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Automatically Import Photos into Lightroom using Watched Folders

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

This post is part of our Learning Lightroom series

A handy way to import your photos into Lightroom is by using the Auto Import feature. How it works, is that you specify a watched folder; that is to say, a folder whose contents are watched by Lightroom. Whenever you add any new images to the folder, Lightroom will automatically import the images and store them in the destination folder that you specify.

Auto Import Settings dialog box

As an example, whenever I plug my phone into my computer, any new images I have taken are automatically copied over to a Dropbox folder called Dropbox Photos. The next time I open Lightroom, Lightroom will take those images and move them to a Lightroom folder named “iPhone Images”. Then, I can go through them and decide if I wish to keep them, process them or delete them.

To Auto Import Images using Watched Folders, follow these steps:

  1. Select File > Auto Import > Auto Import Settings to display the Auto Import dialog box.
  2. In the Watched Folder area, click the Choose button and then navigate to the folder that you want Lightroom to “watch”. Click the folder and then click Choose.

Click Choose button to select Watched folder

  1. In the Destination area, click the Choose button and then navigate to your main Lightroom photos folder (or the location where you want to create your destination folder). Click the folder and then click Choose.

Choose the destination folder

  1. Click in the Subfolder name box and type in the name that you want for the Destination folder.

Provide a name for the subfolder

  1. To apply file naming settings to your imported files, click the File Naming drop-down list and choose Edit. Modify any desired settings.
  2. Under the Information area, add any Develop Settings, Metadata or Keywords as desired. For initial settings, Standard is a good setting to use.
  3. Click the Enable Auto Import to turn on the feature.

Click the enable Auto Import checkbox

Looking to learn Lightroom CC Classic? Check out our Up To Speed ebook guide, available at Amazon, Kobo, Apple iBooks and Barnes and Noble. It’s is also available in PDF format from this website.


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