Today’s Question: I have a folder that I want to completely delete from Lightroom, including deleting the photos within the folder. But when I right-click on the folder and choose “Remove”, I get a message saying the folder will be removed from Lightroom but that the photos will remain on the hard drive. How can I completely delete a folder and its contents from Lightroom?
Tim’s Quick Answer: To completely remove a folder and the contents, you’ll need to perform two steps. First, you’ll need to delete all photos from the folder. Then you can remove the folder, which will cause it to be deleted from the hard drive as well as being removed from Lightroom.
More Detail: The “Remove” command for folders in Lightroom enables you to remove the folder and its contents from the Lightroom catalog, without actually deleting the contents of the folder. The Remove command will only delete the folder from the hard drive if it is empty.
Therefore, in order to delete the folder and its contents you would need to first delete the contents of the folder, and then remove the folder. You can perform both of these steps from within Lightroom.
First, navigate to the folder and make sure there aren’t any filters applied, so that you are viewing the full contents of the folder. Then choose Edit > Select All from the menu to select all of the photos and videos in that folder. You can then select Photo > Remove Photos from the menu, and click the “Delete from Disk” button in the confirmation dialog to actually delete the photos from the hard drive.
Once the folder is empty, you can right-click on the folder and choose “Remove Folder” from the popup menu. Provided the folder is completely empty (including, for example, files that might be in the folder that aren’t being managed by Lightroom), you this “Remove Folder” command will cause the folder to be deleted from the hard drive as well as being removed from Lightroom.