I am using Adobe Lightroom 5.6. My lightroom catalouge is on an external hard drive. I had the impression that Lightroom will import the photos to the external drive, but its not the case. It imports the photos to the {users}\pictures\Lightroom{date} folders on the hard disk. Is there any setting where I could specify that the imported files are always saved on to the external hard drive rather than the computer hard disk.

Thanks in advance.


Lightroom imports the pictures where you told it to do it, the position of the catalog is irrelevant.

Here is an extract from https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/importing-photos-lightroom-basic-workflow.html, 5. Tell Lightroom where to put your photos. :

On the right side of the import window, click To and specify where you want to save your copied photos. You can select a location on your hard drive, on an attached external drive, or on a networked drive.

You can also open the Destination panel on the right side of the import window to create a subfolder in your chosen location.

LR import option

In Grid view, the Destination Folders option above the preview area shows the path to the folder or folders you've selected to save the photos.


Lightroom does not Import To, it Imports From which is logical. It Exports To but that is another thing.

When you Import in Lightroom, you are given many choices. My Lightroom is 5.7, so has almost the same layout as your. When selecting Import Photos and Videos from the File menu, the top bar reads: Copy as DNG, Copy, Move or Add. You can select any of these options.

The one I use completely 100% of the time is Add. This imports photos from where they are and they remain after the operation. This is ideal if your photos are where you want them to be. It has nothing to do with the location of the catalog.

Otherwise, Copy is probably the next common one to use. It will copy photos first where you tell it to do so and then Import them. From then on, Lightroom will read the photos from the copied location. It is useful if you are importing images which are a memory card or other removable media.

Move is like a Copy followed by a Delete. Works the same, except that you do not get two copies of your files which I consider risky.

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