The other day a customer asked me if there was a way to quickly find all of the virtual copies in their Lightroom library that didn’t have any adjustments applied in the Develop module so that they could delete them. (Unfortunately, someone had told them that they had to make virtual copies to all of their files before they made any changes and they now had hundreds of virtual copies that had never been adjusted/useless.)
I thought that it might be helpful to share the solution:
• Create a new Smart Collection in the Library module.
• Set the Criteria to the following:
–Copy name “isn’t empty” (to find all the virtual copies)
–Develop > Has Adjustments = “false”.
These 2 criteria will find all the Virtual Copies that do not have a Develop Adjustment.
Then, do one of two things. Either:
1) Select all of the Virtual Copies that you want to permanently delete and choose cmd+shift+option+return (mac) or ctrl+shift+alt+backspace (Windows). Note: this removes the Virtual Copies from the collection as well as deletes them from the library)
2) Select all of the images in the Smart Collection.
• Use some type of “tag” such as the Reject Flag, a Star Rating, or a color label to somehow identify these virtual copies (something that you haven’t used to identify other images).
• Exit out of the Smart Collection by selecting “All Photographs” from the Catalog panel (or select a smaller subset by using the Folder Panel).
• Back in the grid view, filter for the virtual copies using the Library Filter bar at the top of the Grid view:
–Under Attributes, check the Virtual Copies icon.
–Then, add the attribute set in step 4 (flag or color etc.).
Note: I noticed that in the Lightroom 5 Beta, the Lens Correction attribute is not considered an adjustment…