.
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avpman

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Right, but plugins can create new fields in the LR DB for their use. Therefore a plugin could retain info in the LR database about where the photo came from and then return it to it's original location as an "undo" option. I'd pay for such a plugin.
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Yves Crausaz

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Il faut toujours travailler dans une collection, et utiliser le tag "Rejected" (X), si vous supprimer un photo dans un collection, la photo ne sera jamais supprimée du disque dur et les information de développement et les méta-data ne seront jamais supprimés du catalogue LR. Pour une suppression définitive, il faudra sélectionner les photos taguée "Rejected" et les afficher sous Dossiers. A ce moment seulement, un dilogue vous intitera au choix Supprimer seulement du catalogue ou supprimer du catalogue et du DD, il me semble que c'est suffisant comme sécurités, il faut arrêter de ne pas voulloir comprendre comment l'utilisation de LR a été prévue par ses concepteurs et apprendre à s'en servir correctement, c'est un logiciel en principe destiné à des professionnels formés !

Sorry Google translation...
Always work in a collection, and use the tag 'Rejected' (X), if remove you a photo from a collection, photo will never be deleted from the hard drive and the development information and meta - data will never be deleted from the LR catalog.  A permanent deletion, to select the 'Rejected' tagged photos and display them under files.  At that moment only, a dialog you intitera to choose delete only of the catalogue or remove catalog and the SD, it seems to me that that's enough security, stop of not not voulloir understand how the use of LR was intended by its designers and learn to use it properly, it is in principle intended for trained professionals software!

Désolé pour le coup de gueule, mais ces questions ont déjà été posées souvent lors du lancement des versions précédentes !

Sorry for the mug shot, but these questions have already been asked often launching previous versions!
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Rob Cole

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: undo image deletion.

Not a big deal to those who are diligent about saving xmp, but for those who spend several hours editing, then inadvertently delete a bunch of edited images: big deal.

Reminder: the default setting in Lightroom is auto-write xmp: disabled - which I think is good. But too many newbies don't understand about xmp and manual saving and end up high and dry after spending the day navigating the waters...

Bonus Idea:
---------------
Ship Lr with a tutorial that must be viewed until user can convince Lr he/she understands the basics (e.g. via checkbox), including xmp.

R
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eric george

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled delete from disk undo.

I have a stellar idea.  How about a delete from disk undo! (mind blown)!  This should have been implemented years ago.  It is something that doesn't happen often, but it DOES happen.  Here's my steps that led up to it today.

1.  working on a collection of 300 images.  selected all so i could batch switch to black and white.
2.  then clicked on the 1st one to start my quick edits.  went through editing about 150 of them, deleting the ones i don't want from disk (works fine when you're in single picture view).
3. i go to thumbnail view, see a pic i want to delete from disk. Now at this point i miss that all of them are still selected (the highlighted grey is not much different than the non highlighted).  I also miss that it tells me how many are going to be deleted.
4.  i hit delete, all my pics disappear.  i immediately realized what i did wrong.  i say "hey, no biggie, i'll just undo.  
5.  hmmm, can't undo that.

now i am able to go to the trash and recover the files, but not the edits.  and of course it IS my fault that i missed two critical things in this process.  but it would really be nice to just have an undo option for this.  i'm still having trouble understanding why this wasn't implemented years ago, it's like i'm taking crazy pills.
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Roelof Moorlag

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Lightroom does provide just the tooling for this, you only have to use it!
This tooling is de reject option (X) instead of delete.
Afterwards you can delete all rejected photo's in one single action (when you are sure that these realy are delete-candidates)
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eric george

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The reject is all well and good, but it would be nice for adobe to support at least a few different types of workflows.  If adobe added this feature, it wouldn't hurt anyone, it would only help.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Adobe's Photoshop Elements Organizer (which has a catalog similar to LR's) lets you undo deletes from disk, at least as of version 8.  I haven't tried it since then.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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No change in ulterior versions of PSE organizer.
The Undo command (Ctrl Z) available just after an unwanted delete will restore anything (edits, stacks and version sets). PSE has no predefined 'rejected' choice, but it's so easy and obvious to assign a custom 'tobedeleted' tag and to batch delete afterwards that it's the same good advice as rejecting in LR. Another reason in PSE: the 'delete' function is very slow.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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While waiting for Adobe to implement this (if they ever do), one way to protect yourself against accidental deletions is to enable Catalog Settings > Metadata > Automatically Write Changes Into XMP.  This will ensure your edits are written to the photo or its sidecar, and when you need to restore a deleted photo, those edits (and all other metadata changes) will be recovered too.

While there were mumblings many, many years ago about this option slowing down LR, I haven't seen any substantiated reports since I started using LR 3.  If you have a lot of cataloged JPEGs, then making large batch changes to their develop settings or metadata can generate a lot of backup traffic, as your file backups will see all of them as modified.