Learn how to organize your photos in Lightroom CC.
Work with albums. Flag, label, rate, stack, and search photos. Add keywords. View and edit metadata.

Lightroom CC offers many ways to organize your photos. You can manage your photos as albums or stacks; or organize them using keywords, metadata, flags, and ratings. Finding and filtering photos in Lightroom CC is also easy.  

Organize your photos in Lightroom CC
Organize your photos in Lightroom CC

A. Album B. Folder C. My Photos; choose which photos you want to view D. Search bar E. Filter photos F. Keywords G. Info H. Ratings I. Flags J. Views | Photo Grid, Square Grid, and Detail 

View photos

In the My Photos area in the left pane, you can quickly select what photos you want to view in the grid to the right:

  • All Photos
  • Recently Added
  • By Date (arranged chronologically)

To specify how you want to display photos in the grid, choose one of the views (J in the illustration above) from the bottom of the screen:

  • Photo Grid (): Displays photos as thumbnails with no borders or badges
  • Square Grid (): Displays photos as equal-sized thumbnails along with their flag status, sync status, and rating
  • Detail (): Lets you work with and edit individual photos. Edit controls are active only in this view.

Add your photos to an album

  1. In the left pane, in the Albums area, click Add An Album. Alternatively, click the + icon and then click Create Album.

  2. Enter a name for the new album. Click Create.

  3. Select some photos from the grid and drag them to the album in the left pane.

  4. Add more photos to the album if necessary.


To rename or delete an album, right-click its name in the left pane and then click the appropriate option.

Organize albums into folders

Folders can contain albums or other folders.

  1. In the Albums area in the left pane, click the + icon. Click Create Folder. Lightroom CC lists the folder in the Albums area.

  2. Drag one or more albums under the folder.

  3. If necessary, create subfolders and add albums to them.

Stack photos

  1. In the Photo Grid () or Square Grid () view, or in the Detail () view filmstrip, select multiple photos.

  2. Right-click the selection and choose Group Into Stack. Alternatively, select Stacks > Group Into Stacks from the Edit menu.


To dissolve a photo stack, right-click the stack and then select Ungroup Stack.

Assign keywords to photos

  1. In the Photo Grid () or Square Grid () view, or in the Detail () view filmstrip, select one or more photos.

  2. Select View > Keywords. Alternatively, click the icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.

  3. In the Keywords pane, assign one or more keywords to the photos.

Rate and flag photos

  1. In the Photo Grid () or Square Grid () view, or in the Detail () view filmstrip, select one or more photos.

  2. Right-click the selection and assign a rating/flag to the photo using the Set Rating or Set Flag options.


In the Square Grid and Detail views, you can also rate and flag photos directly in the grid area. In the Square Grid, mouse-over the photo to view the rating and flag options.

Rate and flag photos in the grid area

Search and filter photos

Find photos using the Search bar. Aside from searching photos by metadata and keywords, Lightroom can also find and display photos based on the objects in them. For example, you can quickly search for all photos that have flowers or cars in them.

Filter photos

Click the  icon next to the Search bar to quickly filter photos by:

  • Ratings; use the  icon to view photos rated higher than a certain star rating. For example, you can view photos rated three stars or higher.
  • Flags: Flagged, rejected, or unflagged
  • Keywords
  • Cameras used to shoot the photos
  • Location tags for the photos

View photo metadata

  • Select a photo in the grid and then click the  icon. Lightroom CC displays the Info panel that lists the metadata for the photo and its Sync Status.
  • Here are the possible Sync Status badges that you may see:
    •  Synced and backed up 
      Lightroom CC may purge original files that haven't been accessed in a while, leaving a smaller smart preview that you can edit.
    •  Store original locally
      If selected, Lightroom CC keeps the original on your machine and will not purge it, even if the space is low; the Synced and backed up badge changes to .
    •  Syncing changes up to the cloud
      Lightroom CC is currently syncing your changes to the cloud.
    •  Synced from Lightroom Classic
      There is no original backed up to the cloud, but a smart preview is available.
    •  Asset has error
      For further information, view the Sync Status area in the Info panel or click this badge icon in the Square Grid view. 

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