Sometimes lost or deleted photos in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom still display a preview. The following script allows you to extract and save those previews.

The script extracts previews for all the images that are selected at the time you run the script. It extracts poster frames for any video clips that are selected at the time. You can choose a location for these files. The previews are in JPEG format, and the name contains the size of the image (for example, _MG_0233-360x240.jpg).



  • The extracted previews don't contain any metadata from the original image.
  • The extracted previews don't contain an ICC profile. So, if you import the extracted previews back into Lightroom, the images are imported with the sRGB profile.

To install the script, do the following:

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl+click (Mac OS) the link to the script below, and save the script to your desktop. Double-click the file to decompress it, which creates a file named ExtractPreviews.lua. If you can't locate this file, you can search your hard disk for it.


  2. In Lightroom, choose Lightroom > Preferences (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences (Windows).

  3. On the Presets tab, select Show Lightroom Presets Folder.

    Lightroom Presets folder in Presets tab


    The Show Lightroom Presets Folder button takes you to the correct location only when Store Presets With Catalog isn't selected. If Store Presets With Catalog is selected, navigate to and open the /Users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom folder.

    Important: The user Library folder is hidden by default in Mac OS X 10.7. If you need to access these files to perform Adobe-related troubleshooting, see Can't see user library files in Mac OS 10.7 and later to open this folder.

  4. Create a folder in the Lightroom folder called Scripts.

  5. Copy the ExtractPreviews.lua script (from step 1) into the Scripts folder.

  6. Quit and reopen Lightroom.

  7. In Lightroom, choose Scripts > ExtractPreviews.


    In Windows, the Scripts menu is the last menu on the right. In Mac OS, the Scripts menu is to the right of the Help menu.

    Choose ExtractPreviews from the Scripts menu
    (Windows) Choose Scripts > ExtractPreviews; representative screenshot from Lightroom CC.

  8. Choose a location for your extracted previews.

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