A tale of a new SSD and my Capture One catalog and image folders


TalkEmount Hall of Famer
Sep 10, 2015
Real Name
I upgraded to a 1T SSD on my desktop computer running Windows 10. This is just for data, not the OS. Anyway, for various reasons I ended up with it on drive letter H, and the old drive on D was still in my system while I moved things over. I had very few problems as it was just data files for the most part, and user profile folders but those are easy enough to move.

The issue came when I went to move my image files. I knew it would be best to do this inside Capture One (hereafter C1), so opened it with everything as it was - the one and only catalog on C and pointing to the images on D. I used C1 to drag the old image folder to the new one I set up on H and this went fine. The issue I only noticed later was a bit thorny and due to the way C1 handles folders. These folders are really only references to the folders on disk. A shortcut if you will, to borrow Windows terminology. It preserves the folder hierarchy when you add it, but only automatically adds a folder when you are importing files that reside there, and only at import time. So when I moved them with the drag/drop it was not an import, and it was a different drive letter. My images moved over fine and C1 knew where they were, but I was now missing the folder shortcuts to the new locations. I had to use smart folders to find the images (which I should probably do anyway), rather than just clicking on the folder reference in the library. It was very, very annoying to me.

So what to do... The only obvious way would be to add the folders manually, one at a time, to the library. Note that it will not walk through all the subfolders and include them - every folder and subfolder must be added, one at a time. I could have done this of course, but I have all of my images in the catalog, going back to my Canon cameras and even some cell phone images, for convenience mostly as my Sony-only C1 license does not let me edit everything. This is about 17 years worth, organized by folders for each year and month that had images taken, so probably pushing 200 folders I would have to add, one at a time. No, I thought, there must be a better way. And I figured one out.

Basically, I created a new catalog, then imported from the old catalog. This brought over all the images with adjustments/edits, and since it was now an import, it automatically added the folders they were contained in to the library. It took 10-15 minutes and worked perfectly, as far as I can tell so far (just did it this evening). I'll keep my old catalog for at least a few sessions to be sure.

So I post this here in case anyone runs into a similar situation where they lose all the folder references. If you physically organize your files like me, this might save you a lot of time.


TalkEmount All-Pro
Mar 2, 2012
New England
That's probably how I'd have done it. I run into similar situations as my wife and I each have our own laptops. So during the year, we each have the pictures we took in a local catalog named for the current year. At the end of the year, I export one catalog onto an external USB drive, which copies all the images and all the support files needed to the backup drive. I then put the external drive on the other laptop, open that exported catalog, and import the current year's catalog from that laptop into the now open catalog. This combines both her images and mine into one catalog for the year, combining all the keywords and such.

I then export the combined list of keywords to a file, and use that to seed the keyword list for next year's catalog.

I could make a running super-catalog of all the years, but I don't currently do so.

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