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Get rid of those extra TIFFs & PSDs in your Lightroom Library fast!

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Each time you jump over to Photoshop, it usually creates a copy of your photo and saves it alongside the original in PSD or TIFF format (depending on what you chose in Lightroom’s External Editing preferences), even if you never made a change to it in Photoshop.

If you’re like me, you probably had a hundred or more of these PSDs or TIFFs with no visible changes, just taking up space on your drive and in Lightroom. If you still haven’t gotten rid of them, here’s what to do:

(1) Go to the Library module, and in the Catalog panel, click on All Photographs.

(2) Up in the Library Filter found above your thumbnails at the top of Lightroom  (press the backslash key on your keyboard if it’s not visible), click on the Metadata tab up top. In the first field on the left, click on the header and choose File Type from the pop-up menu, then click on Photoshop Document (PSD).

(3) In the 2nd field dhoose Date and click on the oldest dates, so you can see which ones you never used or don’t need anymore.

(4) Now you can select those; and delete them so you get that space back.

There ya have it, folks for a warm Friday in July.

Take care,

-Scott

P.S. Just a reminder: we’re about 2-weeks from the Photoshop World Conference & Expo in Vegas, with a full Lightroom training track running every single day for three straight days. It’s not too late to come, getaway from the rest of the world, and immerse yourself in some Lightroom learnin’. Here’s how to get tickets. 

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16 comments

  1. Alec T 27 August, 2015 at 09:13 Reply

    Hello guys, kinda new to LR, and cannot seem to get the window to appear. I am specifically looking for the photo right below “Posted by Scott Kelby on friday……..14 comments” Hoping you can help. Alec

  2. ML 6 August, 2015 at 17:10 Reply

    Scott,
    That’s a good idea to get rid of old stuff taking up room and is duplicating what’s there.
    If an edit doesn’t help or later editing features or my increased skill make improvements over the original edit then it can be discarded.
    I make a virtual copy before editing any photo and also save the original cd after deleting the real duds. I mark all “finished” photos green.

  3. Rudi 3 August, 2015 at 07:55 Reply

    Wow, sounds like we are in the former USSR or GDR! Don’t critic us or you will go into prison. To be honest, I also thought I can get fast rid of tiff and psd files that were never changed… and I haven’t seen anything mentioned that I have to inspect the files further to recognize they have never been edited. How to confuse the Russians 😉

  4. KC 31 July, 2015 at 09:53 Reply

    This article is SO POORLY WRITTEN.

    The headline, suggesting that all TIFF and PSD all bad, is nothing but misleading. Is KelbyOne now taking up political strategies to get readers? This is nothing but a bunch of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), trying to click-bait readers to view the article.

    Nowhere in the article is there a suggestion of a method to help a user discern between used and unused TIFF and PSD files. Number 3 of your instructions just lists the files by date—a useless instruction, as there is still no method to determine where the file was used or not.

    If written properly, the subject of David’s comment (Photoshop doesn’t save the file into Lightroom unless you save the file) would have been included to 1) prevent a future collection of unnecessary TIFF and PDS files, and 2) explain to the readers how the files got there in the first place. Your suggestion that is automatic is just flat out wrong.

    Now you have commenters being led to think that all unused files, regardless of file type, should be tossed—including RAW files. Because you failed to take the time to think through the writing of your article, people will be tossing files left and right—and will blame you for leading them to get rid of original files. Personally, I have JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files that are originals, either from cameras that didn’t shoot RAW, clients who didn’t know they should shoot RAW, other photographers’ work files, etc. According to your article instructions, I should delete all of those files—as I would have no way of determining (per your instructions) whether those are originals or unused work files.

    • Scott Kelby 31 July, 2015 at 22:45 Reply

      Kent: I’ve noticed a pattern from you in your comments here – they are ALL very negative, and you obviously have a problem with me on some level (based on your previous snarky comments), so why don’t we part now while we’re still friends. Deal? 😉

  5. notlyle 31 July, 2015 at 09:29 Reply

    Nothing in this process example shows that you never used them, it just shows you the files by file type by date. What would be useful are options to drill further down; which were never modified after instant of creation (like in while in PS or a plugin), which have no LR edit modifications in the catalog etc. Does it exist ?

  6. David 31 July, 2015 at 08:15 Reply

    The first paragraph is misleading. Photoshop does not save a copy of the TIFF/PSD unless you physically save the image after working in photoshop. This is true even if you make changes to the images.

    • notlyle 31 July, 2015 at 09:05 Reply

      “it” is the Lightroom process at time of export to the external editor; I don’t think Scott meant to imply that Photoshop was making the file. Once you edit and Save in PS, it is updating the version sent to it by LR and when you Exit to LR you’re again able to work on that same, changed file which was originally exported by LR in LR.

      • David 1 August, 2015 at 07:53 Reply

        It doesn’t really matter where the file is being made. When choosing “Edit in Photoshop”, there will not be a PSD or TIFF file saved alongside the original UNLESS you physically do a Save or Save As in Photoshop. With other external editors, yes, there will be a file automatically saved, but not with Photoshop as the article suggests.

        • notlyle 1 August, 2015 at 12:05 Reply

          All my external editing is with Nik stuff so I always see the TIFFs and was wrong about the parallel that would exist with CC/PS. Learn something new every day.

  7. Julien 31 July, 2015 at 08:01 Reply

    Scott, thanks for the tip but why would you want to delete them if you’ve done corrections on it? Shouldn’t we delete the original Raw without corrections instead? If I delete the tiff with corrections, I would loose my modifications. Tell me if I’m wrong!

    Thanks!

    Julien

    • KC 31 July, 2015 at 09:56 Reply

      Never, ever, ever delete original files. New technology and software, and new post-processing skills learned would allow you to go back to those original files and reprocess them into a potentially better photo.

      I’m sorry Mr. Kelby led you down the wrong path on this topic!

      • Joram 3 August, 2015 at 03:28 Reply

        Agreed! I just re-edited an old file taken with a EOS 40D, back then edited in LR3.5 And now with LR6, it made a big difference, the highlights/shadows worked so much better! (And clarity of course) So yes, always keep you RAW’s!!

        But what happens on my side, sometimes i merge a HDR/Pano, creating a TIFF and the start editing and then using plugin’s. The file will be pan-edit-edit.tiff Then offcourse you can delete the first edit so i doesn’t take up space.

    • Scott Kelby 31 July, 2015 at 22:41 Reply

      Hey Julien. This technique only finds the TIFFs and PSDs. You actually have to look at them to see if you ever did anything to them or not. It’s like marking images for deletion. I still look at them before I finally delete them, even thought Lightroom will gather ones marked for deletion. As for deleting the RAW image – I never delete the RAW image — it’s the negative – the original. The TIFFs and PSDs are just copies. You may have finished them off, or you may not have. If they’re just duplicates of the original, those you can trash, but never the RAW originals. Hope that helps.

      • Lucille van Ommering 6 August, 2015 at 14:31 Reply

        Wouldn’t it be better to just search for *-edit.psd files? That would bring up the files that were sent to PS before any changes are made. If any changes are made in LR prior to editing in PS would be retained in the original, and theoretically, the PS edited file would be given a new name to distinguish it from the original. Or am I not understanding Scott’s tip.

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