Lightroom: How To Delete Photos That Were Removed From A Catalog

category: Lightroom • 1 min read

Normally, the first thing I do is go through all the photos and reject the photos that are out of focus, wrong focus, eyes closed, yawning, cut-off… I use the X to mark them, then I filter them through the attribute flag and normally delete them.

But, it’s already the second time, that instead of deleting all the rejected photos, I just removed them from catalog. So the rejected photos are not in the catalog, but they are still on the hard drive. How to get rid of them?

  1. Lightroom, LR2 and LR3, by default doesn’t import duplicate photos.

    • That’s photos that are in the catalog
    • That’s photos that have the same filename
    • That’s photos that have the same extension. This means that DNG and CR2 or NEF files of the same photo are different photos as far as Lightroom is concerned.
  2. I re-imported the directory with the removed photos. I just made sure that the flag: Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates is on and Render Previews is set to minimal. It’s the fastest.

  3. I switched to the Catalog section on the left pane and selected: Previous Import. The only photos that were imported were the photos that were removed from the catalog.
  4. Ctrl/Cmd - A to select them all.
  5. This time, when pressing the delete key, I made sure that I selected: Delete From Disk to delete the actual photos.
  6. After all that, it’s a good idea to Optimize Catalog.