How to Remove Virtual Copies in Lightroom
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? Don't worry, we have all been there!
The good news is that you don't have to keep those virtual copies - you can remove them!
Why You Should Delete Virtual Copies
The primary reason for removing virtual copies 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
To remove virtual copies, you will need to first 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 method).
To do this, follow these simple steps:
1. Click on the grid view icon or press 'g' on your keyboard.
2. Look at the top area above the image thumbnails and click on 'Attribute'.
3. Move your mouse to the right of the Attribute bar and where you see 'Kind,' click on the virtual copy icon (shown below).
4. Once you are seeing only the virtual copies, you will need to highlight them however is easiest for you (I like to use 'CMD + a' on a Mac, or 'CTRL + a'on a PC). When the copies are highlighted, just click the delete key to remove them.
Use 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 will 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!.
How to Use & Remove Virtual Copies in Lightroom
This 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.
- Lightroom Collections: Everything You Need to Know
- What is a Lightroom Catalog?
- Snapshots vs Virtual Copies
- How to Merge Lightroom Catalogs
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