I use the 2018 Organizer to tag my images. I currently take both RAW & JPG images. I wish to delete from certain folders all the JPG images. I will surely have to do this from within the organizer if I am not to throw it into a tizz. I am talking about a few thousand images.
Is there an easy way to do this? If I were to do it using File Explorer it would be as easy to highlight the jpgs and then press the delete key. But that would give my catalog a meltdown.
How would I go about it that would give me the least pain? I would like to do all my back folders as a once off operation and then I would change to only taking RAW files in the future.
The reason I'm asking is because I am running out of space on my hard drive which is internal. And by deleting the jpg files I will save up to 1/3 of the space.
There are situations in which it's better and easier to delete files outside of the organizer.
- when you know precisely in which folders they are located,
- or when those files are included in stacks or version sets.
The key is to be sure you don't have any missing file before deleting from outside of the organizer.
When you run the reconnect function, you end up with a list of missing files. On top of the dialog, you have a small icon opening a dropdown menu with the choice to select all and/or to delete all. In the present situation, you first select all, then delete all.
The advantages are that you are aware of the number of files to delete, you can select files from the list (can be sorted by folders), you can delete jpegs included in version sets (not possible in batch from within the organizer).
My main warning is that deleting a big number of files is very slow, and it can even be impossible with minimal RAM especially on older PSE versions. Do a test to see how many files you can delete at the same time (I would not try more than one thousand in my computer). So even if it's theoretically possible to delete a third of your images at the same time, it's safer to delete by smaller batches).
Another question is how are your raws and jpegs stacked or in version sets. If you want to keep only the top of stacks or top of version sets, it's easier to select the stacks or version sets and to flatten a whole batch at the same time. The other files under the top of stack will be deleted . Same slow process.
Some users with your diskspace problem might want to move either the jpegs or the raws in the stacks to an external drive, while maintaining the files in the stack. As far as I know, it's not possible in Lightroom. (I would not advise the following procedure without a full backup to begin with.)
- Use the Explorer to move the jpegs or the raws to a new master folder in the external drive. If you want to keep the folder structure, maybe copy the whole original folder and delete the unwanted files from the external drive and delete the unwanted files from the original drive.
- Instead of using the above procedure to delete from catalog, use the reconnect option. You may have to guide the reconnecting process to the correct folders.
I should not forget the solution to move your whole library folder tree to another external drive by the usual full backup and restore method. External USB3 with 1 TB or more drives are small and affordable. After the restore, the catalog itself is the eternal drive, which makes possible sharing the catalog and library with another computer. Or you can move the catalog folder to the default location in your main computer if you want (a bit faster in operation).
Thank you MichelB. Before I go down this route I will think carefully about whether to store my images on an external drive or not. I recognise the benefits but it does complicate the backup strategy that I have in place. I will certainly do what you suggest re deleting the files. That does seem to be a relatively painless route if I do them in chunks which I can. I will test on a couple first so I know the method, then do a hundred and check how long it takes. Fortunately all the files I want to delete are in folders of around 500 so that would be my max chunk. All I need now is a free, rainy day so I can do it...………..
success, THANK YOU michelb. For every folder I wanted to clean up, I deleted the files using File Explorer, then went into the Organizer, did a search for missing files, got them all up, then a CTRL A to select them all followed by a right click to 'delete from Organizer'. Very quick and painless. In each folder I deleted about 400-600 files. Thanks again.