Why is some of my content not found?

Naming and Organization

The biggest reason by far for items to not be found during a Library update is due to naming. Plex's scanners are generally quite robust and can often do a good job even with content that doesn't follow the naming recommendations. However, there are times where the scanners may need some help and that's done by naming and organizing the content in an expected way. Two broad guidelines can often help here, too:

  • The movie scanners will skip content that is named like a television episode (including date-based episodes)
  • The TV scanners will skip content that is not named like a television episode

If you run into issues with content not being found, being ignored, or simply not matching well, the first thing you should do is to follow the naming and organization recommendations.

Related Page: Media Preparation

Excluded Content

Content might be excluded explicitly by use of a .plexignore file or the file/folder name might include a special word that can trigger it to be ignored. Some content - including ISO, IMG, VIDEO_TS, BDMV, and other disk image content - is also automatically excluded.

Related Page: Media Preparation > Excluding Content with .plexignore
Related Page: Media Preparation > Special Keyword File/Folder Exclusion
Related Page: Why are ISO, VIDEO_TS, and other Disk Image Formats Not Supported?

Disk Image Format Content

If your content is in a "disk image" format (e.g. ISO, IMG, VIDEO_TS, or similar), those are not supported by Plex Media Server. You can, however, convert the content to a compatible format.

Related Page: Why are ISO, VIDEO_TS, and other Disk Image Formats Not Supported?
Related Page: Converting ISO, Video_TS, and Other Disk Image Formats

Copy In Progress

Another thing that can cause issues is if you're copying content to the drive and directly into the content location. In such a situation, when the content copy first starts, the Plex Media Server scanner will note the change and then wait 60s. If nothing else has changed at that point, it will perform a library update.

However, if your content is copying and takes longer than a minute, then it's possible for a situation to occur where the scan occurs before the copy finishes. Subsequent scans would not actually look in the directory because the mtime (modification time) wasn't updated once the copy finished.

The easy solution for that is to not copy the content directly to your content location on the drive. Instead, copy it to another location/folder on the drive first and then when the copying is completed, move it into the standard content location.

Permissions

If no content at all is being found or you're unable to see particular directories when trying to set up a Library, you may be encountering permission issues. The user account under which your Plex Media Server is running needs to have "permission" to access your content. For Windows or OS X installs, this will almost always be the user account logged into the computer. For Linux Plex Media Server installs, it will usually be the plex:plex user.

The user account needs to have at least read and execute permission for the directories and content.

Related Page: File system permissions (Wikipedia)