Delay Saving Metadata to XMP


Today’s Question: When I have been working on a number of photos in Lightroom Classic and close the program, I often get a message that it has not finished updating Metadata. However, sometimes I see this message when I haven’t done much work on photos, and I think Lightroom should have easily completed the Metadata updates. What do you suggest?

Tim’s Quick Answer: This is an example of a situation where I recommend turning on the “Don’t show again” checkbox in the alert dialog, so you won’t have to see this unnecessary alert when quitting Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: When you turn on the “Automatically write changes into XMP” checkbox on the Metadata tab of the Catalog Settings dialog in Lightroom Classic, updates to standard metadata fields will be saved to the source image file in addition to being saved in the catalog. This won’t include all information included in the catalog, but it does provide a good way to back up standard metadata fields beyond the catalog.

If Lightroom Classic is still working on saving metadata to the source images when you quit, you’ll see a dialog alerting you to that fact. As noted in the dialog, however, if you choose to quit then Lightroom Classic will resume updating metadata to the files the next time you launch the software. So, there’s really no need to be concerned about this issue at all.

You can simply turn on the “Don’t show again” checkbox in the alert dialog so you won’t see the message in the future. Lightroom Classic will still continue updating metadata in the background, resuming the process if you quit before it was finished.

If at any time you want to make sure that metadata updates have been saved for some (or all) your photos, you can use the option to manually save metadata. Start by selecting the folder that contains the images you want to update. You can even choose the “All Photographs” collection in the Catalog section at the top of the left panel in the library module to browse all photos in your entire catalog.

Next, select all the photos you want to update, such as by choosing Edit > Select All from the menu. Then choose Metadata > Save Metadata to Files from the menu. At this point you’ll see a progress bar on the identity plate at the left end of the top panel, showing the progress of saving the metadata. That means you’ll have an indication of when the update has finished, so you can be confident that the selected photos had standard metadata values updated based on the updates already saved in the catalog.