Lightroom: My images are in Lightroom but they are all grey. Why?

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Hi, After the last Lightroom update i can no longer see my images in the program...every image is grey. The program still registers that there are images, but i cannot see the images. Why? I really need this program to work!! I have tried everything I can..maybe the update no longer supports my camera files??? Please can any one fix this problem? It was working fine before the last update!
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Megan Gibbes

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  • frustrated

Posted 8 years ago

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Lee Jay

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The two most likely causes are a corrupted display profile or a corrupted Lightroom preview cache.
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Megan Gibbes

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How do I fix this?
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Lee Jay

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Well, I'd start by replacing the display profile with something known. Since you didn't tell us anything about your system, we have no way to advise you on how to do that (it's different on each OS).
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Megan Gibbes

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umm...Its a Windows Vista..
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Lee Jay

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Okay, five seconds on Google turned up this page:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/wi...

Change the color profile to something known or remove it entirely, and see if the situation changes.
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Megan Gibbes

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Yes!! Thank you! :)
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David McLaughlin

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Help! Everything I try to import comes up as a blank gray box. The files open fine in other programs.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: LR3 is importing everything as blanks.
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David McLaughlin

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How do I change the color profile for a mac osx? I tried following instructions on a google search but it didn't solve the problem. Does it matter if the lightroom preference settings are AdobeRGB or ProPhoto RGB?

After more investigation, I can see the image in Develop mode if I double click it. I just cant see if in Library mode after I import.
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Beat Gossweiler

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See this blog post of Victora Bampton for how to switch a monitor profile.

If you can see the image in Develop, there are chances that you have a corrupt previews cache. Try renaming the "[catalogname] Previews.lrdata" folder to something like "[catalogname] Previews.lrdata.old" while LR is closed and then start LR. LR will then create a new previews folder.

If that solves the problem, you can rebuild all your previews using the Library -> Previews -> render standard Size Previes menu and delete the renamed folder.

Beat
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Here's the official knowledge base document on the subject: Photos are black or gray in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
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Parmis Ssi

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thank you ,problem fixed 
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Todd Queen

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Any idea WHY or HOW the profile got changed in Color Management of my computer? It was on turquoise/sepia. I NEVER change that.
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Vanna

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I am new in LR and just installed imported all my backup (400K files). I have the same problem, but it doesn't much help to calibrate the monitor. I have tried 3 different calibrations and even tried out to have a different size mode, and it is helping a little little bit (I can now see 2 thumbnails more). I work on OS X 10.6 and it works fine on my desktop even when the files are offline. I need to work in LR when I am not in my office, so I store my catalog on a external harddrive to be able to work in LR on my laptop. But the point is lost when almost every thumbnail is grey? LR tells me that all my files are there, but can not show them correctly.
Any suggestion what might be wrong?
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David McLaughlin

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the above solution worked for me:
If you can see the image in Develop, there are chances that you have a corrupt previews cache. Try renaming the "[catalogname] Previews.lrdata" folder to something like "[catalogname] Previews.lrdata.old" while LR is closed and then start LR. LR will then create a new previews folder.

If that solves the problem, you can rebuild all your previews using the Library -> Previews -> render standard Size Previes menu and delete the renamed folder.
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Marie Morris

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LR 3.2 on a Vista Home 32bit, is not viewing any images after importing into the Library, in any view other than Web Mode. It shows all of its Metadata, and Graphics Card id updated, just cannot get the thumbnails to show anything other than grey, can't develop what you cannot see, lol. Seems a good many across the net is experiencing the same issue with no solutions, can anyone help?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Are you only able to view grayed out thumbnails in LR Library & Development Modes instead of your images?.
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Fred Baehl

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I will had my voice to this problem. I have over 56K pics in lightroom. Recently, I added a couple new pics and filed them differently than the others. (I created a new filing system and duplicated it on an external hard drive). When I went back to look at my "older" pics, all I see is the large pic number on a grey background where the thumbnail should be. No problem seeing the 2K new pics, just the 56K old ones? Am I just looking in the wrong spot? How do I find my pictures?
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Fred Baehl

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Sorry, I run Apple Mac and the newest version of Lightroom....
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Fred,

Do the thumbnails (or rather, the places where the thumbnails should be) have icons on them (a question mark in the upper right corner) indicating that the photo is missing?

If so, then the steps below won't work. If not, then try throwing out your Lightroom previews file by following these steps.

1. Quit Lightroom.
2. Go into the Pictures folder on your hard drive.
3. Go into the Lightroom folder which is in the Pictures folder.
4. In there you'll see a file called "Lightroom 3 Catalog Previews.lrdata". Put it in the trash. (Don't empty the trash yet, that way you can always drag this file back out of the trash if something goes wrong.

Important note 1: Do NOT throw out the file called "Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat". This is your Lightroom catalog file, and it contains all the info about your pictures. You definitely don't want to throw it out.

Important note 2: The locations and file names that I mention above are the defaults. It is possible that you've named things differently, or put them in different places, in which case you'll need to find things wherever you put them. Regardless, the Lightroom preview file ends with the extension ".lrdata".

After throwing out the preview file, relaunch Lightroom. Initially, all the photos (even the new ones) will appear as blank, gray thumbnails. But then the thumbnails will all regenerate, including (with luck) thumbnails for the photos which are currently missing thumbnails.

Let me know if this works for you.

Thanks,
Ben
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Christine Jones

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Thanks Ben, I followed your steps and the grayed out photos reappeared much to my relief as I thought all the work that i spent on them was gone for the second time. Why has this happend? I have noticed that the lightroom files in my pictures are all empty, is this because I removed all mt photos out of lightroom? Thanks Christine.
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Fred Baehl

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Hello Ben,
Before I do this, here is a bit more info. When I go in File, Open Recent, I have 3 catalog.Ircat. 2 have nothing in them, one only has my 2K new pics and grey numbered thumbnails instead of my other 56K pics. There is a question mark in the top right corner of all the missing files.
All this started when I decided to save my NEW pics under a new catalogue. Am I just looking under the wrong cat? Or should I proceed with your direction as noted above?
Thanks....
Fred
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Fred,

If there is a question mark on the thumbnails, then the steps I suggest above won't help. The question mark means that Lightroom cannot find those files on disc. This means that the files were moved on disc, or deleted (outside of Lightroom), and now Lightroom doesn't know where they are.

You can click on the question mark and Lightroom will ask you if you want to locate the missing file. You can then tell Lightroom where the file is now located. Lightroom will automatically find other missing files that are nearby.

Thanks,
Ben
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Kc Kc

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pictures  importing everything as blanks how will appear in lightroom 
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Laura Burton-Lawrence

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled LIGHTROOM 5 - Photos appearing as grey rectangles..

photos are appearing as grey rectangles. I recently downloaded Lightroom 5 CC and everything was working fine for a couple of days before I imported some more photos and everything went grey?
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Claudia Pfeiffer

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled thumbnails grey in LR CC 2015.10 [ 1111918 ].

Hi Folks, I'm using a Dell precision with NVIDA K1100 and LR CC 2015.10.
since yesterday after doing all the update work starting with the graphics Driver to solve GPU deactivated issue I'm done now BUT thumbnails and secondary preview window are Grey respectivly black. And YES Grafics Driver is higher than 374 actually 377.11
Im using three Screens Primary is the Dell built in showing the Problem. Secondary is an EIZO CS240 via Displayport showing also the issue and tertiary is an old ACER AL1951 conneted by HDMI here everything works fine. Prior to all the updates it worked fine on all Screens just the GPU issue was killing my nerves. Also disconnecting addtional Screens does not cure the Problem. I'm out of ideas now looking for help.