Unwanted Renaming

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Today’s Question: How do you import photos into Lightroom and leave the original camera filename? I keep getting  “untitled_20170715_1.nef” for imported filenames, where I had setup a naming preset.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Simply turn off the “Rename Files” checkbox in the File Renaming section of the right panel of the Import dialog, and the photos you import will no longer be renamed during import.

More Detail: By default, Lightroom does not rename the photos you import, retaining the original filenames from the camera for all images. However, if you enable the File Renaming feature, the settings you establish will be “sticky”, meaning that the settings will remain for all future imports until you change the settings.

It is worth noting that if you are using the smaller version of the Import dialog, it may not be quite as obvious that the File Renaming feature has been enabled. That is because in the smaller dialog there is only a summary of your general settings for import, without as many controls that might otherwise provide a more clear indication of everything that is being done during import. You can switch between the small and large versions of the Import dialog by clicking the button with the triangle that points upward or downward (depending on the current state) found at the bottom-left of the Import dialog.

If you’re going to use the File Renaming feature during Import, you need to have the Rename Files checkbox (in the larger version of the Import dialog) turned on. At that point you can configure the settings related to the use of a template for renaming the photos you’re importing.

But if you want to retain the filenames from your camera, you can simply turn off that “Rename Files” checkbox during Import.