How to Recover Missing Photos in Lightroom

Brithny updated on Nov 18, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

Delete Lightroom files by mistake! Happen to lose unsaved photos in Lightroom cc 2018 in your PC! Lightroom thinks my photos are missing. Follow this article and get quick methods to recover missing photos in Lightroom and fix the photos missing issue with ease.

Part 1. How to Recover Photos from Lightroom
Method 1. Recover Lightroom Missing Photos from Recycle Bin
Method 2. Restore Lightroom Missing Files from The Hard Disk
Part 2. Fix "Lightroom thinks my photos are missing" Issue

Part 1. How to Recover Photos from Lightroom

For lots of the Lightroom users, they are often bothered by the same problem: quite often files that should be in Lightroom appear to have gone missing. Accidentally lose or delete the precious pictures that you have edited for hours! 
What can you do to find the lost photos? What's the most effective way to restore Lightroom missing files? How to recover deleted pictures in Lightroom? Is it possible to recover photos from Lightroom? You are in the right place. In this article, we give the most effective and the easiest solutions for you to get your files back without difficulty.

photos are missing after use lightroom.

Here are two methods: recover deleted Lightroom photos from recycle bin and retrieve the lost Lightroom pictures from the disk. With the help of EaseUS, you can restore Lightroom missing files and recover Lightroom Photos without difficulty. Read the following details to get the lost pictures, photos or images back with ease.

Method 1. Recover Lightroom Missing Photos from Recycle Bin

The first time you find your photos disappear in Lightroom, it would be a good idea to check the recycle bin to restore the lost images or pictures. Here's the detailed guide.

  • Open the Recycle Bin by double-clicking or double-tapping on its icon on the Desktop.
  • Locate and then select whatever file(s) and/or photo(s) you need to restore.
  • Right-click or tap-and-hold on the selection and then choose Restore. 
  • The Recycle Bin will then restore the deleted files to their Original Location.

Method 2. Restore Lightroom Missing Files from The Hard Disk 

When you can't find your pictures both in your recycle bin or your disks. You need the help of a very professional data recovery tool: EaseUS recovery software
EaseUS guarantees the easiest way to recover deleted files, pictures, videos, or music etc. Even you are new to the computer, you can restore your files with ease. Here are the 3 easy steps to retrieve missing photos in Lightroom.

Note: If your photos are more than 2GB, you need to activate it to recover more lost photos.

Step 1. Choose the location and start scanning.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the hard drive partition from which you want to recover photos, then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select the photos you want to recover.

Wait until the scanning completes, then select the photos you want to recover. To locate the pictures faster, click "Filter" > "Pictures".

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover photos.

Click "Recover" and choose a location on another hard drive to save the recovered photos.

Recover lost data

Part 2. Fix "Lightroom thinks my photos are missing" Issue

At some stage, most people run into worrying exclamation marks or question marks denoting missing files. These warnings appear when Lightroom can no longer find the photos at their last known location.

Usually, it’s because you’ve used other software such as Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) to:

  • Delete the photos or folders.
  • Move the photos or folders.
  • Rename the photos or folders.

If you move image files in the Finder (Mac OS) or Explorer (Windows), the link between the files and the Lightroom catalog breaks. 

Missing files are identified by a rectangular icon in the corner of the Grid thumbnail, with or without an exclamation mark.

lightroom thinks my photos are missing

In earlier versions, it displayed a question mark icon instead.

missing pictures in early lightroom

Follow the steps below to help locate your missing photos and restore links to the catalog.

1. In the Library module, choose Library > Find All Missing Photos to display missing files in the Grid view.

2. Click the Photo Is Missing icon ( ! or ? ) in a thumbnail cell in the Grid view.

A dialog box opens and displays the last known location of the missing photo.

Note: The Photo Is Missing icon also appears at the bottom of the Histogram panel. You can click it there, too.

3. Click the Locate button, navigate to where the photo is currently located, and then click Select.

4. In the Locate dialog box, select Find Nearby Missing Photos to have Lightroom Classic CC search for other missing photos in the folder and reconnect them as well.

Note: If an entire folder of photos is missing - the folder is dim in the Folders panel and has a question mark icon - you can relink all the photos at once by right-clicking (Windows) or Control-clicking (Mac OS) on the folder and select Find Missing Folder from the context menu. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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