Previous Import Confusion


Today’s Question: All the images imported into Lightroom Classic appear in “Previous Import” under Catalog [on the left panel in the Library module]. Only some of the photos appear below in the hard drive folders where the photos had been imported from.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The Previous Import collection can contain photos from multiple folders, which can lead to confusion when browsing the individual folders that were the source of the images. You can navigate to the source folder for an image in the Previous Import collection by right-clicking on the thumbnail and choosing “Go to Folder in Library” from the popup menu.

More Detail: If you import photos from multiple folders into your Lightroom Classic catalog with the “Add” option selected at the top-center of the import dialog, the photos will be imported without altering the existing folder structure. For example, if you imported from a parent folder with the “Include Subfolders” checkbox turned on, all photos from all subfolders would be imported.

Let’s assume you had a parent folder that didn’t contain any photos, but that had three subfolders, and that each subfolder contained 100 images. If you imported from the parent folder with the “Include Subfolders” option enabled, the Previous Import collection would contain all 300 photos.

However, the parent folder you imported would contain zero photos, and each of the subfolders would contain 100 photos. Those numbers would be reflected in the Folders section of the left panel in the Library module.

Note, of course, that if you have the “Show Photos in Subfolders” option enabled on the Library menu, the parent folder would show the sum of all photos in the subfolders. In this example that would mean the parent folder would show that 300 photos are included, even though the folder itself doesn’t directly contain any photos.