by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (8)


May 20, 2011

If you have moved files using the operating system, Lightroom will loose its link (path) to the files and display a “?” next to the missing image in the Grid view. Clicking on the “?” icon will display a dialog allowing you to navigate, locate and re-link any missing files. If you have moved folders using the operating system, Lightroom will display a “?” next to the folder in the Folder panel. Control (Mac) / right mouse -click on the folder and choose Update Folder Location to re-link folders that have been moved or renamed.



  • By Rich MacDonald - 6:31 AM on May 20, 2011  

    If multiple folders have lost their connection, does one have to relink each separately. Would love a follow-up post if there are any tricks to this.

    I’ve moved my portfolio catalog to different locations in my Dropbox to get the optimal sharing and automatic iPad syncing.

  • By Jim - 11:24 AM on September 7, 2012  

    same question as Rich – is there a trick to re-cataloguing the hundreds of photos I moved with Windows to an external drive?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 5:42 PM on September 10, 2012  

      I think this tutorial might help:

      How to Move and Archive Images in Lightroom
      Because you want to work on your fastest drive, many photographer put both their catalog and their working files on their internal drive. Then, as they finish with a client job, they want to archive the images to an external drive for longer term storage. This video shows how to create a folder on an external drive and move your files to that drive from within Lightroom. Note that the first segment answers the question “What are the question marks on my images/folders and how do I relink files?”. If you prefer to skip this section, start the video at 4 minutes 38 seconds. 2010/03/09

  • By Tina - 1:36 PM on October 31, 2012  

    The other day I had a major HD crash taking with it several thousand images that had recently been cataloged in LR4. Fortunately thru my back ups and with recovery software I was able to recover all of the images. However, all the names on these files no longer match the ones given to them when I cataloged them into LR. I still have a good working copy of my catalog LR.lrcat file , which was not on this HD, showing all the previews, names, and settings for the images before they were deleted. My question is this: When I go into the catalog and click on an image’s question mark (?) and go thru the steps to locate the missing image, I am able to find the recovered image file, but unfortunately LR won’t also find the neighboring images as the names are different than those in LR.lrcat. Do you know of a way I can have LR search for and find the neighbor images as well, maybe based on the camera’s original file name or other meta data, so that I don’t have to find each image 1 by 1?
    I can also import the recovered files into the catalog and then sort by creation date having them show up right next to the proper older preview in the Is there a quick way to get the metadata copied from its older catalog preview to the newly reimported file thus bringing with it the file or title name and the proper metadata and setting from the existing catalog? Again I’ve only been able to do this 1 by 1.

    Thanks so much for any advice.

    • By Tina - 3:13 PM on November 6, 2012  

      Hi Tina,

      Can you please post your issue at, then reply to this post letting me know that you’ve done so?

      Please put in your post somewhere “TinaC” and I’ll find the post and contact you offline.

      Tech support

    • By Andrew Darlow - 6:32 AM on January 19, 2013  

      Hi Tina:
      A client of mine recently had a similar issue (he backed up original Canon RAWs but has converted all the files to DNG). In his case, he converted all his CR2’s to DNGs again and re-linked them. In your case, the key is to rename all the photos from your backup so that they have the same names as the files that are inside of Lightroom (or you can rename all the files inside LR so that they match the photos from your archive). You should then be able to link them and they should update and be seen again as long as they are in the same folder.

      Hope that helps,

      Andrew Darlow

  • By Robert Hernandez - 7:40 PM on February 5, 2013  

    I’ve lost and recovered my files, but i lost all my edited files, Can I recover the edited files?

  • By Andrew Jorgensen - 4:54 PM on May 18, 2013  

    hi did you ever find a solution to this? i have the exact same problem. thanks!!