Capture One Offline Files

Relocating Offline Files in Catalogs

Offline files in Capture One mean that Capture One no longer knows the physical location of the images that are in a catalog. There can be a couple of different reasons why this happens, but in most cases it’s fast and easy to fix.


Relocating individual images

  1. Right-click the offline image and choose ‘Locate…’
  2. Navigate to the correct location of the image and choose ‘Open’.
  3. The image will be relocated.


Capture One Locate Offline Files


Relocating a folder of images

  1. Find the offline folder. This can be done in two ways:

1) Browse to the folder within the Folders area of the Library Tool. Offline folders are indicated by a warning triangle.

2) Right-click an offline image and choose ‘Show in Library’. The folder containing the image will be highlighted within the Library Tool.

  1. Right-click the offline folder and choose ‘Locate…’
  2. Navigate to the correct location of the folder and choose ‘Open’.
  3. All the images within the folder will be relocated.

Capture One - Relocating Folder


Relocating offline drives

If an external hard drive has gone offline, it most often means that it’s simply ejected or sleeping. If reconnecting the drive does not make it come back online within your catalog, even after restarting Capture One, you need to relocate it.

  1. Right-click the offline drive and choose ‘Locate…’
  2. Navigate to the correct location of the drive and choose ‘Open’.
  3. The drive will be relocated.

Capture One - Relocating Offline Drive


Why does this happen and how can I avoid it?

When images are added to a Capture One catalog, it will track the location of these, while keeping adjustments and metadata inside the catalog.  When images and folders are moved around from within Capture One, the links between the catalog and the images are kept intact, and no issues arise.

If images or folders are moved or renamed using the Finder, Explorer or other applications outside of Capture One, the link breaks!

This introduces images that show as ‘Offline’, because Capture One doesn’t know the physical location of these images anymore. As Capture One uses image previews when working in a Catalog, these offline files can still be edited, and the adjustments will be saved within the Catalog. Offline files cannot be exported until you relocate them, except when using the format ‘JPEG Quickproof’. This format will use the previews for exporting and cannot exceed the resolution of your previews.

The general rule is to try to keep all file operations within Capture One. But if you do unintentionally or otherwise move items outside of Capture One, it’s easy to fix, as shown above.

To get in-depth knowledge on how to master Asset Management in Capture One, we recommend these two webinars:


October 22 2018

By David Grover

Category: Tech Talk Tags:
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  • David Grover
    David Grover

    David Grover is part of the Capture One team, bringing you help, advice and education on a variety of subjects and platforms. David can be found on most weeks delivering live Capture One Webinars or anytime on our YouTube Channel.

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    Comments (17)

    Paul Steunebrink

    Very clear explanation, David. Great job!

    David Grover

    Thanks Paul!

    Yeah, great. Now, what do I do when C1 failes to empty the trash folder because the files are offline for they don’t really exist anymore ?

    Hi David,
    I miss you a looooot on the you tube channel !!!!!!. I do hope you come back and bring new Capture One features with you

    David Grover

    Hi Jose,

    Don’t worry! I will be back! :)


    Great explanation about this subject. I remember jumping through many hoops sorting this out.

    Any advice for locating files that have the following message:

    ‘The selected image is either unavailable, in an unsupported format or corrupted’

    I tried to open a previous catalog – location has not been changed, but half of the images had that message!

    David Grover

    Hi John,

    You could try verifying your Catalog first. Are you positive nothing was moved around in the Finder / Explorer? However, make a case at so we can look deeper.



    @Nicu: I used to have that issue as well, but I think it was fixed in a later version of Capture One 10.

    How about to mass-locate files in SESSION-mode, collected in an Album? [background: I shifted a session-collector directory 1 level higher, into to drive root]
    Up to now I didn’t find any way beyond 1-by-1 path updates, it’s quite cumbersome job….

    David Grover

    Hi Taki,

    It shouldn’t really be an issue in the Session. Was the folder added as a favorite?


    frank myers

    I traveled with my main C1 file on an ext drive and added photos to that file and drive. At home, I manually moved the new photos to my main drive. I moved my main C1 file back to main computer and disconnected the ext drive. The new photos show Offline. If I then use Locate and point to their new location on the main drive, the C1 DB gets confused. Some other links get moved around,

    Seems this technique should work but does not. thanks.

    David Grover

    Hi Frank,

    Ok, that does not sound like normal behaviour. Please make a case at so we can look into it for you.


    Probably. Yet, the problem reappears in C1 11.2.1

    Your explanation is very clear. Thank you for sharing

    David Grover

    Hey Nicu,

    That does sound a little odd. Please report it to support so we can fix your catalog and look into it.


    Frank myers

    See support case 304690. Resolved. Not exactly sure what caused this issue but gone now. Thanks

    Christiaan M.

    Although relocating individual images or image folders should be part of CO1’s toolbox, I am afraid that there is still the odd (serious) bug making this procedure a risky one.
    I store all my raw images on a very fast external SSD, because I use a Macbook pro as well as a Windows 10 pc. I also have the catalogue files on the SSD.
    When switching platforms, obviously the SSD drive will be offline due to incompatible naming conventions on MacOS and Windows, but a simple re-locate command should solve this…. NOT!

    When importing images into the catalogue on my Macbook pro (referenced), and moving to the Windows pc, the image folder that shoúld contain the newly imported images (and doés on MacOS), will show up empty before ánd after re-locating. So re-locating the folder is not the issue, but the database on Windows does not know that the images are in that particular folder when the images were imported on MacOS.

    This effectively destroys the workflow, and I am not sue why this should be a problem, since Lightroom has no problem whatsoever re-locating time after time after time when moving Mac > Windows > Mac > Windows

    A serch on your forums shows that this bug dates back several years. Why won’t Phase One fix it? I opened a support case on the matter and sent in several bug reports while testing beta v12. Still, the nasty bug remains!

    That is disappointing….


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