When I work with my Catalog I usually remove photos that I don't like using Alt-Shift-Delete (equivalent on right-clicking on a photo and clicking on Remove) which deletes them from Lightroom's list but doesn't touch the physical files on the disk. Once I'm done removing the images I don't like, is there a way to completely remove them somehow? It's possible to re-export the RAW files and delete the original folder, but it's a bit cumbersome.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is Alt + Shift + Delete an undocumented shortcut? It is not in Adobe's list of documented shortcuts. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb not sure, but it works :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:20

3 Answers 3


The way I do it is to review my images in the Library module, and for any that I don't want to keep, I hit the X key to mark them as rejected.

Once I've finished reviewing, I can simply go to the Photo menu and choose "Delete Rejected Photos..."

This will remove the images from the Lightroom catalog and also the underlying image files from the disk.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This only removes them from the catalog, it does not delete them from disk. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Richard Dunn not in my years of experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – Conor Boyd
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Apologies, I should have updated my comment, I discovered it doesn't work if you try running it from the context of a Collection. Once I returned to the context of the main Folder and ran it I was then given the option to remove from disk. Same issue when trying to run it while in the context of the Filmstrip. Perhaps you could add these caveats to your answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 10:10

If you want to permanently, irrevocably, and silently (without confirmation dialog box) remove images from Lightroom, use the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Delete (Windows) / +Option+Shift+Delete (Mac) keyboard combination.

This deletes the files from disk, not just sending them to the Recycle Bin (or Trash Can, on Mac). Again, this is a silent operation.

See also these threads at forums.adobe.com:

  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with this is that deleting RAW files sometimes takes a second (even with an SSD) and I want to be able to quickly delete 5-10 images from a bad series. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:52
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @NikitaSokolsky then I guess I’m unclear what you’re asking. The workflow you’re using doesn’t completely remove them, and I thought you were looking for a way to completely to completely remove them. Please edit your question to make it clear what you’re asking about. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I want to quickly Remove them and in the end I want Lightroom to go ahead and physically delete all the Removed shots from the disk, taking whatever time it needs to do so. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ As Conor said, use the 'X' key as you review the images. You can then select "Delete Rejected Photos" from the pulldown menu at the end of your editing session. This will do exactly what you want... \$\endgroup\$
    – BobT
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 13:04

Seems easier to have light room delete files from disk at the same time that you remove from catalogue. If you leave the original files on your memory cards during import then you have a back up if you delete something from catalog and then change your mind about it, provided you change your mind before overwriting the card of course.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.