I have a set of photos that I have backed up in two different locations. So I have three sets in total.

In my working set, I deleted the photos that I deemed not good enough to keep. I actually delete a lot of photos, somewhere between three quarters and two thirds of the photos are deleted.

The backup of course are not affected.

Now, my workflow is probably flawed as I have deleted the unwanted photos in my working set instead of moving to a separate folder.

How do I collect all my deleted photos, and give them a final flip-through? Is there a way to select all photos that exist in folder B (backup) but not folder A (working set)?

Finally, any helpful workflow optimization is very welcome indeed.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give us an idea of which OS and organisational software (Lightroom, Aperture or what have you) you're using? You could likely build a collection from the *nix command line by diffing two listings, but that's more of a m4d skillz thing than a workflow. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Nov 20, 2012 at 4:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good thing I am a programmer :) I am on Windows 7 x64 and I shoot Canon. I find Digital Photo Professional decent enough so I use it for my photography. No need to buy Lightroom or illegally download a pirated copy. There is probably some packages or kernal command/macro that can do this on Unix/Ubuntu, however my daily machine and my photos are on Windows, unfortunately. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gapton
    Nov 20, 2012 at 7:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Stan, I don't think it's quite so much mad skills as it is "a simple for loop containing a -e test, an if, and a copy". :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm I have worked with people who have failed to find the "calculator" app from their PC, and also people who only know how to copy and paste with the mouse. I am a programmer so I can't speak for them, and I always tell myself not to under-estimate how some people can be so bad at general computer skills. To be honest, reminding myself about that fact has made me very good at explaining geek stuffs to non-geek. Heck, part of my living depends on that skill lol ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Gapton
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, undoubtedly. I just wanted to push back on the idea that command line scripting is only for the elites. It's actually pretty easy and generally better to have in your mental toolset than casting around for a new GUI tool for every possible action. And you wouldn't just have to be on Linux/Unix — Macs come with bash, and I'm sure Microsoft's powershell has equivalent functionality (or you could install cygwin). \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Nov 20, 2012 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


Yes, Total Commander can do this. I will post step by step screen shots here. For the example I have 3 folders a,b, and c.

A is the working folder where the subset is.

B is the backup with all files.

C is the destination for the deleted files

First enter both folders in the split view: Step 1

Then Commands->Synchronize dirs and "compare": Step 2

Then deselect the => = and != so you only show those that go from teh backup to A: Step 3

Press Synchronize, and change the destination folder to c: Step 4

And now you have all the files in two sets A and C: Step 5

The best part is that Total CMD is fully functional for free, but it is so great and cheap that it's good to pay for it.


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