Synchronizing Folders in Lightroom Classic

Adobe Lightroom Classic

If you have added images to a folder that Lightroom is already aware of, instead of using the Import dialog, you can simply Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) the folder (in the Folder panel) and choose Synchronize Folder… to (import) any additional images in that folder.

Use the Synchronize Folder “xxx” dialog to choose whether or not to bypass the Import dialog as well as remove any missing folders and/or scan for metadata options.  


Adobe Lightroom Classic

Posted on 02-25-2019


  • By Jon Zich - 7:37 AM on February 25, 2019  

    I’d be interested to see a more expansive article on this method versus the normal import method. If you normally import with a preset that adds copyright info and/or standard keywords, and/or develop preset, then this method would require that you check the box to show the import dialog so that those elements could be included. But if none of those things applied, the presumable this synchronize method save a couple of clicks? Is that the only/primary benefit? Like I say, a more comprehensive discussion of this method and comparison with the traditional import method would be nice to see.

  • By Kelly Jones - 7:49 AM on February 25, 2019  

    I wish there was an option to do this automatically or not. I make a lot of edits in PS and save in various folders under new names, but in order to see them, I have to run the synchronize folder option. Sometimes I forget to run it and then it becomes confusing as to where the file was saved since the edited file isn’t visible.

  • By Ralph Durham - 8:42 AM on February 25, 2019  

    RecentlyI have been having an issue with LR showing images that have been re-imported after editing. I’ve never had this problem before. I accidentally discovered the Synchronize function and it helped to locate and display the missing images, but it has added additional steps in the workflow. I’m not happy with LR. I’ve tried all the solutions to figure out why this is now an issue, but have not come up with the reason. Thanks for posting this.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:32 AM on March 4, 2019  

      Ralph, I’m not sure what the issue is that you’re having, but if I open an image from LR to PS (using Edit In) and then save the file, as long as LR remains open, it will automatically import it. But, if you close LR before you save it from PS, then PS can’t hand it back. Or if you do a Save As and save it as a “new document” file then LR won’t know that you did that. If that doesn’t solve your issue, you can post your info here:

  • By Donald N. Gallagher - 12:09 PM on February 25, 2019  

    Hmmmm… seems to me this is a recipe for disaster, teaching those who do not grasp Lightroom’s cataloging feature to just ignore the proper method or organization, and go ahead and move things outside of Lightroom.

    My normal import process adds keywords as well as changes file names to my own naming convention. Why on earth would I want to circumvent that process?

    I also make use of FastRawViewer to select what I am importing in most cases to eliminate importing out of focus or badly exposed shots.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:35 AM on March 4, 2019  

      Donald, I’m not suggesting that you move things “outside of Lightroom”. But perhaps you have just downloaded images from a new shoot to a specific location on your HD and just want to make LR aware of them. Instead of “importing” them, you can synchronize the folder. And not everyone renames their files or adds keywords, but I’m glad that you do and that LR’s import dialog solves that issue for you.