Deleting Multiple Photos

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Today’s Question: I’m using the new version of Lightroom Classic. In the prior version of Lightroom I was able to remove all of the selected photos with a single delete command. In the new Lightroom Classis, only one picture gets removed for each command. Am I missing something or did Adobe make this a new “feature”?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To delete multiple selected photos at once, you need to be in the Grid view when issuing the “Remove Photos” command. If you are in the Loupe view, only the single image currently displayed in the Loupe view will be deleted when you choose the “Remove Photo” command.

More Detail: Within Lightroom Classic when you are in the Loupe view the assumption is that you are working with only that one photo, even if multiple photos are currently selected. This applies to metadata updates as well as other tasks such as deleting photos.

If you want to apply the same metadata update to multiple images, or as in this case delete multiple photos, you’ll want to be in the Grid view with those multiple images selected.

In fact, even if you have selected multiple photos the “Remove Photos” command on the menu will change based on which view you’re in. If you are in the Loupe view, the command will read “Remove Photo” (singular) even though you have selected multiple photos, because only the image shown in the Loupe view will then actually be deleted. If you are in the Grid view, the command will read “Remove Photos” (plural) because in the Grid view all of the selected photos will be removed when you issue this command.

This behavior was obviously designed based on the logical notion of a single-image view versus multiple-image view. However, it can most certainly be confusing if you’re not aware of the distinction.

Put simply, if you want to apply changes to multiple images I recommend working in the Grid view in Lightroom Classic. The Loupe view should only be used when you want to work with a single image, even though it is possible to have multiple photos selected when you are in the Loupe view.

Note, by the way, that the new Lightroom CC cloud-based photography service from Adobe does away with this distinction, enabling you to work with multiple photos even if you are working in the single-image view mode.