Today’s Question: When I am importing photos [into Lightroom Classic], unwanted keywords are included. For example, for quite a while, my imports have included keyword from Croatia and New York. I’ve only imported one time for those two keywords. How do I stop them?
Tim’s Quick Answer: These keywords are most likely being added via a metadata preset being applied during the import process. You can simply edit (or disable) the applicable preset to avoid having unwanted keywords added during the import process.
More Detail: You can add keywords to photos during the process of importing them into your Lightroom Classic catalog in several ways. One of the standard options is to simply type keywords into the Keywords field in the Apply During Import section of the right panel in the Import dialog. Unlike many of the other import options, however, the Keywords field is automatically cleared out each time you bring up the Import dialog, to help ensure you don’t accidentally apply keywords to photos for which those keywords don’t actually apply.
Therefore, if you are having unwanted keywords applied to photos during import it is caused by one of two preset options.
The first option, as noted in the quick answer above, is a metadata preset being applied during import. If such a metadata preset includes keywords, those keywords would be applied to every photo you import.
If a metadata preset is the issue, you can edit or remove the preset. If you wanted to apply other metadata during import, you’ll want to edit the preset that is causing the issue. From the Metadata popup in the Apply During Import section of the right panel in the Import dialog, choose “Edit Metadata Presets”. Then select the applicable preset from the Preset popup in the Edit Metadata Presets dialog. Make any changes, such as removing the Keywords field found at the very bottom of the list of metadata fields.
When you are finished editing the metadata preset, click the Preset popup again and choose “Update Preset” from the popup. Then click Done to close the Edit Metadata Presets dialog.
If you are using an import preset that includes keywords, you’ll want to modify that preset. Click the popup to the right of the Import Preset label at the bottom-center of the Import dialog. Select the import preset you’ve been using, at which point in this case you’ll likely see a value in the Keywords field on the right panel. Clear the Keywords field, and then click the Import Preset popup again and choose “Update Preset” from the popup to update the current preset to exclude keywords.
The key is to make sure that keywords aren’t being applied as part of a metadata preset or import preset, and that you’ve not entered keywords into the Keywords field that are not appropriate for all images currently being imported.