Batch Updating Metadata


Today’s Question: I have Lightroom Classic set up so that on import it establishes my copyright on all images imported. That’s fine when they’re mine! I have a project for a summer camp I went to in the 60s, where I am working on some professional images they had made at the time. They all now have my name in the copyright field. Is there a way to undo this temporarily, so that cell is just blank. Or should I just undo it and reimport the photos?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can update metadata for multiple images by selecting the images you want to update in the grid view (not the loupe view) and then updating the applicable fields in the Metadata section of the right panel in the Library module. In this case that could simply mean deleting the text in the Copyright field, for example.

More Detail: If you have incorrectly applied metadata updates to a group of images, it is very easy to remove (or update) metadata values for those images.

The first step is to select the images. If you want to select all the images in the current location you’re browsing, you could simply choose the Select All command from the Edit menu or use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+A on Windows or Command+A on Macintosh. If you want to select a range of photos, you could click on the first image and then hold the Shift key while clicking on the last image. You can also toggle the selection of individual images by holding the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh while clicking on the image.

With the images you want to update selected, it is important to switch to the grid view display rather than the loupe view. That is because by default in the loupe view, you’ll only be updating the currently active image shown in the loupe view even if you have multiple images selected on the filmstrip. In the grid view you’ll be updating all selected photos.

You can then go to the Metadata section of the right panel and update any metadata fields you’d like, such as the Copyright field in this case. You can delete the text in a field, or update with new text, pressing Enter/Return on the keyboard to apply the change. Note that you’ll need to confirm the update in the dialog that appears, unless you have previously selected the “Don’t show again” option for that dialog.