Folders Missing for Exported Photos


Today’s Question: In Lightroom Classic I create a folder for the current month. I then create a subfolder representing the date and a brief description or location of the project. I import into and process images, then export selected JPEGs using the “Same folder as original photo” option. This process has served me well for years. However, some time recently the subfolders for exported images stopped showing up in Lightroom Classic. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The folders being created for exported photos aren’t showing up in Lightroom Classic because you have the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox turned off in the Export dialog.

More Detail: By default, when you export photos from Lightroom Classic the exported copies are not added to the catalog. To me this is the preferred approach, because I view the exported copies as just “extra” copies of my original photos being used for sharing in some way. When I want to share a photo again, I’ll simply go back to my original (which I may have further adjusted in the meantime) and export another copy.

If you prefer to have exported copies of photos added to the Lightroom Classic catalog you can simply turn on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox, which is found in the Export Location section at the top of the Export dialog. This will cause the exported copies of photos to be added to the catalog. If you’re creating a new folder as part of the process of exporting those photos, that folder will also be added to the catalog so you’ll see it on the Folders list on the left panel in the Library module.

Turning on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox for future exports won’t solve the issue for the folders that are “missing” in this context, since they had already been exported without the checkbox turned on. To resolve that issue I recommend using the “Synchronize Folder” command.

You can simply right-click on a parent folder that is missing the subfolder with the exported JPEGs, and choose “Synchronize Folder” from the popup menu. This will bring up a dialog that after a little processing will indicate how many photos were found in that folder structure that are not currently in Lightroom Classic. Then, with the “Import new photos” checkbox turned on you can click the Synchronize button and the photos from the selected folder and any subfolders will be imported, and therefore the subfolder that had been missing will display on the Folders list.