Lightroom: Delete Images on Card after Import

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I would love to get an option to let LR automatically delete images from the card after they have been successfully imported. Images on the card that have not been imported, are let alone, of course.

It would serve two purposes for me:
1. It would save me deleting the images manually.
2. It would dramatically improve the experience of importing images from one card into different catalogs.

An incremental import of subsets of images on one card into a single catalog (but e.g., different folders) is well supported by the "New Photos" filter in the import dialog. However, when I switch catalogs while downloading images from a card -- because some subset of images on the card needs to go into a different catalog -- the "New Photos" filter no longer works. As a result, I have to remember and wade through a lot of images I already imported into a different catalog.

I realise that deleting images from the card is a sensitive issue. It must not happen prior to having verified that the image indeed has been copied (or converted) to a new location. Picasa supports this double checking.

As a safety net, Lightroom could offer a "restore deleted images" feature that would resurrect deleted files from cards. Users will find such a feature tremendously useful for other occasions as well.

I'd be happy with the following compromises as well:

* The option to delete images after import is available only if one activates a second backup location.

* Images are not deleted but the tracking of which images have already been imported is extended to work across catalogs. A record of what images still need to be imported could be associated with a currently inserted card.
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  • hopeful that one way or another importing images into multiple catalogs can be made simpler.

Posted 9 years ago

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Photo of ERIK LEON


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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled LightRoom - can't delete photos from card after transfer.

Lightroom, Issue !! I have a Issue every time I transfer all my pictures from my Nikon D800 to My library in LightRoom , I understand the philosophy that LR has But this option it must select by US , example I use bridge to transfer the pictures, bridge has the option to errase after download, them open LR to Upload the pictures to this app, is the waste time ever ! or delete manually from the camera !! Sorry for my english!!
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Julien Pierre

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom : Move option greyed out for card reader.

When selecting "import" and if the source is a memory card, the Move option is not available.

found pointers to a previous discussion on this forum. The
recommendation was to reformat the memory card after every import with

I don't find that to be a suitable recommendation. I keep
other files on the card such as video files that I don't want to import
in Lightroom.

If I
import files from the card with "Copy", and then delete the bad pictures
from the catalog, and don't format the card, at the next import, these
pictures that were deleted from the catalog now will be selected for
import again. Really inconvenient.

looking for a simple workflow where the pictures are copied and removed
from the card at the same time. I feel it is unintuitive and
time-wasting to have to perform a separate action to either format the
card, or manually delete the file.

realize some have concerns about reliability and possibility of picture
loss. IMO, this concern applies equally to removable and non-removable
sources. The user should be able to choose what works for them. Put a
warning in the UI - every time, if need be. Or perform a verification
after copy before deleting the file from the original source. Just don't
grey out the option altogether.

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Just Shot Me

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The other comments you received, prior to your discussion being moved, summed it up correctly.
LR Restricts the use of the Move option so if anything goes wrong with the import the original image files are still on the memory card.
Your only option is to use the File Manager for your OS to Delete those recently imported image files from the card. If you uncheck the option to Auto Eject the card after import has finished then all you have to do is open the File Manager program for your OS and delete the files. Then Eject the card.
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Julien Pierre

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I realize what my options are currently. This is a feature request / bug report.Restricting the move option to non-removable devices is unreasonable.
My camera produces some files that Lightroom does not process, namely a KML GPS log.Reformatting the card is thus not an option, unless I want to lose that data.
Manually selecting the files after Lightroom imported them just to delete them is tedious and simply time-wasting.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Reformatting is an option after you copied that GPS log to your computer as well? Just out of curiosity: Why would you want to keep these data on the memory card if the images you took during that time are deleted anyway?
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Dan McKinney

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Add ability to delete files from SD card only after verifying copy status in Ligh....

I would love to see the Import tool implement a way of copying files to one's system, then verifying the files' integrity by comparing them to what's on the card, and then presenting the user with the option of deleting the originals from the card, or perhaps formatting the card.

Simply copying files from the card to the computer gets a bit confusing. I shoot many hundreds of exposures in a day, and having all these files left on the card after import can present its own problems.

I understand that the idea behind preventing Lightroom from deleting files is to protect them, but I find that having thousands of files left on the card could be more dangerous since there's no quick way to find what's been imported!

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Just Shot Me

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Simple put the card back in the camera and use the Camera to Format the card. That is what you are supposed to do and IIRC the recommended process by most camera manufacturers.
Hopefully your suggestions won't be taken. If they are then Adobe will have hundreds, thousands ++ of users screaming "LR Deleted All My Images and didn't import, Copy, some of them".

Again Simple. Run a Comparison check on what is on the card and what is in the folder you had LR copy the images to.
Personally I have never had LR Miss copying any images off the cards from my cameras to my hard drives. The few times I have heard of this happening it has been either some type of user error, permissions problems or hardware fault/failure that has caused it.
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Once again, moving files between different drives, including SD cards, is a standard task provided by Windows and other OS for decades, executed millions of times each day, and there are enough routines implemented to prevent your scenario from happening. The system automatically copies the file, checks its integrity on the destination drive, and only then the original will be deleted. 
This has proven to work reliably billions of times, thus your scenario is virtually impossible to happen, and it is strictly nonsense to force upon users any additional security to that.
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Just Shot Me

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Your opinion is Noted. But just like something else everyone has one.
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Tamas Vizmathy

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Disabling the option to move does not solve any problems. It only forces people to delete the images manually (by delete and/or format), which introduces the possibility of data loss due to deleting unimported pictures:
- when connecting multiple cards and deleting from the wrong one,
- when doing partial import (not ideal, but it happens if there is a time presure) and deleting the wrong ones,
I find these more likely to happen than data corruption during transfer, thus disabling Move makes workflows less secure (yes, these are not best practices, but they do happen).
I shot nature. Meaning a lot of pictures through the day on multiple memory cards (using one huge card would be another risk factor to lose the whole day if it fails). Importing the cards one by one and deleting/formatting them as a separate step if anything but a safe workflow.
Yes, deleting without having a backup is a really bad idea. But Lightroom provides an option to create backups during import. Why couldn't it remove the source images after import and backup are successfull (and in a perfect world after fs synced and verified).
One can still format the card after reinserting it into the camera, but I would be so much more happy doing it after I checked that there are no images on it, than hoping that the 2k+ images I delete are imported for sure.