Live Photo Removal

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Today’s Question: If you turn on the “live photo” option on your iPhone you may get a few second MOV file with the JPEG when you import to Lightroom. What is the best way to get it off the hard drive and out of Lightroom?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can delete the videos included when you import Live Photo captures by right-clicking on the video you want to delete, choosing “Remove Photo” from the popup menu, and then clicking the “Delete from Disk” button in the confirmation dialog that appears. The bigger issue is to filter the captures and make sure you are only deleting Live Photos as opposed to normal video captures.

More Detail: When you enable the Live Photo feature on an iPhone, you are essentially capturing a still photo plus a video clip. Lightroom supports these captures, importing the Live Photo as a separate video file along with the JPEG photo.

Of course, if you didn’t really intend to capture a Live Photo, then the “extra” video file will simply represent clutter in your Lightroom catalog. So you may want to delete those video captures.

You can filter the photos based on the fact they were captured with an iPhone. You can simply select the applicable iPhone model from the Camera column from the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar.

In theory you could also use the Attribute tab on the Library Filter bar to view only video captures. However, this would cause you to see all video captures, not just those that were part of a Live Photo set. So instead you’ll probably want to filter only by iPhone model, so you can delete only videos that have a corresponding JPEG capture next to them. I recommend setting the sort order to File Name to ensure the video and still captures will be next to each other when browsing.

You can then select the videos you want to delete, right click, and choose “Remove Photo” from the popup menu. Then click the “Delete from Disk” button in the confirmation dialog so the selected videos will actually be deleted. If you were to click the “Remove” button instead, the videos would be removed from your Lightroom catalog but would still be consuming space on your hard drive.