Delete from Collection


Today’s Question: [In response to a previous answer about deleting photos while browsing a collection in Lightroom Classic] If you are viewing an image in a collection and you wish to delete the image from both the collection and the folder in which it is stored, you can press and hold Command+Option+Shift on Macintosh (Ctrl+Alt+Shift on Windows) and then press Delete. The selected image(s) will then be moved to the trash.

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can indeed delete a photo altogether even if you’re browsing the photo in a collection in Lightroom Classic, as noted in today’s “question”. This is actually a keyboard shortcut I was not aware of!

More Detail: At first glance, it appears that if you want to actually delete a photo in Lightroom Classic you must go to the folder. Deleting from a collection will only remove the photo from the collection, and not actually delete the source image file from the folder on your hard drive.

And, in fact, in an Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter some time ago, I explained a process for navigating to the source image files from a collection so the photos could be completely deleted rather than just removed from a collection.

Fortunately, when I share an answer that is incomplete, I can generally count on one of my readers letting me know about it. Such is the case here, and so I wanted to share this helpful tip.

When you choose to remove a photo from a folder in Lightroom Classic, you’ll be prompted about whether you want to remove the photo from the catalog or delete the file from your hard drive. In general, if your intent is to delete the photo, you would want it removed from the hard drive.

If you’re browsing a collection and choose the command to remove a photo, you aren’t offered the option to delete the source file from your hard drive. Instead, the photo will only be removed from the collection, but will remain as a file on your hard drive and will still be reflected in the applicable folder within your Lightroom Classic catalog.

If you want to delete the photo altogether while browsing within a collection, you can do so by holding Command+Option+Shift on Macintosh or Ctrl+Alt+Shift on Windows while pressing the Delete key, and the photo will then be removed from the collection, removed from the Lightroom Classic catalog, and deleted from the folder on your hard drive. Space permitting, the selected photos will be moved to the Trash (Macintosh) or Recycle Bin (Windows).