Issue

When you launch Lightroom, you get the following error:

Unable to move some photos

Solution

Follow the steps below based on the sync status of your catalog.

Catalog is synced

If the catalog is fully synced or if you have not placed any assets in Lightroom yet, you can rename the local MCAT file so that the catalog information is synced and your local catalog is restored.

  1. Close Lightroom.

  2. Navigate to the following location, locate the MCAT file, and rename it from Managed Catalog.mcat to Managed Catalog.old.

    Windows

    • Users > [username] > AppData > Local > Adobe > Lightroom CC > Data > [Catalog ID string]
    MCAT file location on Windows
    MCAT file location on Windows

    A. username B. Catalog ID string 

    Note:

    If there are more than one catalog id strings present on your system, follow these steps to identify the correct catalog id string for your catalog.

    macOS

    • Users > [username] > Pictures
    • Locate Lightroom Library.lrlibrary, right-click, and select Show Package Contents.
    MCAT file location on macOS
    • Navigate to [Catalog ID string] > Managed Catalog.mcat
    MCAT file location on macOS
    MCAT file location on macOS

    A. Catalog ID string 

    Note:

    If there are more than one catalog id strings present on your system, follow these steps to identify the correct catalog id string for your catalog.

  3. From the same location, locate, and delete previews folder and previews.db file, if available.

  4. Launch Lightroom and allow it to sync the catalog.

Syncing the catalog from cloud to your local desktop may take some time. The   icon at the upper-right corner will update you on the progress. A new Managed Catalog.mcat file is created once the syncing is complete.

Note:

Retain the old MCAT file until you have verified that the catalog has been recovered completely. Once sure, you can delete Managed Catalog.old file.

Catalog is not synced

If Lightroom is not completely synced, the issue can occur due to one of the following scenarios:

Scenario 1

All original images were imported from Lightroom for mobile, Lightroom on the web, or were synced from Lightroom Classic as Smart Previews.

In this scenario, follow the steps above to restore your Lightroom catalog.

Scenario 2

Some or all original images were imported via Lightroom desktop application.

In this scenario, follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the following location to locate the originals:

    Windows

    • Users > [username] > AppData > Local > Adobe > Lightroom CC > Data > [Catalog ID string] > originals
    originals folder location on Windows
    originals folder location on Windows

    A. username B. Catalog ID string 

    Note:

    If there are more than one catalog id strings present on your system, follow these steps to identify the correct catalog id string for your catalog.

    macOS

    • Users > [username] > Pictures
    • Locate Lightroom Library.lrlibrary, right-click, and select Show Package Contents.
    MCAT file location on macOS
    • Navigate to [Catalog ID string] > originals
    originals folder location on macOS
    originals folder location on macOS

    A. Catalog ID string 

    Note:

    If there are more than one catalog id strings present on your system, follow these steps to identify the correct catalog id string for your catalog.

  2. Copy the originals folder and paste it on the desktop as a backup so that missing files can be imported again, if required.

  3. Follow the steps above to restore your Lightroom catalog.

  4. Wait for Lightroom to sync.

  5. Once syncing is complete import any image, that is missing from the restored catalog, from the backup created earlier.  

    Note:

    Edits made to the images, that you have imported again from the backup, will not be recovered.

Identify Catalog ID string

If there are more than one catalog id strings present on your system, follow the steps below to identify the correct catalog id string for your catalog:

  1. Log in to https://lightroom.adobe.com with your Adobe ID.

  2. The catalog id string appears in the URL.

    Identify catalog id string
    Identify catalog id string

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