Delete from Collection


Today’s Question: I wanted to delete some photos, and rather than try to select them all I added them to the Quick Collection. But when I went to the Quick Collection, Lightroom Classic wouldn’t let me delete the photos. I could only remove them from the collection. Is there no way to delete photos that I’ve added to the Quick Collection?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can delete photos from a collection in Lightroom Classic by first selecting all of the images in that collection, and then using the option to navigate to the source folder in order to delete the selected photos. Note, however, that this will only work if the photos are all in the same folder.

More Detail: When you choose the option to “remove” a photo from your Lightroom Classic catalog, the default action is to remove the photo from the catalog without deleting the source image file. However, if you are removing a photo from a folder, you have the option to delete the source images. Simply click the “Delete from Disk” button in the confirmation dialog after choosing the “Remove Photo” command. That command can be found on the Photo menu on the menu bar, or by right-clicking on an image.

However, if you are currently browsing a photo within a collection rather than a folder (including the collections such as the Quick Collection found in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module), you don’t have the option to delete the source image files. Rather, your only option is to remove the photo from the current collection.

To work around this, you can first navigate to the applicable collection, and then select the photo (or photos) you want to delete. If you’ll be deleting multiple photos, just be sure you only select photos that are contained in the same folder. Then, right-click on one of the selected photos and choose “Go to Folder in Library” from the popup menu. That will cause Lightroom to navigate to the folder where the selected image is stored, and the photos you selected will still be selected after switching from a collection view to a folder view.

At that point, having navigated to the folder and with the photo(s) still selected, you can right-click on one of the selected images and choose “Remove Photo” from the popup menu. In the confirmation dialog you can then click the “Delete from Disk” button and the photos will be removed from your Lightroom catalog and deleted from your hard drive. Note that the photos you delete will also automatically be removed from any collection they are contained in.