Getting “Missing” in Lightroom

At certain point in time you may come upon missing files in Lightroom.

You may see question marks in the top right corner of image cells. It will appear on each image that is “missing”. There may be a few reasons why your images are “missing”:

  • the files have been moved
  • the files were renamed outside Lightroom (f.ex. in Finder/Explorer)
  • the hard drive holding images is not connected (external hard drive)
  • the letter referencing external hard drive has changed

What happens then is Lightroom can’t find images and it needs a  bit of your help 🙂

If you have just some images missing, you will see question marks in the images’ cells. If the whole folder is missing, the folder’s name will have question mark symbol.

If you keep the Catalog and previews on your local hard drive, you can still browse through images in the Library Module but if you try to export them or edit them in the Develop Module, Lightroom will give an error message. It will tell you that the file is offline or missing or that the Folder cannot be found as on the example below:

Missing Folder in LightroomIf the Folder was moved, you just need to tell Lightroom where it can find it. Before you do anything, first check if it is that some images are missing or is it the whole folder. Then you can proceed to fixing it.

If the whole folder is missing, right-click on the folder and select “Find Missing Folder…“.

Missing Folder in LightroomNow tell Lightroom where the Folder is located and Lightroom will update the links to all the files inside the folder.

If the whole Folder structure has changed, you can relink the parent folder and Lightroom will update information about all the “child” folders/subfolders automatically.

I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day! 🙂

One thought on “Getting “Missing” in Lightroom

  1. When using 2 computers and an external drive shared between the two, the missing file issue ma appear. In my case I had to change permissions to the folder to allow all (read & write) by right clicking on the folder, choosing properties and editing permissions.
    This solved the problem, now ican work alternately on my laptop or pc with the catalog living on the external drive.

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