Lightroom deletes files when moving folders

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 2 days ago
  • In Progress
There is another thread describing this same behavior that is marked as solved. However, the problem is not solved.

Today I moved a folder inside LR to an external HD. The folder itself was over 40GB. The progress bar stopped about 1/3 way through the process, and after 15 minutes no more files were being moved. I finally stopped the move by clicking the "x." When I looked at the size of the folder in the external HD and the size of the original folder still remaining, I had lost over 25GB!!  
Arguably the most important function LR has is not image organization, it is image preservation. And if files just disappear due to LR glitches, then steps need to be taken to fix that as priority #1! 
I will not be moving files within LR any longer, and I will not recommend that anyone do so. If I know of someone who is considering using LR, I will suggest they look at alternatives.  Unbelievable!
I'm using version 7.3.1
Photo of justin k

justin k

  • 48 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes

Posted 1 week ago

  • 2
Photo of KLS


  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
This just happened to me too -- infuriating. Beyond infuriating. I'm using 7.4. – it looks like there's a new update out now, but who knows if it's actually fixed.
Photo of Reetesh Mukul

Reetesh Mukul, Employee

  • 22 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
@justin_k I assume that files were not present at either of the two locations. We will try to replicate this issue and get back to you.
Photo of Antoine Hlmn

Antoine Hlmn

  • 188 Posts
  • 59 Reply Likes
I've had a similar issue! Thank god I had a TimeMachine backup! (Always, ALWAYS have a backup!
Photo of justin k

justin k

  • 48 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Edit: Now that I reread your question, I think you may be asking if the files that were lost were not present on either drive after the fact. No they were not.
Photo of Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen

Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

  • 4327 Posts
  • 1582 Reply Likes
This has been a long-standing issue for many years Reetesh. It's difficult to reproduce on demand, but there have been reports of files getting deleted during cancelled or hung drag/drop operations since as far back as I can remember. Your more experienced users recommend using drag/drop only for moving a few photos at a time, and use OS move then Find Missing Folder for larger volumes due to this issue. If you can track it down, that would be much appreciated.
Photo of Oliver


  • 11 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Just a question: If this feature is known by long and the result is rather critical for the user (we do not talk about loss of some edits but of total loss of data) - why doesn't Lightroom at least put a warning sign in front of this operation?

(I am one of those guys that move files via OS :-)) 
Photo of Todd Shaner

Todd Shaner, Champion

  • 1074 Posts
  • 347 Reply Likes
This is a duplicate post. I suggest anyone landing here with this issue add their 'Me To' vote and 'Follow' at the below report Adobe Engineering has already acknowledged. The more votes and comments added their the more likely Adobe Engineering will take further action. Thank you.

Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 3855 Posts
  • 732 Reply Likes

I am going to recommend we keep this thread open and treat it as a new issue.  The thread to which you linked above was a bug with a set of steps were were able to replicate which was fixed in 6.12.  While this may be related, it is more like a new issue than a continuation of the previous issue. 

@Reetesh is on the case and if we are able to repeat what these two users are seeing in the 7.5 version, we will log it as a new issue in our system. 
Photo of dmeephd


  • 84 Posts
  • 17 Reply Likes
This behavior has been known and ongoing for years.  I never use LR to move files anywhere.  Ever.  One only has to lose processed images once—thank gawd for backups—to learn that painful lesson.  It makes no matter to me whether Adobe 'fixed' this issue once or ten times over the years; nothing stays fixed in LR for long.

I would rather use the MacOS to move folders and  files and then have LR locate the 'missing' folders or files and either update the new location or delete them from the catalog.
Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

  • 3855 Posts
  • 732 Reply Likes
@Justin K and @KLS

Can you both provide OS and Version? You've already supplied your Lightroom version. Some basic information about the configuration of your source and destinations would be helpful. Please include as much step-by-step information as possible so that we can attempt to duplicate what happened in your systems.

Thank you!
Photo of justin k

justin k

  • 48 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
@Rikk, OS: Mac OS High Sierra 10.13.16
The moving process involved transferring files from the hard drive to an external drive within LR. 
When I looked over a couple of other folders I had moved within LR in the last couple of weeks, prior to the event described in this thread, I noticed a pattern. None of the folders was moved completely-- all of them contained some files in their original location on the hard drive, and among those files were those that were put in collections. For some reason, it appears LR did not move any of the files that were in collections during that process. However, that does not explain all of the data that disappeared.I have lost other files when previously moving photos in those instances.