Must Import to Manage Folders


Today’s Question: I have a folder in Lightroom Classic and I can see in the Library module. However, one of the folders under the main folder does not appear in the Library module. When I click the import button, I see the folder listed in both the from and to columns. Why does it not show up in my folder when I am just looking for it in the library?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In order to be able to browse folders (or photos within those folders) in Lightroom Classic, you need to import the applicable photos into your catalog. In this case, however, it would probably be easiest to use the Synchronize Folder command.

More Detail: In this particular example the photos from the parent folder had been imported, but the photos in the subfolder either weren’t imported in the first place or the photos (and folders) were removed from the catalog at some point.

You could certainly use the Import command to import the photos within the subfolder, being sure to use the “Add” option at the top-center of the Import dialog rather than the default of “Copy”. This “Add” option enables you to import photos while keeping them in their current location.

However, I think the Synchronize Folder command is more streamlined for this purpose. Start by right-clicking on the parent folder in question. From the popup menu that appears, choose the “Synchronize Folder” command. The dialog that appears will provide an indication of how many new photos have been found in the folder and subfolders within the folder.

Note that if there were any photos that currently have a “missing” status in the folders, there is an option to remove those photos. I recommend turning off the “Remove missing photos from catalog” checkbox, at least initially. Then track down those missing photos if possible and reconnect them.

But in this case the issue is photos that are not currently represented in the Lightroom Classic catalog. So, make sure the “Import new photos” checkbox is turned on, and click the Synchronize button to finalize the change. The subfolder in question will be added under the parent folder, and the photos in that subfolder will then appear in your Lightroom Classic catalog.