Lightroom 4 deletes files when moving a parent folder containing empty subfolders to another volume

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Acknowledged
  • (Edited)
This was mentioned by a Lightroom user on one of my other photo mailing lists. I tested it and found that the situation was indeed as he reported.

Issue:

When moving a folder of image files from one volume to another using Lightroom, any subfolders and files that are currently not available (due to having been moved with a file manager external to Lightroom) are eliminated from the catalog, losing all the IPTC and editing metadata.

Setup: (my test was done on OS X with Lightroom 4.1)

- Start Lightroom and create a new catalog.
- Import some files from a few folders on a single volume.
(copy them so as not to lose the originals)
- Be sure they are included under a single parent folder,
and show that in the Folders panel.
- Add metadata annotation and apply a couple of standard Develop presets.
- Quit Lightroom.
- Using the Finder, move some of the folders to another location in the file system.
- Open the catalog with Lightroom again.

The files from the folders that you moved will have question icons on them which allow you to locate the original file.

test 1: From within Lightroom, move the parent folder containing all the others to a new location on the same volume.

result 1: Note that Lightroom moves all the files. Files that are not findable (have the question icons marking them) are still there, as is all the metadata.

test 2: From within Lightroom, move the parent folder to another location, this time on a different volume.

result2: Notice that the number of files listed as being in the catalog is now reduced by the number that were 'missing' and that all of the image metadata is eliminated.

Desired result:

LR should move every referenced file it can find to the new location but leave the ones that it cannot find in place in the catalog with the old path information intact. That way, you could reinstate them into the new location, then update the catalog with their new containing folder location on the new volume, preserving all the data that you've annotated them with in the catalog.
Photo of godders

godders

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Posted 6 years ago

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Photo of Benjamin Warde

Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Thanks for the very clear description. I am able to reproduce this problem as well, and I've entered the issue in our bug database.

Thanks,
Ben