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.

View photos on full screen

To view your album photos on full-screen, do the following:

  1. Switch to Detail () view. You can enter the full-screen mode only from this view.
  2. Press F key to enter the full-screen mode. Alternatively, choose View > Detail - Full Screen from the menu bar.
  3. Lightroom CC hides all the panels and maximizes your photo to display on the full screen. While in this full-screen view, you can perform any of the following actions:
    1. Cycle through your album photos by pressing Left or Right arrow keys.
    2. Flag a photo as Pick or Rejected by pressing the Z or X keys, respectively.
    3. Rate a photo by pressing the 0-5 number keys. 
  4. To leave the full-screen mode, press F or the Esc key.  

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, filter, sort 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 bring up the filter options:

  • Ratings: Choose a star rating to view photos rated higher than or equal to the specified star rating. For example, you can select three stars to view photos rated three stars or higher.
  • Flags: Choose flagged, rejected, or unflagged option to filter photos based on their flag status. 
  • Show Photos Only: Click to show photos only and exclude videos. 
  • Show Videos Only: Click to show videos only and exclude photos. 
  • Keywords: Choose a keyword from the drop-down list to show photos that are tagged with that keyword.
  • Cameras: Choose a camera model from the drop-down list to filter photos based on the camera that was used to shoot them.
  • Locations: Choose a location from the drop-down list to filter photos based on their location tag.
  • Sync Status: Choose an option from the drop-down list to filter photos based on their sync status - Syncing, Synced and Backed Up, Original Stored Locally, or Synced From Lightroom Classic. To know more about the meaning of these Sync Status, see View photo metadata below. 

Sort photos

In any view, click the  icon at the lower-left corner of the Lightroom CC window to bring up the sorting options. 

Choose one of the sorting option from the pop-up menu - Capture Date, Import Date, Modified Date, File Name, or Star Rating.

Clicking Reverse Order  switches between ascending and descending order of the selected sorting option.

Change photo capture time

Lightroom CC allows you to adjust the date and time of an individual photo or a group of photos. Sometimes you need to change the capture time for your photos after clicking them. For example, you might need to change the capture times if you traveled to a different time zone and didn’t change your camera’s date/time setting before you started photographing. Another scenario could be that you added a scanned photo to Lightroom CC and want the capture time to show the date on which the image was photographed rather than the date on which it was scanned.

  1. Select one or more photos in the Photo Grid, Square Grid, or Filmstrip in the Detail view.

  2. Bring up the Info panel by clicking the () icon at the lower-right corner of the screen. In the Info panel, click the () icon next to the Captured field displaying the capture date and time.

  3. If you've selected a single photo, the Edit Date & Time dialog that appears displays the current date and time of your photo. Change the date and time to a desired value.  

    Edit Date and Time
    Edit Date & Time dialog | Changing the capture time of a single photo.

    If you've selected a group of photos, the Shift Date Range dialog displays the current date range of your selection. The new date and time that you specify is applied to the photo with the most recent capture date in the group. Other selected photos automatically shift based on this new date.     

    Edit Date and Time
    Shift Date Range dialog | Changing the capture time for a group of photos.


    See known issue: Edit Date & Time dialog does not load

  4. Click the Change button.

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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