Unable to Rename a Folder in Lightroom Classic


I ran into an issue where Lightroom Classic refused to let me rename a folder/directory. Here’s how to isolate the problem and fix the issue.

An example error message:

“The folder 2021-01-18 NYC Photo Session could not be renamed or moved.”


  • Exit from File Explorer/Finder.
  • Exit and restart Lightroom Classic, and try the rename/move again

If the above doesn’t work, then try the following:

  • Use File Explorer/Finder and navigate to the folder/directory containing the folder you’re trying to rename.
    • Make sure there isn’t an existing folder/directory with the same name you’re trying to change to.
    • The folder would not be shown in Lightroom if there are no cataloged photos in it.
  • If the folder/directory doesn’t already exist, make sure the folder/directory you’re trying to rename, or a file within it, isn’t open in another app.
  • Reboot the computer to release any locks on the folder or files within the folder.

Workaround / Fix

If the above checks didn’t resolve the problem, then you’ll need to work outside of Lightroom to rename the folder/directory, then tell Lightroom were to find the files it thinks are “missing.”

  1. Outside Lightroom, use File Explorer/Finder to rename the folder/directory.
  2. Wait for Lightroom to determine the folder/directory is missing. It’ll show a question mark to the left of the folder name.
  3. Right-click on the missing folder in Lightroom and choose ‘Find missing Folder’.
  4. Select the renamed folder/directory to update Lightroom with the new name/location.


  • App: Adobe Lightroom Classic v10.3
  • OS: Windows 10 v20H2
  • Date Resolved: 2021-05-03

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