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As your collection of digital photographs grows, you probably won't be able to keep them all on your main computer, so you may decide to archive some on an external hard drive. Even if you have photos on an external drive, you can still have the Organizer keep track of them, and it will know where they are, even when that hard drive is not attached to your computer. Here's how you can bring photos from an external drive into your Organizer catalog. I'll go up to the File menu in the Organizer. And I'm working in the Thumbnail view. You can do this in Folder Location view too.
From here, I'll go to Get Photos and Videos, and I'll go over to from Files and Folders, the same command that I would choose if ever bringing into my Organizer files that were on my main computer. In this window I'll navigate to my external drive. It happens to be on the E drive. Your drive letter may be different. And in that drive I'll select the folder that contains the photos that I want to include in my Organizer. I have six photos in this folder. I'm going to leave all these options at their defaults and come over here and make sure that File Type--Enable on a Mac--is set to Media Files, and then I'll click Get Media.
It takes just a moment for the Organizer to make a record of those files on my external drive. And here it's warning me, as usual, that the only items that I can see in the main window right now are those I just imported. I'll click OK. And here are the six photos that are physically located on my external drive. I'll click Show All and that takes me back to the regular view of my Media Browser, here in the Thumbnail view. I could try scrolling down to find those particular files, which will be among these others by date, but it's actually going to be easier to see them if I switch over to Folder Location view.
So I'll do that now from the Display menu, choosing Folder Location. And here I can use the Folders panel to navigate to that external drive. It's way down here at the bottom of my folder hierarchy. It's the E drive. I'll click the icon to the left of the E drive and because of the quirkiness of Folder Location view, that's send me right back up to the top of the column. That's okay. I'll click on the scrollbar and drag all the way down again, to show you that inside that E drive I have that folder or files. And the blue card in the folder icon means that this folder contains photos that I brought into my Organizer.
I'll click on the subfolder, and there are the six files. It's important to understand that bringing these photos into my Organizer didn't move them off my external hard drive; it just made a record of them here in my Organizer and a link to them where they live out on my external hard drive. If I were to reject this hard drive and then plug in it again later, Elements would recognize these files just like files on my main computer drive.
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