Today’s Question: I am starting to fill up my external hard drives and would like to start deleting large files that I no longer need. Is there a way to sort by size in Lightroom [Classic]?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Lightroom Classic does not provide an option to sort based on file size. However, you could filter based on file type or megapixels, which at least to some extent would help you locate large files to prioritize for possible deletion.
More Detail: When your hard drive is starting to get full, it makes perfect sense to prioritize deleting larger files, in order to clear up as much space on the drive as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, Lightroom Classic doesn’t provide an option for sorting by file size.
However, there are certain file types that tend to be larger than others, and you can filter by file type in Lightroom Classic. You can filter based on file type in a couple of ways, using the Library Filter bar in the grid view display. If the Library Filter bar isn’t visible, choose View > Show Filter Bar from the menu.
The first option is to filter for videos rather than still images. On the Attribute tab of the Library Filter bar you’ll find a Kind option at the far right. To the right of the Kind label you’ll see three icons, which serve as toggles for filtering files by type. The first button is for master photos (in other words, not virtual copies). The second button is for virtual copies, and the third is for videos. So, you can click the third button to filter the current folder so you’ll only see video files.
Another option is to filter based on file type. On the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar you can set one of the columns to “File Type”. Then select the types of files that are likely to be large. That would include video file formats as noted above, as well as TIFF and Photoshop PSD files.
In some cases it might also be helpful to filter images based on the number of megapixels, though for most photographers this probably won’t be especially helpful. But you could create a Smart Collection with a filter set so that collection only includes files over a certain number of megapixels. This would be especially helpful if you have photos that have been enlarged (such as in Photoshop), whether that means literally enlarging a single image, or creating a composite image such as a panorama.
While filtering with the options above can be helpful in locating larger file sizes, it obviously is not a replacement for actually sorting by file size. Hopefully Adobe will add this feature in a future update to Lightroom Classic.
Note, by the way, that you could also browse photos sorted by file size in your operating system. This can be a little cumbersome, and it is important to remember that changes (including deleting files) should be initiated in Lightroom Classic, not in your operating system. But at least this approach would provide a true option for sorting by file size for your photos.