Renaming folders is one of those tedious tasks that is often a source of self-inflicted injury to many Lightroom Classic (LrC) users. The process is simple in LrC, and yes, there is a way to do it outside of LrC (but it is even more tedious).

The key to understanding why you want to do this in LrC is that the path to where each photo is stored on your computer is what LrC uses to find and access your photos. On a Mac, that path starts with the volume name and on Windows the path starts with the drive letter, but in both cases the path goes on to include every folder and subfolder down to the actual filename of each photo.

As long as you use LrC to rename the folder then it will update the actual name of the folder as well as the path stored in the catalog, and all will be well. Here’s how to do it:

First, expand the Folders panel and locate the folder you want to rename.

Then, right-click the folder and choose Rename… to open the Rename Folder dialog box.

Enter the desired name, and click Save. This will rename the folder as it appears in the Folders panel and as it does on your drive. You can right-click the folder again and choose Show in Finder (PC: Show in Explorer) to open your file browser to that folder to confirm.

That’s all there is to it. If you rename folders outside of LrC, then you will need to follow the steps for when photos and folders are considered missing to update the catalog to the folder’s new name.



  1. Hans L. 28 April, 2023 at 10:06 Reply

    So far all understood, The title should say something like: Rename one folder after another.
    What about if I want to actually rename Folders (in plural, as the title implies)?
    Can easily be done on the OS level, then reimport the folder(s) into LR but that’s cumbersome.
    Is there a plugin or some lua-script that would allow multiple folders to be renamed (*) within Lightroom, so that the change is reflected within Lightroom without any further action – (*) according to a certain pattern or given ‘find replace’ function.
    For example: many subfolders are numbered as follows: s5-0001, s5-0002, s5-0003, …, …, s5-0763.
    I would just want to search for ‘s5-0’ and have it replaced with ‘s5-‘. Basically removing the ‘0’ after the ‘-‘.
    All possible, they key is to perform multiple renames within Lightroom that are in fact reflected in Lightroom.
    Any cool ideas, suggestions are most welcome.

    • Rob Sylvan 28 April, 2023 at 11:50 Reply

      If you want to keep the catalog up to date the with renaming, then step and repeat. If you want to do it outside of LrC to save time, you will later invest that time in reconnecting the catalog with each folder one at a time.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *