Today’s Question: If you wanted to move from a date-based folder structure to a location-based structure, would you do that major revision of folder structure from within Lightroom Classic? Is there another practical option?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you absolutely should perform that work within Lightroom Classic, not outside of your catalog. This will ensure that the changes are reflected both on your hard drive and within Lightroom.
More Detail: As I’ve said many times, one of the most critical things to keep in mind when using Lightroom Classic as the foundation of your workflow for managing photos, it is critical that all tasks related to your photos be initiated within Lightroom. That includes making changes to your folder structure.
If you want to rename or consolidate folders containing the photos you are managing in Lightroom Classic, you can simply make those changes within Lightroom. For example, if you want to rename a folder, you can right-click on the folder within the Folders list in the left panel of the Library module and choose “Rename” from the popup menu. In the dialog that appears you can then enter a new name and click the Save button.
If you want to consolidate photos from multiple folders into a single folder, you can first rename (if necessary) the primary folder, and then select the photos you want to move and drag-and-drop them to the destination folder. If this process results in one or more empty folders, you can right-click on the empty folder and choose “Remove” from the popup menu.
The key is to keep in mind that the basic folder and file management features are available within Lightroom, so that you can rename folders, move photos, and remove empty folders, in order to refine your overall folder structure. Most importantly, be sure this work is performed within Lightroom Classic, not through your operating system or other software.
And, of course, if you have a bit of a mess on your hands in Lightroom Classic, my popular “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom” course can help. Note, by the way, that Chapter 3, Lesson 7 in this course demonstrates a process for cleaning up date-based folders, which is the topic of today’s question. You can get more info (with a discount included automatically) by using this link to get started.