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Indexing Your Originals

If you're using PhotoPrism for the first time, make sure your photo and video collection is properly configured as originals folder. See installation instructions in Getting Started for details. When starting with an empty folder, you need to add or upload files first.

  1. Go to Library using the main navigation

  2. Select a sub-folder or keep the default to index all files

  3. Select Complete Rescan to re-index all originals, including already indexed and unchanged files

  4. Press Start to start indexing


You can use WebDAV-compatible apps, including Microsoft's Windows Explorer and Apple's Finder, to add files to your originals folders from a remote computer or mobile device.


An NSFW detector can be enabled to automatically mark images with potentially objectionable content as private. Note that this feature is only partially reliable.

Images that have already been indexed before the NSFW detector is activated will not be scanned by the detector.

Ignoring Files and Folders

Hidden files and folders that start with a ., @, _., or __ like __MACOSX are automatically ignored. Other names to be ignored can be added to a .ppignore file in the originals or import folder it should affect. You can put it either in the main folder or in a subfolder to limit the scope.


# ignore a directory by its name
# ignore all folders starting with a #
# ignore all files
# ignore all files with gif extension
# ignore videos which name start with MVI
# or

Names in the same directory and in all subdirectories are ignored. You can use * as a wildcard.

Files and folders that have already been indexed cannot be retroactively removed from the index using a .ppignore file. Adding their name won't remove them from PhotoPrism.

If you are a new user and files or folders have already been indexed, it is generally easiest to reset the database and start with a new index by running photoprism reset in a terminal.

When should "Complete Rescan" be selected?

If you select this option, all files in the originals folder will be re-indexed, including already indexed and unchanged files.

We recommend performing a complete rescan after major updates to take advantage of new search filters and sorting options. Be sure to read the notes for each release to see what changes have been made and if they might affect your library, for example, because of the file types you have or because new search features have been added. If you encounter problems that you cannot solve otherwise (i.e. before reporting a bug), please also try a rescan and see if it solves the problem.

Manually entered information such as labels, people, titles or descriptions will not be modified when indexing, even if you perform a "complete rescan".


Admins can optionally enable the cleanup option to delete unused thumbnails from the cache folder and remove orphaned index entries. If you do this from time to time, it can speed up indexing and reduce storage usage.

Automatic Indexing

Indexing is triggered automatically when files are synced with the originals folder via WebDAV.

The default safety delay for automatic indexing is 5 minutes. You can change it through the PHOTOPRISM_AUTO_INDEX config option.

Be careful not to start multiple indexing processes at the same time, as this will lead to a high server load.