If you add, delete, move, or rename image files or folder containing the image files in the Finder (macOS) or Explorer (Windows), the link between the files and the Lightroom Classic catalog breaks. When a catalog can't find a photo, Lightroom Classic displays a Photo Is Missing icon () in image cells in the Grid view and the Filmstrip.


Photo Is Missing
The Photo Is Missing icon in an image cell

 In the Develop module, Lightroom Classic indicates that the photo could not be found, or is offline or missing.

The file could not be found
The file could not be found message in the Develop module when the link from the catalog to the photo is broken


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


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 Classic expects.

  1. (Optional) 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.


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

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

    Lightroom Classic asks if you'd like to find the missing photo and tells you where the original was located.
  3. Click the Locate button, navigate to where the photo is currently located, and then click Select.

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

    Find nearby missing photos
    Find nearby missing photos


    If an entire folder of photos is missing — the folder is grayed out 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 (macOS) on the folder and choosing Find Missing Folder from the context menu. See Locate missing folders