Lightroom: Images are missing after deleting them

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
Twice now that I have Abode customer representatives being condescending toward me. They kept arguing with me. I followed one of the technicians' instruction to upload my pictures from my hard drive to the Abode Creative Clouds, so I can continue my editing in Lightroom and storage in the cloud. I followed her instruction to create a "Collection" within Lightroom cloud and copied the metadata files and pictures into the collection to be stored into the cloud. Thinking that I am good since I followed the expert's advice, I decided to delete my pictures from the hard drive, now all my pictures are gone from Lightroom. Every pictures I clicked on Lightroom said "File cannot be open". Then I looked, all the pictures are inaccessible from Lightroom. Then I called Adobe customer service and their technicians kept trying to talk over me and treating me like I am a 5 years who needed a timeout. Then he told me that he can't help me because all their tools are down.....5 months are editing are now gone....Adobe, you have one of the worst customer service I have received.
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Posted 2 years ago

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Philippe Coudé du Foresto

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Are using Lightroom CC or Lightroom Classic ? If the later, it seems to me you had a misunderstanding with the first Adobe techicician. I think he was guessing your wer using "Lightroom CC" whereas you were using Lightroom Classic. I agree it a poor suport since he should have verified with explicitly.
Did you have a look in your Recyclable Bin ? When you delete a file (either from LR or directly from the OS), it is put in the Recycle Bin (unless you explicitly ask, by a specific key combination, to have them definitely removed), from where you can restore them.
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Dan Hartford Photo

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I can't speak to the advice from CS but in your description it doesn't seem (s)he recommended deleting the RAW or JPG files from your computers' disk drive.  However, all is not lost as Philippe suggested.  Go to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac) and "restore" the missing images back to their original location.  Assuming you have not also removed them from inside LR, they should no longer show up as "Missing" and all your edits and changes will still be present.  If you want a list of them, use menu path Library -> Find All Missing Photos.  This will create a collection in the "Catalog" panel showing all the images that LR can't find.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC are very different products. Which one are you using? Go to Help > System Info and post the first few lines.

It sounds like you're using Lightroom Classic, the original files never go to the cloud - If you sync a collection, only a smaller/lossy Smart Preview is synced to the cloud and your original are only stored locally. If you import the files into Lightroom Classic, it is simply referencing the files on your hard drive. If you delete the files off your hard drive using the finder or Windows Explorer, Lightroom Classic will no longer be able to find them. You should never delete your images off of disk.

If you import the images into Lightroom CC, the original files are automatically uploaded to the cloud, but it may take a while for them to get there depending on how many you import. Log into to see which images were synced to the cloud.

Since you mention creating a Collection, that makes me think you're using Lightroom Classic (Lightroom CC refers to them as Albums)
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Andy Hewitt

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Surely in either case, they disappear from the cloud if you delete them locally.

LR CC doesn't even have a Trash as yet, so if you delete them from the local storage, they'll sync and delete everywhere, and are completely gone forever.

Of course I would suggest that perhaps the question of backups should be asked?