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Why is Lightroom Importing my Images out of Order?

Every once in a while, Lightroom gives me an issue importing images from my Nikon cameras. It’ll import the images out of “filename” order and out of “capture time” order. As frustrating as it is, I’ve yet to find out why it’s doing it. It seems as if the sorting option on the Import Window doesn’t work. So, how do you fix it?

If you notice it happening repeatedly, check the Creative Cloud application manager for any updates to Lightroom. Do an update and then restart the computer if there is one.

If that doesn’t help, here’s the work-around I’ve been using.

Step 1

Import your images as you normally would, including keywords and copying to a destination folder. Make sure not to rename the images…we’ll do this later. Here’s an article I wrote about renaming your photos on import, if Lightroom is sorting correctly: link.

Step 2

Once the images have been loaded into Lightroom, choose the folder on the left that holds all the photos (make sure you’re not in “Previous Import”). Sometimes you won’t be able to select all the images you want to rename. Now choose “Sort by Capture Time”.

Step 3

With all the images still selected, click the Library menu on the top of your screen and select Rename Photos. A dialog box will pop up.

Step 4

Inside the renaming dialog box, you can choose how you want to name your images. I have a naming preset that I use, but you can choose one from the list or create a custom one by clicking “Edit”. My preset uses a Custom Name box with a 4-digit number sequence.

Step 5

Click Ok. Lightroom will now rename your images and you’ll be back in business. It’s an odd little workaround, but at least your images will be in order. For me, it really messed me up when shooting sports because I’d have bursts of action broken up by the ordering of images. Now everything is in their proper sequence.

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