Cleaning Up Your Lightroom Library View - Pretty Presets for Lightroom Tutorial

Is Your Lightroom Library View Cluttered with Lots of Virtual Copies?

Do you have ten versions of the same image because you couldn't decide which preset or look to use? We've all been there.

The good news is that you don't have to keep those copies 

Clean Up Your Library View by Removing Virtual Copies

If you have not already learned how to use snapshots when editing, now is the time. Save all your versions as snapshots, then make virtual copies right before exporting

Why Should You Delete the Copies?

The primary reason is to clean up your workspace so you can focus on the images that matter.

After you've exported the versions you want, you only need the main version with the various snapshots, and then you can delete the pesky virtual copies.

How to Remove Virtual Copies in Lightroom?

You will need to isolate the virtual copies and only the virtual copies using the filters at the top of the grid view in the Library module. (There are other ways to find virtual copies, but this is by far the easiest).

To do this, follow these simple steps:

  • Click on the grid view icon or press 'g' on your keyboard.
  • Look at the top area above the image thumbnails and click on 'Attribute.'
  • Move your mouse to the right of the Attribute bar and where you see 'Kind,' click on the virtual copy icon (shown below).

How to Isolate Virtual Copies in Lightroom

Highlight and Delete the Virtual Copies

Once you're seeing only the virtual copies, you will need to highlight them however is easiest for you (I use 'command' and 'a' on a Mac, or 'control' and 'a' on a PC). When they're highlighted, just click the delete key. 

How to Delete Virtural Copies in Lightroom

The Same Process for Collections and Catalog

For this tutorial, I was operating in a collection, which is a virtual grouping of images that I created in Lightroom. However, the process for identifying and isolating virtual copies of the entire catalog is the same. You just click on the 'All Photographs' in the Catalog panel.

Below is a quick video showing how to isolate and remove virtual copies from collections and the catalog so you can get your own Library View cleaned up!. 

Isolating and Deleting Virtual Copies - Video Tutorial

 *** For those curious, the feature image was a one-click edit with Snap Crackle Pop from the Bomb Pop collection.

More Helpful Tutorials

Here are some other very helpful tutorials related to virtual copies, collections, and the Lightroom catalog.

Do you have any questions or comments for on Cleaning Up Your Library View or Deleting Virtual Copies in Lightroom?  Leave me a comment below - I would love to hear from you!  And please share our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!

Clean Edit Portrait Workflow