Relink Missing Folders or Files in Lightroom

Relink Missing Folders or Files in Lightroom

2017 began with my entire life in boxes and numerous hours spent in a car traveling to daily changing destinations. As a result I focused on creating a digital archive that would be immediately accessible on both my desktop and laptop. I determined using a cloud based system as a replacement for an external Hard Drive was the most effective manner to accomplish this. Unfortunately errors happen and I accidentally uploaded a few days images to my local system. While this is not a huge mistake, it does ruin the accessibility between systems so I moved the folders into their proper cloud location. This resulted in Lightroom losing the connection between the catalog and files, so I needed to relink the missing folders or files within my Lightroom Catalog.

Locations indicating missing folders or files that need relinked in Lightroom

Missing Folders

Question mark location indicating missing folder which needs relinked in LightroomFortunately, Lightroom wants the user to be aware of and fix the error so it creates a warning in three different locations (circled in red in the above screenshot). The first is in the “Folders” drop down menu. You can find this on the lefthand side of the Lightroom Catalog. The missing folder will have a “?” indicating Lightroom’s inability to pinpoint the folder location.  To relink hit control (mac) and right click on the missing folder icon. Select “Find missing folder” and proceed by finding the new folder location. Select choose. The folder as well as all missing files housed in the folder will relink.

Missing Files

While viewing files within the Library (I’m using the grid display), every missing photo will display an “!” in the upper right corner of the frame. Lightroom will further flag the missing file in the upper right hand corner of the Lightroom Catalog. An exclamation point (exactly like the one on each image) will be displayed below the missing histogram information with a note “Photo is missing”. To relink double click on the “!” in either location. You will receive a notification stating that the File could not be used because the original file could not be found. Lightroom will proceed to ask you if you “would you like to locate it?” Click Locate and select the missing file once you find it.

Exclamation point location indicating missing files that need relinked in Lightroom

Note: While locating the missing file, select “Option” and check “Find nearby missing files”. This will allow Lightroom to link to all missing files contained within this folder.

To view all missing files you can choose Library >Find All Missing Photos and relink them.

To learn how to import from your camera into Lightroom, read my previous blog post! Click here to access it.

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