Lightroom: Classic CC Hangs on 2nd Import

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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I have had a problem that I believe to be a bug in Lightroom Classic CC 7.4.  It may have existed in an earlier version but it has now risen from an annoyance to a potential disaster.

I routinely import photos from two different cameras.  Typically, I will import from one card (which goes without a problem) then start the import process from the second card.  In between import operations, I will change the information on the import file name/sequence number, the copyright, and then simply import with copy (no conversion to DNG).  When doing this, Lightroom will frequently "hang" when the second import is started.  It will sit and wait forever, or at least longer than my patience lasts - up to 30 minutes with no imports, no images showing up onscreen.  The only recourse at this point is to kill the import (click the "x") on the import progress bar, exit Lightroom and restart.  Sometimes that has not worked to exit the hang, and the last resort is to kill the program from the MacOS level.  

Yesterday when I did had that problem, the ".lock" and the ".wal" files were left in the Lightroom Library folder.  When I re-started Lightroom this time, it immediately hung. I watched the library folder as it was hung, the ".lock", ".wal", and a new file ".shm" (not certain of the exact extension) were being constantly created and deleted.  After killing Lightroom from MacOS, I tried deleting the aforementioned files (".lock", ".wal", ".shm") to see if Lightroom would start normally.  It did not.  It hung in exactly the same way with the constant creation and deletion of the files.

I finally had to kill Lightroom, again from the MacOS level.  Because I had no idea what portion of my library had been corrupted, I deleted my entire library (450+ GB) and restored the library from backups.  I am assiduous about doing backups and have multiple online and offline backups.  However, that took more than 3 hours.

Is there a known bug regarding importing files from multiple sources without quitting Lightroom in between the operations?  I have found that if I import, quit, restart Lightroom, and import again, I do not have this problem.  However, because this workflow worked for me in the past, I sometimes forget and just move from one import to the next.  I am concerned that this is masking a larger problem.
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John P. McAlister

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Posted 4 months ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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John, to answers directly, I haven't seen wide-spread reports like this. 

If it were my system and it worked previously and now doesn't I would suspect the preference file.  It is quick operation to reset it and minimal impact on your system. 

Reset Procedure:

1. Close Lightroom.
2. Hold down [Alt/Opt]+[Shift] while restarting Lightroom. 
3. Overwrite the Preferences when prompted by the dialog.
4. Close Lightroom.
5. Restart Lightroom.


Does the hang on second import continue after resetting the preferences? If so, the next port of call is to perform a reinstall.

1. Uninstall Lightroom via the CC app.
2. Restart your computer and wait 5 minutes after it restarts but don't open any other software.
3. Reinstall Lightroom via the CC app. 
4. Wait 10 minutes after install is complete and attempt your import again. Does it hang on second import now?
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Ronald Byram

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Hello my windows 10 system does the same thing. it freezes and I find that I have to manually copy the pictures to a folder then have LR do a sync to attempt to import into catalog.  Some times I think maybe its because IO have videos in folder but not sure.