Today’s Question: In Lightroom Classic is there any way to see just the images that are in a Parent folder but are not in any of the Child folders of that parent?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, in Lightroom Classic you can view only the photos in a selected folder without seeing photos from subfolders by making sure the setting to “Show Photos in Subfolders” is turned off.
More Detail: In Lightroom Classic you have the option to either show only photos in the currently selected folder without seeing photos that are in subfolders of the selected folder, or to view both the photos in the current folder and all subfolders within that folder. This option is found on the menu at Library > Show Photos in Subfolders.
When this option is turned on, you’ll see a checkmark to the left of the “Show Photos in Subfolders” command on the menu. When the option is turned off there won’t be a checkmark shown.
For example, when I take a photography trip the photos from that trip will be placed in a single folder. If someone I was photographing with during that trip sends me photos, such as images they captured of me along the way, I put those images in a subfolder within the folder for the trip. I generally only want to see my own photos, so I typically keep the “Show Photos in Subfolders” option turned off. If I want to see both my own photos and the photos sent to me by other photographers, I can turn the option on.
In general, I recommend keeping the “Show Photos in Subfolders” option turned off, because it can lead to confusion about where the photos are actually stored. For example, I’ve known photographers who have accidentally deleted photos because they though copies were in both the parent folder and the subfolder, due to having the “Show Photos in Subfolders” option turned on without realizing it. So if you think you have duplicate photos that can be deleted, check to make sure the option is turned off so you can view only the photos in the specifically selected folder and confirm whether there really are duplicates.