How do I move my images to a new hard drive?

In most cases, it’s actually quite simple:

Once you’ve added a new folder, the new drive shows up in Lightroom’s Folders panel

  1. In your Lightroom catalogue, in the Folders panel’s header, click the + and choose Add Folder. You should see a dialog box headed “Choose or Create New Folder”.
  2. Navigate to the new drive and click the New Folder button to add a new, empty folder. Select it and close the dialog box. The new folder and the new drive should now be shown in Lightroom’s Folders panel.
  3. You can now simply drag folders from your existing hard drive and drop them onto the new drive.

Now, if I needed to move a large number of images – a complete migration from one drive to another – I might take extra steps. For instance, I would review my backup procedures and make sure that I could get back to where I am now if things did go wrong, put my images back where they were and restore the previous good version of the catalogue. I would also copy the folders via Explorer or Finder or using a file transfer utility that validates the migration, then right click the top level folders in Lightroom and choose Update Folder Location.

But in normal circumstances it’s a simple 1,2,3 exercise and all done in Lightroom without any of the voodoo methods that sometimes get recommended.