Tips & Techniques: How To Add A Folder To A New Hard Drive In Lightroom…

by George on August 13, 2013

Flying in Utah

Photograph © George A. Jardine

Ever wondered how to move photos from one hard drive to another using Lightroom, when the new destination isn’t part of your Lightroom library yet?

Well, admittedly, it’s not what I would call “intuitive”. But it’s easy. Just make sure your new destination hard drive is attached to your computer, and in Lightroom, click the fly-out menu on the top of the Folders panel, and choose Add Folder. Navigate to the new destination hard drive in the Choose or Create New Folder… dialog, click the New Folder button, give it a name, click Create, and then click Choose.

Add Folder

This adds the new hard drive destination to your folders panel, and now it’s simply a matter of selecting photos in the grid, or other folders in the folders panel, and dragging them into the new destination.

Of course, I would recommend that you have backups of everything before you use Lightroom to move photos from one hard drive to another. You see, when you do this, Lightroom first copies the photos to the new destination, and then deletes them from the original location! (Heaven help you should something go wrong in this situation.)

And so today’s entry is here (and posted under my Nonsense category…) honoring two distinct bits of nonsense. First, I read today that “Lightroom doesn’t enable you to create new empty folders to serve as a destination folder” in one of those daily self-help newsletters for photographers. Nonsense! And second, because of that copy-and-delete thing. If you do need to move photos from one location to another, and the new location is on a different hard drive, then I would always opt for the copy-and-update technique, which is shown in my free video on Updating Folder Locations for the Catalog Management video series.

And so, enough nonsense for today. Make sure that the information you’re getting online is accurate, and…. that it makes sense.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Inger Vedel January 23, 2020 at 8:19 AM

Subject: Lr cataloque conncetion to external drive.
I have had to buy a ny laptop.
The Lr cataloque concerning the internal drive, but is in place. But how do I get a cataloque in place so that I can continue working with files on the external drive?

George January 23, 2020 at 8:30 AM

Inger, if I understand your question, there are a couple of answers. 1) you can simply import photos from your external drive, using the ADD option in Import. or 2) you can duplicate photos to the external drive, and then using the technique linked to above ( ) “update the folder location” to force the catalog to link to the new copy on the external drive.

I hope that answers your question. But questions like this are better directed to, as I no longer update

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