Today’s Question: Twice recently I have tried to import photos from a card and when it showed in the Import panel there were two copies of each photo, and one set was all out of order! I found that if you select your source from the Devices menu at top, you get that weirdness. But if you select from Files, you do not. Is that true? If so, is there a way to have the Devices options not show?
Tim’s Quick Answer: This is the current behavior in the Import dialog in Lightroom Classic, which I consider to be a very weird bug that shockingly hasn’t been fixed yet. You can’t remove the Devices section, so the only solution is to always make sure you select the source from the Files section, not from Devices.
More Detail: One of the key options you need to set in the Import dialog in Lightroom Classic is the source of photos you want to import. For most photographers in most cases, that means selecting a removable device such as a media card in a card reader in the Source section of the left panel. However, because of the odd behavior of Lightroom Classic I strongly recommend selecting your source from the Files section.
If you select your source from the Devices section, you will most likely see two copies of every photo. If you have the “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox turned on as I recommend, the duplicates among these photos will be disabled for import. Regardless, this is a very confusing display in the Import dialog and a weird and frustrating bug in Lightroom Classic as far as I’m concerned.
To avoid this issue, simply be sure to select the source of photos from the Files section. Any devices that appear in the Devices section, such as media cards or connected mobile devices, will also show as the equivalent of a storage device in the Files section. Simply choose the top-level folder from the applicable device, and you’ll be able to import all photos from the device without the duplication in the display.
From what I understand, selecting the source from the Files section will also cause the import to be a little faster, for whatever reason. Regardless, hopefully Adobe will resolve this issue by simply removing the Devices section on the left panel in import or otherwise fixing this odd bug.