Video 4 – Moving Folders And Photos (14:45)

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39 thoughts on “Video 4 – Moving Folders And Photos (14:45)

  1. Help! I already have an external drive connected and am not sure what steps to take to migrate the few photos I have on my Mac hard drive. I created the folders on my external hd like the video said but I am completely confused as to how to move the other folders. Also not sure about moving the whole LR catalog over. What is the disc advantages to leaving it where it is on the hard drive. I am completely new to lr so a little confused.

    1. Hi Deborah –

      Actually, if the folders are already there, you don’t need to recreate them on the drive. Also, are the photos already in the catalog? If so, you can simply rename and rearrange the folders as shown in this video. Once you have it set, the info at 7.22 should get you through it.

      1. I’m trying to figure out how to move the ones that started on my hard drive before I got the external drive. I tried clicking on the folder and dragging it to the external folder but it wouldn’t go.

        1. Oh. I figured it out! Copy pictures into the folder on my external drive. 😀

  2. Hi Steve – I thought it was a good idea to change the name of my hard drive, and I did so. Then I realized that because my hard drive already has LR photos on it, I should have changed the name within LR. I went in to LR and ‘renamed’ the drive. LR then recognized the drive, but then said I didn’t have a catalogue. Now I’m getting a message that seems to indicate I need to re-create the catalogue by running *all* my photos from the G-drive through LR and back to the G-drive again. Will this work? If I do this, will my new catalogue have all the edits/deletes?

    Background: After my first upgrade to the LR application late last year, I had a problem with the catalogue and I called LR staff and talked to someone who “ran me through” the steps to create a new catalogue and he suggested I put it on the hard drive. Sounded good to me, but I knew less then, than I do now 😉 Afterwords, he didn’t suggest I delete anything from the MAC pictures drive. I was under the impression, after I finished with that call and based on my settings preferences, that I was updating the catalogue on the hard drive every time I exited LR. So why can’t LR find the catalogue?


  3. Hi steve- When I open lightroom catalog, in Library mode, on left side under catalog it lists all Photographs and jumber of photographs; under Folders and under HD it again lists all photos by number but not by name or year I am thus unable to follow your instructions in getting the photos and catalog off the HD and on external HD

    1. Hi Peter, not sure I’m following I guess. It shouldn’t list the actual photos at all in the folder panel.

  4. Steve, I have my photos organized on my local harddrive, but when I drag the 2019 folder to the new Photos folder of my external drive as you do around 8:22, nothing happens. I’m using Windows 10.

    Well, I actually did get it to work for my 2020 folder, but nothing happens with the 2019 folder. The “Move files on disk” dialog never shows up. I’ve tried dragging the folder name, and the folder icon with both the folder icon and folder name as the destination… Nothing happens. What am I doing wrong?

  5. Suggestion – Instead of looking around on your hard drive to find the current location of your catalog file before moving it, from within Lightroom click on “Lightroom Classic” the “Catalog Settings” and you’ll see exactly where your current catalog file is stored on your hard drive.

  6. Steve,
    I am absolutely loving your videos!! I’ve tried several times to get better at LR but have struggled to understand all the moving parts. Thank you for breaking it down so I can understand and make better decisions! I have one area I’m still struggling with, it stems from earlier when I didn’t understand what I was doing. I have ended up with 5 different catalogs. Catalog 4 is the one I want to put everything on, it’s also the one that I have set up per your video with the external drive storage by photos, years, location/item. I have upgraded some of the earlier catalogs so they’re compatible, BUT I don’t know how to combine the catalogs so that I can access ALL of my photos without changing catalogs, and how to move the photos with the catalog. I started to look online, and I can still do that but you have steered me right so far so I thought I’d ask before venturing out…….

    1. Thanks Kathy – Check out the “laptop on the road” video in this course. It shows you how to merge catalogs 🙂

  7. Hi Steve, I have a doubt about this video. In the second part (the optional part) you recommend doing it in case you have the RAID system for example, but you anyways moved it to the “my photo external frive” instead of the RAID.
    In my case, as I told you before, I use an iMac 2017 with a 2tb SSD inside + external hard drive, and in the loooong term I plan adding a RAID system.
    In this case, I would keep the catalog on my internal SSD and the files on the external drive, but once I purhcase my RAID system in a couple of years, should I move everything there?

    1. As I mention in the video, you can put the library wherever you really like. I prefer to keep it on the RAID drive for easier backup, but in some cases you may see a performance increase if it’s on your internal hard drive (especially an SSD). Either way, it’s not a big deal to move the catalog. Just drag and drop then double-click to open the catalog in Lightroom – it’ll use that new location from now on. That you, you can try it either way.

  8. Hi Steve, I have to admit that I fumbled around a lot before I actually managed to get LRcc onto a newly purchased SSD drive. Lots of frustration and bad words ;-). However, I finally got it right and am very pleased with the result. Now I will continue looking at the rest of your great LR info.

    Always appreciate your ability to cut through the chaff and get to the ‘need to know’ info.

    Take Care, Dale

  9. Hi Steve, am very much benefitting from these tutorials. Have moved folders to HD.
    How do I move “Collections” files?

    1. Collections simply reference the RAW files – you don’t have to move them. I talk all about them in the Collections video.

  10. Hi Steve, What do you suggest I do if I don’t have an external hard drive at this time. I plan to buy one sometime down the road when I can afford a good quality one. Seems hard to follow along without the external hard drive. Thanks Mike

    1. Actually, you really don’t need an external HD if you don’t want to go that route. I’d suggest keeping it on your computer’s main drive for now until you can get a high-quality external. You can set everything up the same way. Just place a Photos folder on the C: drive and go from there.

  11. Steve – Love the clarity of your teaching. I have used Lightroom for a few years now but learning some new stuff listening to your structured teaching. Do you create a new Catalog for every year or do you maintain one master catalog for all your pictures.

    1. Thanks! I keep it all in one (Well, the last four years or so – I used to do a new catalog every year, but Adobe claims you can do it with one so that’s what I’v been doing).

      1. Thank you.

  12. Thank you.

  13. I start in bridge and open pics in raw. I have been doing this for long time. Sometimes I save the adjustments from raw, sometimes I open in photoshop to do adjustments. I work of a separate hard drive. I have been wanting to use Lightroom for ever. I did try couple times to use it. So I have a couple pictures in Lightroom but I want to get rid of what is there and start fresh. Do I just delete them from the folders in Lightroom then start from the beginning. Do I have to delete them also from photos on my computer hard drive? Then if I put all my past folders on Lightroom will it keep the adjustments I already did from photoshop.

    1. For the images you did in Camera Raw (and not Photoshop), you can delete the XMP files (we talk about those in a later video) that are next to them and that will “restore” the RAW files to their original state. However, for the Photoshop files it won’t work that way. Lightroom can display the Photoshop files and you can even make adjustments on top of the existing file, however, you can’t get it back to its RAW state and start over. You’d have to import the original RAW file to do that and then delete the Photoshop version. Of course, if you want to keep the Photoshop version, then all is well. It will display just fine in Lightroom.

      Finally, keep in mind you do have to import these images into Lightroom as well to see them – just dropping the images into folder Lightroom already has won’t work.

  14. After trying to create a new folder in LrC Library window to add my external SSD, the Macintosh HD subfolders shown are greyed and are listed as Applications, Library, System, and Users. None of my Lr photo catalogue subfolders are shown. Also it opens another window which doesn’t match what you show in your video. Too bad that I cannot include a screenshot in this reply. I don’t know what to do.

  15. Never mind Steve, I found out what I was doing wrong. My external drive had a empty folder in it, and this was causing my problem. I deleted the folder and was able to add my external drive .

    1. Ahh, great news!

  16. Steve,
    A friend of mind told me that RAID drive may be hard to handle. Can you comment on the RAID vs regular 8 or 10 TB external drive?

    1. If your images can be contained in 8 ~10TB and that about of space still allows room to grow, you can certainly go that direction. However, RAID drives are typically faster (depending on the RAID type). Where RAID is handy is when you have 10, 20, or 30TB of images and you want them all in the same place.

      Also, once setup (which isn’t too tough at all, especially if you purchase an array with the drives already installed) it’s pretty low maintenance. Mine just sits on my desk like an external drive. No muss, no fuss.

  17. Steve – I recently started to run into all of the issues that you outlined around running out of space on an external hard drive, so I took the plunge and set up a RAID and a proper backup system. I purchased your course first and I went through each of the lessons in order to make sure that I set things up properly and migrated the files and catalog over to the RAID. Worked like a charm as your explanations were so clear. I’m about 1/2 way through the videos and despite the fact that I’ve been using LR for about 4 years – I’m picking up all sorts of great information and tips. I’m hoping that in the future you’re going to put out a course on the develop module, but regardless – I’m enjoying your teaching style.

  18. Hi Steve – great course so far. Would Lightroom work from the cloud or is that not a great option because it would then need to download anything referenced to my computer’s hard drive? Thank you!

    1. As long as the files are both local and on the cloud. Lightroom doesn’t work with NAS at the moment, so there’s little chance it’ll work strictly with images on the cloud.

  19. Steve,
    I set up and NAS RAID 10 external drive and moved all my photos to the new drive as you instructed in your video. It took a while but it appears to have worked. When I moved my catalogue over (i had not read all of the questions and answers), it would not open. I got an error message that briefly stated, “LR can not be opened on network volumes, removable storage or read only volumes.” So I guess I’ll have to run the program from my iMac as before. I renamed the “Lightroom” folders to “old” as you suggested. So, 1. should I now delete the Lightroom folder in the external drive and rename the Lightroom folder back to just “Lightroom” (removing the old designation? 2. After doing so, I will need to tell the locate on my iMac where to find the images on my new drive. Is it the same process as adding an external drive that you discussed in an earlier video? Or is there another step that I can take? I’d appreciate your advice.

    1. Update. While LR will not work on an NASD drive when the lrcat is on the drive, LR will work when the lrcat is on the computer hard drive.

  20. I’m using Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic and there seems to be a difference in the menu/catalog between the two. Are these videos going to be more confusing than helpful because of that?

    1. Sorry for the delay.
      There is a difference – the course is designed solo for Lightroom Classic. Some of it may transfer, but it’s all about Classic 🙂

  21. Great stuff, Steve! I have been using LR for years! All the wrong way! Thank you for offering this workshop! Now I understand how powerful and efficient LR is!!! And I love it!

  22. Hello, if I am working with a RAID drive that is setup through the network would it still be a good idea to move the Lightroom catalog and photos? If I did do this, would it then prevent me from accessing those photos, etc. when I am not on the same network as the RAID or would I still have access since they are in Lightroom Classic? Thank you!

    1. Generally speaking, Lightroom will not work with anything on a network, at least last I checked. It likes the drives directly connected.

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