My dilemma is about editing a photo in the Develop mode in Lightroom 4. Why does the library now show two photos with the same file number, the original and the edited photo. The edited photo, with the same number, has the question mark above it. Sometimes I can find it in the process recommended. Sometimes the finder answer is You may not have two files with the same name. Help!

  • Is it a virtual copy?
    – dpollitt
    May 13 '13 at 0:58

Right click on the folder and press synchronize folder, it will resolve. Also remove the option of dont import duplicates for this to work.


You clicked on the Y|Y button in the lower left of your image. Just click on the rectangle to get back to seeing one image. The one to the left, show here:

enter image description here

  • Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm in the library mode - grid view. The photos I have edited in Develop have the same file number as the original in the library mode. That's why the question mark is attached. The message I get after looking for it in Finder is "The file "DSC_9543.JPG" is associated with another photo in the catalog. Each file can only be associated with one photo." It doesn't suggest how I can rectify the situation.
    – tobi
    Mar 18 '13 at 14:05
  • @tobi - If you click on the ? what happens? Do you get a message?
    – Itai
    Mar 18 '13 at 14:23
  • I get the message, "DSC_9543 could not be used because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it?" When I click the Locate button, I am taken to a finder page that shows the location, but there is only one file with the file number. When I click on it, I get the message about "each file can only be assiciated with one photo." I think it may have something to do with how I import the photos, but I don't know.
    – tobi
    Mar 18 '13 at 14:40

Did you edit the photo in Photoshop? Lightroom is a non-destructive darkroom and cataloging program, so if you edit a file destructively, it will save the edited version back in to the catalog while keeping a copy of the original file as well. This may be what happened.

This is functioning as designed and I am not sure what you are indicating is a problem that you are experiencing. It should be safe to remove either one from the catalog. There should also be an option to edit an image destructively without adding the result to the catalog, but I don't have Lightroom on my local machine to give more detailed instructions.

  • I didn't edit in Photoshop. I'm wondering if I edited in the wrong catalogue or something. I can't rename the duplicated file.
    – tobi
    Mar 18 '13 at 14:08

Did you export the file and then import this file back into LR? and then delete the file you exported? Seems convoluted but I think that would explain what you are seeing. the ? occurs when it can no longer find the file.

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