I'm using Dropbox to store all my photos and use Lightroom to categorize and post process my photos. Now Dropbox apparently renamed my Dropbox folder from "Dropbox" to "Dropbox ()" recently. It also added a soft link from the old location to the new location (I'm using a Mac). The folder is still accessible via the old path due to the link Dropbox created after the rename.

Now, when I try to synchronize a folder in Lightroom, it still wants to remove all existing photos and find all existing photos as new photos (so it can still find the photos without having to change the location, but it still thinks all the photos are new and the existing ones have been removed).

Is there any way to resolve this problem so I can synchronize folders again without losing all photo information?

  • Unfortunately not Dennis, once a LR catalog is disrupted, there is no cure other than rebuilding the library. To make this painful event less painful, make small catalogs for each shoot. Apr 22, 2014 at 0:58
  • Thanks for the feedback. I've posted the fix I used as an answer. I had to use a backup to resolve this.
    – Dennis G.
    Apr 23, 2014 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


Here's how I resolved it: I used a backup file of my Lightroom catalog and instead of changing the root folder directly in Lightroom's user interface (because for some reason this always lead to the exact same issue as mentioned above), I had to directly change the Lightroom catalog file.

I used an sqlite editor to open the file and change the root folder path directly in the file in the relevant table (I'm specifically not providing more details as you will figure it out if you are familiar with databases; if you are not familiar with this you will likely destroy the catalog file this way and it's better to ask somebody who can help with this).

  • 1
    Although I understand your caution for explaining how to edit the catalog file, your answer would be much more complete with instructions on how and where to edit the root folder path. This would be helpful for people who have never used a database but are still computer savvy. They could just make a backup of the catalog, try your method and revert if something goes wrong. If someone finds your answer now it will be extremely frustrating to see that you fixed it but do not explain how. Apr 23, 2014 at 13:37

Lightroom using a SQLite database - which is case sensitive. OSX is not case sensitive. Thats the root of the problem (in my case anyways).

Here is how I fixed the problem: 0. Quit LR. 1. I downloaded http://sqlitebrowser.org/ 2. Open the program and open the database (the .lrcat file - TAKE A BACKUP!) 3. Click "Browse data", select the table "AgLibraryRootFolder" 4. Change the fields "absolutePath", "name", "relativePathFromFolder" so they match your folder. 5. Click "Write changes" 6. Open LR, test to synchronize a folder. It should be OK - it was for me.

(I take no responsibility what so ever for any loss of data.)

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