Moving folders that have been imported into Lightroom

Godfrey DiGiorgi gdigiorgi at
Wed Jul 21 16:28:48 EDT 2010

There's nothing wrong with deleting and then reimporting them after
you've moved them ... but of course, you'll lose all the editing
history and information you might have added by working with the files
in Lightroom already.

The way to move the files, for modest batches of files like this, is
to work within Lightroom. I'm using LR 2.7 to describe this, I don't
have LR3 running on this machine at present.

- In the Library module, click on the "+" symbol on the Folder panel title bar.
- A drop down menu will appear, choose "Add Folder..."
- Navigate to the volume where you want to put the files.
- Create a new folder there, then click OK.

Note that (if it wasn't already in the Folder panel) the new volume
and new folder you just created now appear in the Folder panel.

- Click on the folder that you wanted to move there in the Folder
panel and drag it to the new location.

Lightroom will warn you that it will be moving the files on disk.
Click OK and it will do the job for you, deleting the files from the
old location and creating them in the new location.

It's best to organize your "image file repository" as a single
directory tree on whatever volume you want to put it on. For instance,
at the top level of my data drive, I have a folder named
"Photo-Files", under which I have folders by year, under which I have
"in-progress". My original files are placed into date-ordered
sub-folders of their appropriate year's "in-progress" directory. This
allows me to show the entire tree in the Folder panel and move entire
trees easily from one location to another, when needed.

On my website at, article #8
discusses an efficient way to move very large numbers of files when
necessary. Lightroom isn't particularly efficient when doing this to
huge volumes of files so there are techniques for doing it using
efficient OS file system tools in combination with how to re-connect
Lightroom to the file repository properly and without loss of data.


On Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM, Eric Weir <eeweir at> wrote:
> Elementary question that probably should be addressed by getting a book and doing an online course on managing files and photos in Lightroom, which I will do soon; but for now:
> I've decided I'd like to keep my Lightroom managed files on a USB hardrive. I've imported only two not very important folders -- they're not even my own images -- into Lightroom, but they are are on the hard drive of my machine.
> How can I move them. I don't see a way in Lightroom itself. My thought is to delete the folders from within Lightroom and then reimport them after I've got all my folders onto the USB hard drive.
> Is there anything wrong with that way of going about it?
> Thanks,
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Eric Weir
> Decatur, GA  USA
> eeweir at
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