Lightroom Classic: Lightroom CC: Sync and move problem

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
Lightroom Sync/move problem

In my LR Classic Catalog I have 23525 synced photos.

In my Lightroom CC I have 23556 photos

Ignoring the small difference for the moment, a few days ago my external HD had a wobble and I had to reformat it, I had a copy of the Lightroom CC local images folder that was only a little out of date so I copied that back to the recovered HD in exactly the location it was before.

When I started Lightroom CC it said my local storage disk was not available, even tough it was so I went to setting and told it to move the local folder to where I had restored it. It said moving 23556 photos . At the end it says 2167 photos could not be moved. In LR CC it says it has a smart preview but the original is not present (which in some cases is true, in others it is not).

Now whenever I start up LR CC I get the move dialog attached:

and when it completes I get the failed dialog attached

LR Classic CC says it is synced, LR CC says it is synced, but how can I force the missing originals to my local storage?

Photo of Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts

  • 159 Posts
  • 30 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Jeff

Jeff, Employee

  • 1 Post
  • 1 Reply Like
Official Response

Hello Dave, LrCC engineer here! 

This might be a bit technical, but bear with me. LrCC does not use the drive name when storing paths to photos, but rather unique identifiers associated with the volume. We do this so that users can freely change their hard drive name without causing broken file paths in LrCC ( something that can wreak havoc in Lr Classic ).

When you formatted your drive, those unique drive identifiers we use internally to track where photos live changed. Even though you now have the correct files on disk in the correct location, the file paths stored in the LrCC database still use the old (pre-formatted) hard drive identifiers. This is why LrCC complains of some files being offline; it can't find your old drive where it thinks they are stored!

The general recommended advice here is to not clone/copy your catalog or originals folder between machines or hard drives (or in your case, a reformatted drive). Instead, take advantage of the cloud and let things sync down naturally.

For your specific situation, I recommend the following:

  1. Revert to the default storage location in LrCC and relaunch the app.
  2. When prompted that some files are offline and cannot be moved, choose the "Forget" option. This will remove the broken file links, but won't delete any of the images from the LrCC database or from the cloud.
  3. (optional) Import your old originals folder to make sure you don't lose any photos that weren't fully uploaded. If you choose to do this, you should first remove any originals that haven't yet uploaded so that you don't get duplicates. You can very easily find these assets that need uploading by using the Filter Bar and filtering by Sync Status: Syncing. 
  4. Now that you've removed the broken links, you can set the original storage location to your existing originals folder or to a new location. If you set it to the existing folder, LrCC will recognize that it already has files and no dupes will be downloaded. 
For step 4, I can only recommend setting the location to your existing folder if you have "store a copy of all originals.." checked, otherwise you may end up with files on disk within the originals folder that aren't tracked by LrCC. This could cause issues with disk space management.