If you move image files in the Finder (Mac OS) or Explorer (Windows), the link between the files and the Lightroom catalog breaks. When a catalog can't find a photo, Lightroom displays a Photo Is Missing icon in image cells in the Grid view and the Filmstrip. The Photo Is Missing icon is an exclamation point () in Lightroom 5 and a question mark () in earlier versions of Lightroom. In the Develop module, Lightroom indicates that the photo could not be found, or is offline or missing.
Links between a catalog and its photos can also break if photos are stored on an external drive that is offline. If the drive is offline, turn it on. If the drive letter has changed, change it back to the letter Lightroom expects.
The Photo Is Missing icon also appears at the bottom of the Histogram panel. You can click it there, too.Lightroom asks if you'd like to find the missing photo and tells you where the original was located.
- (Optional) In the Locate dialog box, select Find Nearby Missing Photos to have Lightroom search for other missing photos in the folder and reconnect them as well.
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 choosing Find Missing Folder from the context menu. See Locate missing folders.