Synchronization Mystery


Today’s Question: For one of my folders when using the Synchronize Folder command in Lightroom Classic with the “Show import dialog before importing” checkbox turned on, I’m seeing an odd behavior. Lightroom Classic initially indicates that there is one new photo. Yet when I click the Synchronize button there aren’t any photos shown and the Import button is grayed out. I’ve tried this several times with the same result. Do you know why this may be happening?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The most likely explanation here is that there is a photo within the folder that is not currently in your Lightroom Classic catalog, but that it is not being imported because that same photo is duplicated elsewhere on your hard drive and is included in the catalog.

More Detail: The Synchronize Folder command in Lightroom Classic makes it easy to update a folder within the catalog to reflect differences on your hard drive. For example, if you add a new image to the folder through your operating system, that photo would not appear in your Lightroom Classic catalog. You could, however, right-click on the folder in the Folders list on the left panel in the Library module and choose Synchronize Folder from the popup menu to bring the “missing” photo into your catalog.

As noted in today’s question, you can also choose to show the Import dialog as part of this synchronization process, so that you can adjust the settings for the import. This would enable you, for example, to assign a Develop preset and metadata preset to the images being added to the catalog via synchronization.

If the Synchronize Folder dialog indicates that there are images to be synchronized, but the Import dialog does not show the images, that is an indication that you have the “Do Not Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox turned on, and that the images are indeed duplicated elsewhere in the catalog.

This would also suggest that the New Photos filter option is set at the top center of the Import dialog. That will cause the duplicates that are not being imported because of the fact that they are duplicates to be hidden from view. If you instead selected the All Photos filter option you would see the images that are being excluded because they are duplicates, and those images would be dimmed with the import disabled for them.

If you want to import the photos even though they are duplicates, you could turn off the “Do Not Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox in the Import dialog. And, of course, you’ll probably want to also search for the duplicates within your catalog and deal with them accordingly.