Updating the Folder Location in Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom Classic

This is a pretty rare occurrence, but I occasionally find that I have multiple copies of the same folder of images in two locations. For example, I might need a copy of a folder of images to use in a demo, or I might have changed my mind as to which folder of images (the one on my internal or external drive) contains my “working” files, or maybe I’ve just plain gotten confused and have made duplicates for some unknown reason! Note: I just want to be clear, here I’m talking about an identical folder of images, that for whatever reason, appears in two different locations – not copies for redundant backup purposes.

Instead of deleting the unwanted folder from the Lightroom catalog – because that would remove the files from Collections, delete any virtual copies and, if I haven’t saved information to the files, discard metadata changes and develop settings, I simply Control -click (Mac) | Right Mouse -click (Win) on the Folder and choose Update Folder Location. Then, I navigate to the folder/images that I want Lightroom to work with and select it, enabling Lightroom to “keep track of” that set of images and forget about the others.

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Posted on 03-26-2013


  • By dan - 6:00 AM on March 26, 2013  

    One problem I have is that I use a laptop and some times my drive letters get changed when I boot up and I have to go into manage and rename the dives back to there original names for LR to find the files. Is there a quicker way to do this in Light room? Re-link the files to the different drive letter..

    • By Julieanne Kost - 2:00 PM on March 28, 2013  

      There is some info on the Adobe forums – maybe this will help – http://forums.adobe.com/thread/783751

      I would assign a drive number in windows to prevent it from happening in the future.

  • By Alan Hough - 2:32 AM on April 5, 2013  

    Hi Julieanne,
    I find that the location of the LR Catalogue and Catalogue backup somewhat bewildering.
    Would you kindly explain where they are located and how can I ensure that I have a Catalogue backup which can be installed if needed.
    Many thanks.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:21 AM on April 20, 2013  

      By default LR creates it’s catalog in the Picture’s folder. But if you have created additional catalogs, and you have oneo f them open, then you can see their location by going to the Catalog Settings > General. If you don’t have them open, then I don’t know where you have saved them but could do a search for .lrcat to find all catalogs in the OS.
      In the Catalog Settings you also define how often to save a backup catalog. Then, when you exit Lightroom, and it’s time to save a backup, it will ask you where you want to put it. OF course this is just an incremental backup – I also backup my entire drive with a third party software program so that if I loose the drive, I will still have my catalog (as well as my images) in a secondary location.

  • By Johannes - Bangkok Nightlife - 4:31 AM on April 5, 2013  

    One problem that I had is that when there is a copy of a file in another directory, Light Room don’t let you import a duplicate, I don’t understand that since it is basic file management, or do I do something wrong?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:24 AM on April 20, 2013  

      You can import duplicates. In the Import dialog, under File Handling you can uncheck “Don’t Import Suspected duplicates”. But the theory is that you should have one master file (your raw files) and then save off derivatives (Tiff and PSD for layered documents, maybe JPEG for posting etc.). If you want to group photos together from different shoots (to create a portfolio for example) use collections instead of duplicating files in the Operating system.

  • By shakun - 7:55 PM on April 19, 2013  

    some how my files are goofed up and name changed now when I was imerging catalogs some I don’t know what happen now images are showing metadata conflict how to solve it
    do I over write setting or import from disc.