Chapter 11: Deleting Files from Folders

Taking the time to delete images in your Luminar library is a way to clean up your hard drives and free up storage space. Remember that deleting files from within folders in Luminar will also delete them from your hard drive. However, there are checks in place to keep you from accidentally deleting your original media. It takes three steps, with warnings along the way to delete media permanently from your hard drive when using Luminar.

Marking a File as a Rejects

A useful way to queue a file for deletion is to reject it.  This is the first step in archiving or deleting unwanted images.  Just press the X key to mark a file as rejected (press U to unmark the file if needed). When you mark an image as a reject, it becomes greyed out in Luminar.  


Safely removing Rejected files from your library

Luminar makes it easy to see and manage rejected files.  This way you are only working with the files you want to remove.

  1. If necessary, open the Library panel by clicking Library in the Top toolbar.
  2. Using the shortcut controls, choose All Photos.  Alternatively, you can also select a folder, album, or saved shortcut to view just a portion of your photo library.
  3. At the top of the image gallery, in the Gallery View, locate the drop-down menu labeled Showing:
  4. From the list, choose to only show Rejected images.

Now you will be showing only the images you marked as Rejected.  You can now move all of these images into their own master folder. 

If you need to create a new master folder click the add folder button or from the main menu choose Library > Add Folder.  You can create a new folder on your hard drive by selecting the New Folder button on the lower left corner of the dialogue box.  

All of the rejected images have now been moved into the new master folder (in both Luminar and on your hard drive). If you want to remove them from your catalog, but not your hard drive, right click on the Rejected folder and select Remove From Catalog from the drop-down menu.  The images will be removed from your catalog, but the source folder and the original files will remain on your disk.

Understanding Luminar’s Trash

As mentioned earlier, you can throw away images directly from within Luminar.  However, as a protective measure, Luminar will take three steps before they are permanently deleted.  

Deleting a File in Luminar

To delete an image or multiple images in Luminar select them and then right-click and choose  Move to Trash from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can press Cmd+Delete on a Mac or Ctrl+Delete on a PC.  The images are removed from their current folder and placed into the Luminar trash.


This trash is just a staging area, the files are still on your hard drive in the same place on your drive.  If you look in the Shortcuts area of the Library panel you’ll see a new shortcut for Trash. Please note, if there are no files in the trash, the shortcut is hidden.  Click on the Trash shortcut to see additional controls.

Restoring a File from the Trash

When an Image is in Luminar’s Trash, it’s still on your hard drive.  You can restore it to its original location and your Library.


  1. Select the image(s) that you want to restore.
  2. Choose Image > Put Back to restore to your Library (the same command is also available by right-clicking on the image).

Emptying Luminar’s Trash

If you decide that you want to permanently remove an image from the Luminar Library you can.


  • All references to the image in its folder are removed
  • All edits are removed (be sure to export a new file to disk if you want to save these first)
  • Any references of the image in albums are removed

To empty Luminar Trash, you have two options.


  • You can right click on a single or select multiple images, and select Delete Forever from the popup menu.  
  • Click the Empty Trash button at the top of the window. This will get rid of all images in the trash.

Your files are not yet deleted from disk.  Luminar has only moved your images into the Operating System Trash or Recycle Bin. You can still open the Trash/Recycle Bin on your computer and retrieve the files. To permanently free up disk space, be sure to empty the trash.

Emptying the System Trash/Recycle Bin

To truly delete the images from your hard drive you would need to empty the System Trash on your computer.  You do this at the Operating System level.

  • MacOS.  Finder > Empty Trash…
  • Windows. Find the Recycle Bin icon on the desktop and then right click and choose Empty Recycle Bin

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