Today’s Question: When I review photos and give them star ratings [in Lightroom Classic], I notice that sometimes when I press the number, the photo automatically advances to the next image, and other times it doesn’t. Do you know what I did to make the photo be able to advance and how I can turn it on and off?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The feature you’re referring to is called “Auto Advance”, which normally can be disabled by turning it off from the Photo menu on the menu bar in Lightroom Classic. However, in this case it sounds like one of the keyboard shortcut options is the culprit.
More Detail: Lightroom Classic includes an option to automatically advance to the next image when you apply certain metadata updates to the current image. For example, if you have Auto Advance enabled, pressing a keyboard shortcut to assign a star rating (the numbers 1 through 5, or 0 for no stars) will cause the applicable rating to be assigned to the current image, and the next image will be selected automatically.
Some photographers find this Auto Advance feature convenient, and others prefer to have the feature disabled. You can turn the option on or off by choosing Photo > Auto Advance from the menu.
However, there are a couple of other ways this feature can be enabled, which can lead to having the automatic advance feature apply unexpectedly.
First, you can hold the Shift key on the keyboard to enable Auto Advance even when it is turned off on the menu. So, for example, if you press Shift+1 on the keyboard a one-star rating will be assigned to the current image, and Lightroom Classic will advance to the next image.
Similarly, if you turn on the Caps Lock feature on your keyboard, the Auto Advance feature will apply. So, with Caps Lock on if you press the number 1 on the keyboard, a one-star rating will be applied to the current image and Lightroom Classic will advance to the next image.
So, in this case I suspect the Caps Lock key is turned on. You can turn off Caps Lock (and make sure not to accidently hold the Shift key when using keyboard shortcuts for things like star ratings) to ensure the Auto Advance feature isn’t activated unexpectedly.