Getting Control Of Thousands Of Photos

Started Mar 8, 2022 | Discussions thread
jf_tea Senior Member • Posts: 1,578
get a larger HDD to simplify the clean-up

robgendreau wrote:

Zunebuggy wrote:

I have 2 hard drives full of photos and some are smaller versions of the original larger photos. I am looking for a program that will group photos, smaller versions and even thumbnails together (by image) so I can delete all versions except for the original or best copy. Since 2006 I have an estimated 850,000 photos saved. Many are duplicates. I would like to declutter them and this would be a big step towards that.

I also have a handful of jpgs that have the usual file size and even the dimensions metadata is viewable, but they are otherwise broken (no thumbnail and cannot be opened). Is there software that can recover the image? I had several that were 1kb or less and had no dimensions and I deleted them because I figured there was no hope for them.

Thank you.

Most photo organizing software like Lightroom, Bridge, etc allows you to select directories or folders and then sort by capture time (not file times). Then usually the thumbnails and their master images are grouped close together and you can delete what you want.

But having got to a mess with 850k images I think the bigger problem is adopting some software and a workflow to keep that mess organized going forward. So I'd settle on Lr, Faststone, iMatch, etc and a workflow that will work in the future, and then use that to sort the older stuff.

If you are on macOS, you could use PhotoSweeper; it's very good at finding duplicates and culling since it has a bunch of adjustable parameters to group images.

As far as the corrupted ones, no idea. Were they even photos? or just icons or something? 1k is too small to hold any image worth keeping.

Yes, Lightroom can help you.

Lightroom likes to have all the files under a single directory tree.

If you have pictures on 2 HDDs, buy a larger HDD and put all the pictures under a "master" directory (folder) on that larger HDD.

If you have 2 x 4TB, it might take a day or two to copy all files to the larger HDD -- depending on the interface (USB 2.0, USB 3.x or Thunderbolt). You should avoid USB 2.0 as it only transfers about 100GB per hour.

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