Today’s Question: I use Lightroom Classic to catalog my images, but I use Adobe Bridge to download my images. If I clean up Lightroom Classic by finding missing folders and images, and then rename folders inside Lightroom Classic, will I then have to go into Adobe Bridge and painstakingly rename each folder manually? Or are they somehow linked so that changes in Lightroom Classic are reflected in Adobe Bridge?
Tim’s Quick Answer: If you make changes to your folder structure within Lightroom Classic, those changes will be updated on your hard drive and thus will be reflected in the operating system, in Adobe Bridge, and elsewhere. However, if you make changes outside of Lightroom Classic, those changes will not be reflected in your catalog and instead folders and photos will appear as missing.
More Detail: Lightroom Classic makes use of a catalog, which is a database containing the information about your photos. This enables you to search, filter, and sort images across your entire catalog of photos very quickly. It also means you need to be sure to initiate changes from within Lightroom Classic, not elsewhere.
Adobe Bridge does not use a catalog to manage the information about your photos, but instead needs to review the information contained within the image files each time you browse a storage location. Because of this different architecture, changes you make through the operating system, for example, would be reflected in Adobe Bridge.
So, if you’re using Lightroom Classic to manage your photos, all changes related to your photos and storage should be initiated inside of Lightroom Classic, and then those changes will be reflected elsewhere. If you make changes outside of Lightroom Classic, you’ll create problems for your catalog.
I should hasten to add, by the way, that in part because of the above issues I strongly recommend downloading photos as part of the process of importing those photos into your Lightroom Classic catalog. I don’t recommend mixing the use of different software tools that could potentially create problems for your Lightroom Classic catalog.