Tangled up my Lightroom folders ... help please


TPF Noob!
Jun 15, 2010
Reaction score
New York
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I had a folder structure that went something like this ... mypictures ->photography -> photoshoots (It's this 'photoshoots' folder that I had inside Lightroom with all my shoot sub-folders). In any case, I got a new computer and had to move all my stuff. I exported "photoshoots" as a catalog, so that I could re-import it after the new computer was set up. Problem is, stupidly, I saved the catalog under mypictures -> lightroomcatalogue -> wholecatalogue -> photoshoots. As you are probably figuring it, when I re-imported, that was the folder tree that was set up in lightroom to point to the folder location. But I also copied the mypictures -> photography -> photoshoots original folder to that same drive.

Now I have both. I know the most updated is the one I exported and then re-imported into Lightroom, since that's where I've made any changes since - but that's not the folder tree/ structure that I want. All new photos since the new computer have been imported into the good ol' mypictures -> photography -> photoshoots tree. So now my Lightroom catalog is working with two separate locations.

My explorer file structure for my photography stuff looks like this ...

---------folder 1
---------folder 2
---------folder 15
---------folder 16
------------folder 1
------------folder 2

Inside Lightroom, that looks like this ...

---folder 1 (older photos that were exported as catalog and re-imported into new computer)
---folder 2
---folder 3
folder 15 (newer photos after new computer)
folder 16
folder 17

I want to get these in order. All my photos should be My Pictures ->Photography -> Photoshoots. If I moved the "photoshoots" folder that's under "lightroom catalogue", I'd have to copy and overwrite about 22,000 photos in the "photoshoots" folder that's under "photography" and then redirect lightroom to the new folder location. But 1) that seems crazy for that many pictures and 2) I'm worried that's not the right way and I'll mess everything up. At least right now, everything still works - I just don't like WHERE the original files are and that I currently have two copies of each just one sub-folder away.

How do I safely move this around back to where it should be??

After doing an "export as catalog" and re-importing into lightroom, I now have two "PhotoShoots" folders with the same pictures on each. Only one, however, was re-imported into Lightroom (with some edits made since), but that's the one located in the "wrong" parent folder. Now I don't know how to move it into the correct parent folder (where the duplicate originals also exist) without messing everything up. I can't seem to just right click it in Lightroom and tell it to move it (and overwrite the old files in the process).
In other words, how do I move the top-level folder in my Lightroom catalog? I know I can "create a new parent folder", but I don't want to create a new one, I want to move that top-level folder to a "parent" that already exists in my explorer.
Fixed it. I just moved the folder outside of Lightroom into the correct location (copied and overwrite old files) and then gave lightroom the new folder location when it gave me the ? error. I was so weary of moving things around outside of lightroom and hoping to find a solution WITHIN it out of fear of losing data. But this worked fine.

Most reactions