Updating Folder Location


Today’s Question: I downloaded photos from a memory card to two different hard drives before importing into Lightroom Classic, with the intent of having one copy in my primary storage and another copy on backup storage. However, I accidentally imported from the backup location, and made metadata updates after that. Is there a way to tell Lightroom Classic to use the primary location rather than backup location for the photos, but without losing the work I’ve done in the meantime?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can change the source for a folder of images in Lightroom Classic by using the “Update Folder Location” command.

More Detail: The “Update Folder Location” command is one that most photographers aren’t likely to need, but that can be incredibly helpful when it is needed. This command enables you to change an existing folder in Lightroom Classic to point to a different folder. This would generally only be used when you had more than one copy of a folder, and Lightroom Classic isn’t referencing the correct copy.

In the scenario for today’s question, for example, photos were imported from the backup location rather than the primary location. You can fix this by simply redirecting Lightroom Classic to use the primary folder rather than the backup folder using the “Update Folder Location” command.

To update the folder location, right-click on the folder that is currently in the wrong location in the Folders list on the left panel in the Library module in Lightroom Classic. From the popup menu choose “Update Folder Location”. In the dialog that appears you can then navigate to the correct folder location and click the Choose button. Lightroom Classic will then update the reference for the applicable photos to the updated folder location, with the prior folder location disappearing from the Folders list.

Note that this command should only be used when the duplicate folders represent an exact match, since Lightroom Classic will be expecting the same photos in the updated folder location that are already being managed within the catalog. Again, that means this command isn’t one that very many photographers likely need, but it does streamline the process of updating a folder location in a situation where you have multiple copies of a folder.