Lightroom: Navigation doesn't work properly.

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  • Updated 4 years ago
In my Lightroom catalogue I have several hundred folders with several thousand photos. I use the tree structure to navigate between my folders. My problem is that when I try to select a folder that is some distance from the root the center panel is no longer updated with the folder contents. Only folders that are closer to the root can be viewed. The preview you get when you hold the mouse pointer over a folder works for all folders. Also, if I select the root node all photos are visible including those in folders that inaccessable individually. If I click too quickly on a problem folder Lightroom hangs.
The problem doesn't always start at exactly the same folder but it's always in the same "neighborhood".
I've had this problem since Lightroom 4.
It happens on different computers running Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit) and Windows 8 Enterprise.
I've tried to remove the catalogue files and reimport all the photos and video clips but it doesn't change anything.
Any ideas what the problem is?
It's hard to give an accurate description. I have screen captures if that would help.

This is really stopping me from using Lightroom. My folder structure is organized after the date when photos were taken, which means that I can't conveniently access new photos I import any longer.

/Martin
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Martin Larsson

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  • frustrated

Posted 4 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Can we see a screenshot of your Folders panel?
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Martin Larsson

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Of course you can :)

The first image shows the last folder that can be accessed. The second image show the following folder (2013-07-10), which is the first one that can't be accessed. In the second image the preview at the top left has been updated correctly but the center panel hasn't. The same is true for all the folders below. Clicking on them repeatedly can cause Lightroom to hang as image 3 shows. Strangely enough, Lightroom has been able to update the center panel with the contents of one of the inaccessible folder just before it hanged.

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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Can we see the full path of the first yyyy-mm-dd folder from the root of LR folders? This would be further up, near the top of the folders.

I have a similar organization but put each month's folders under a yyyy-mm_monthname folder so I have only a few dozen folders within that month's folder list. Since you don't show us what happens between June and July it isn't obvious of you're doing the same or if you have 100s of folders all as peers under one root folder.

Something to try is rename the first folder that doesn't work, 2013-07-10, to something that moves its sort order lower down in the list, perhaps 2213-07-10, and see if it is still the first folder that doesn't work or if the next folder is the one that doesn't work. If you can't touch the 2013-07-10 folder, then rename the previous one, 2013-07-09 to 2213-07-09 and see if the 2013-07-10 folder starts to work or if it remains the problem.

This would help determine if it is something in the folders contents that are the problem or if it is the number of folders that is the problem.

Since the problem started long ago what have you done to work around the problem? It appears you are currently running LR 5.4, due to the Mobile signin identity plate message.
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Martin Larsson

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Thanks for the suggestion. My folder structure i quite flat. I used to have a folder per day, all of them directly under the root. Then I created a new folder per decade and moved the "day" folders to the appropriate "decade" folder but that didn't help.

To work around the problem I view photos directly in Windows Explorer. When I need to work with the photos I either do it directly when I've imported them or select the root node. Then all photos in the catalogue are displayed in the center panel. I put the photos I'm interested in a collection and work from there. It's cumbersome but it had to do.

I will follow your example and add folders for year and month. Hopefully that will work.

Thanks a lot!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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To continue from Steve's thoughts, Windows has problems if there are too many folders in a flat list, and it can't access some of the ones at the end. The easy solution is to show Lightroom's Folders panel as a hierarchy as a flat list. It looks like that's what's happening here.
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Martin Larsson

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I will change my folder structure and see if that helps.

Thank you very much for your help
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Martin Larsson

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A strange thing happened when I started Lightroom just now. The last thing I did yesterday was to kill Lightroom after it hanged. When I started it now the folder that caused the problem yesterday was opened correctly and I can access all the other folders as well. I haven't been able to that in a long time. It's probably still a good idea to change the folder structure as you suggested.

Thanks again!
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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How much memory do you have on your system? The "Not Responding" in the title bar doesn't mean LR will be that way forever, but it could be waiting for the operating system to do something like allocate more memory, or free up memory that has been previously allocated where if that memory has been allocated as virtual memory on disk it can take quite a while to move things from disk to RAM and back.

Have you ever just waited for LR to come back from the Not Responding?
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Martin Larsson

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I have 32 GB and an i7 Haswell CPU in my current machine. Once I left Lightroom in the "Not responding" state for a few hours while I was away from the computer. It didn't make a difference.

It has been working fine for several hours today so I'm hoping it stays that way. It's still a good idea to change the folder structure.

Thanks!