Hard Drive Renaming


Today’s Question: Is it possible to change the name of a drive within Lightroom Classic on a Mac?

Tim’s Quick Answer: No, you aren’t able to rename a hard drive (or change the drive letter assignment on Windows) from within Lightroom Classic. You would need to make that change through the operating system, and then reconnect the folders that go missing in Lightroom Classic as a result of the change.

More Detail: A hard drive has a specific unique identifier that you can think of as an address of sorts for the drive. On Windows that identifier is a letter, with the primary internal hard drive typically being designated as the C: drive, and other hard drives having other letters of the alphabet. On Macintosh the identifier is a volume label, which is a name for the drive. The default name for the primary internal hard drive is “Macintosh HD”, and other hard drives can essentially be given any name you’d like.

Lightroom Classic uses the drive identifier along with the folder structure to keep track of where your photos can be located. If you make changes to the folder structure outside of Lightroom Classic, the photos within that folder structure will appear missing. Therefore, it is important to make any changes to the folder structure from within Lightroom Classic, which will update both the catalog and the actual storage structure on your hard drive.

However, it is not possible to change a hard drive assignment (drive letter or volume label) directly through Lightroom Classic. Therefore, that will need to be done through your operating system. Macintosh users can change a hard drive volume label by simply right-clicking on the hard drive through the operating system and choosing the Rename option. Windows users can change a drive letter assignment using the Disk Management utility.

If you change the drive letter assignment through the operating system, Lightroom Classic will no longer be able to find folders and photos on the hard drive. You will therefore need to reconnect the folders that have gone missing. When you reconnect one of those folders, Lightroom Classic should recursively reconnect all the other folders, though I have seen this fail from time to time.

In most cases the process of changing a hard drive assignment and reconnecting the folders in Lightroom Classic is rather straightforward. However, it is possible that you’ll need to reconnect multiple folders, so I only suggest going through this process if there is a clear benefit to you.