What This Particular Lightroom Thumbnail Warning Badge Means (and what to do about it)


Hi gang – and happy Friday. OK, down to business. If you see that little warning icon up in the right corner of your thumbnail, that’s a Metadata warning, but it doesn’t mean your copyright info isn’t in there, or that your metadata is missing or damaged. It’s means it’s changed outside of Lightroom (ack!). Click directly on that icon, and here’s what you’ll see next:


So, at some point this image was edited outside of Lightroom (maybe you edited it in Camera Raw in the Bridge, or something like that), and now Lightroom isn’t sure if you want this images to reflect the changes you made to it outside of Lightroom or just ignore them.

If you want to update the image to include changes you made to that image outside of Lightroom, click on the “Import Settings from Disk” button on the left. If you want Lightroom to ignore those changes, and just leave the image as it appears now in Lightroom’s catalog, click the “Overwrite Settings” button. It’s as easy as that.

Hope that helps.

Hey, one more thing:


It’s just 8-days away you’re invited. We have photo walks set up in over 1,000 cities around the world, and there’s still plenty of time to join a local walk near you (it’s free, it’s fun, you’ll make new friends, you’ll take a lot of pictures, and you might even win a cool prize or two). Here’s the link to see if there’s a walk near you.

OK, now you can head into your weekend, knowing you’re fully informed. Well, partially. Well, let’s not dwell on how much information you really received. Hey, what’s that shiny object over there…? 😉



P.S. If you’re looking to dive into Lightroom a little deeper this weekend, check out my online class called “Protecting Your Photo Library & Backing Up Your Lightroom Catalog,” A lot of important stuff in this class – here’s the link. 

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at http://scottkelby.com

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  1. Thank you so much for this post. I was wondering though if there’s a way to import a bunch of files at the same time instead of having to click on that option on each image. I can’t find any settings for it and I have over 200 files that need updated that exact way. Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • If you want to write from the catalog to each of those 200 photos’ own metadata, select them all in Grid view and press CMD/Ctrl+S to save metadata to file. That will take the info in the catalog about each photo and save it to each photo.

      Post a Reply
  2. Thanks, Scott! Quick question: I selected “Import settings from disk” and realized too late that everything was being reverted pre-edits. Is there any way to undo this?

    Post a Reply
    • Take the photo to Develop, and choose an earlier state in the History panel?

      Post a Reply
  3. First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had
    a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you
    do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting
    my ideas out there. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or tips?

    Post a Reply
  4. I was so happy to read this headline, and get some advise, but the tip misses the point…

    The problem with this “warning” message is, that you can NOT decide on facts you can see or read! If I stumble upon some pictures with this badge on them, I can not SEE the differences in these two versions. Are there only metadata updates? Locations added? Are there any development changes?

    There is just NO WAY to find out and make an informed decision.

    It is like “eat or die”. “Click one of those two options blindly and lose the rest of your data (work) forever. I can’t believe this is still there without a chance to compare these versions.

    I am just wondering, if I am the only one to complain about this?

    Post a Reply
    • +1 — I have same question.

      Post a Reply
      • You are right, there is no way to see in Lightroom. You’d have to look at the photo in Bridge and compare metadata with what you see in Lightroom. The best option is to just never do any metadata additions outside of Lightroom, so that you can always know there is nothing saved to the photo’s metadata except what may come from Lightroom.

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  5. Scott, does this happen if you edit a file in Photoshop and then take it back to LR? Should you overwrite or import the settings in that case?

    Post a Reply
    • No, don’t import settings if all you did was send a copy to Photoshop for editing.

      Post a Reply


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