Lightroom Classic sync FAQ

Find quick answers to frequently asked questions about sync in Lightroom Classic.

How does sync work in Lightroom Classic?

To sync Lightroom Classic photos with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom apps, the photographs must be in synced collections or in All Synced Photographs collection. Photos within a synced collection are automatically available in Lightroom on your desktop, mobile, and web.

For more information, see Sync Lightroom Classic with Lightroom ecosystem.

Which versions of Lightroom Classic support syncing?

Lightroom Classic versions 11.5 and later support syncing.

Note:

You may not be able to use the sync feature in Lightroom Classic if the Creative Cloud membership has been redeemed by Kivuto. For more information, see Lightroom desktop and mobile apps unavailable to Education memberships | Kivuto

What can I sync with Lightroom Classic?

What syncs

What does not sync

Smart previews

Videos*

Flags

Snapshots

Captions

PSB files

Ratings

History steps

Develop settings

Keywords

* Videos from Lightroom desktop and Lightroom for mobile are downloaded to Lightroom Classic. However, Lightroom Classic does not upload them to the cloud.

UI Changes in Lightroom Classic 13.3 

How can I know more about sync status?

The Cloud icon can tell you about the current sync status. You can see different icons for different statuses. Hovering over the Cloud icon gives more information about the current status.
To know more about the image sync status:

  • Selecting the Cloud icon will show the number of syncing images.
  • Hovering over the Cloud icon will give you a snapshot of the downloads and uploads.
  • The sync status of the assets can be seen in the tooltip of the sync icon on the image in the Library grid view.
  • If you see a sync that is stuck for a long time. 
    • To View Sync Status on Web, select the Cloud icon at the top right beside Web and then select the gear icon to open the Lightroom Sync Preferences. Hold the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key to reveal the tab. Select View Sync Status on Web to redirect to Lightroom for Web, showcasing all the photos with sync issues, and take appropriate action.
    • Check if you have an All Sync Error collection created in the catalog. If yes, visit that collection and hover over the images for detailed error info.
    • If you don't see an All Sync Error collection, No sync issue on the web, and the numbers are still not settling down, contact Adobe Customer Support.
Preferences tab showcasing view sync status on web tab under lightroom sync
Select View Sync status on Web

Caution:

Don't rebuild sync data unless specifically directed by the Adobe team.

Why am I not seeing the sync activity section in the sync preference dialog?

Starting with the May release of the Lightroom Classic version (13.3), the sync activity section has been removed from the Sync Preferences tab. To learn more about the sync status, please refer to the question: How can I know more about sync status?

Why am I seeing a restart dialog while syncing?

Starting with the May release of the Lightroom Classic version (13.3), restarting Lightroom Classic is necessary to initiate a fresh sync of the catalog in the following scenarios:

  • The user deleted the Lightroom Catalog on the cloud.
  • User info was changed by logging into a different account in Creative Cloud.
Pop up of restart required to start syncing
Select Restart to begin syncing

Why am I seeing Migrating sync staus or Initializing sync status?

Starting with the May release of Lightroom Classic version (13.3), Lightroom Classic will migrate the sync data to a new architecture. The migration process will check for the correctness of the data and show the status as migrating or initializing.
The time taken for the migration will vary depending on the number of images to be synced and the number of images synced previously. Any new downloads from other clients will only appear after existing sync data is migrated and all the pending uploads from the previous version are complete.

Why am I seeing the smart preview folder?

Lightroom Classic generates and uploads smart previews to the cloud. Starting with the May release of Lightroom Classic version (13.3), smart previews will also be stored locally. 

Other Sync FAQ's

Does Lightroom Classic sync the original files?

Lightroom Classic to Cloud: If you sync images from Lightroom Classic, only smart previews are synced. Smart previews do not consume space on the cloud.

Cloud to Lightroom Classic: If you sync images from Lightroom desktop or Lightroom for mobile to Lightroom Classic, original files are downloaded.

Where can I find images synced from Lightroom desktop or Lightroom for mobile in Lightroom Classic?

Synced images from Lightroom desktop and Lightroom for mobile are available in From Lightroom collection.

From Lightroom collection

What is the difference between images under From Lightroom and Folder with Device Name?

When you sync images from Lightroom desktop or Lightroom for mobile, the device name gets listed under the Folders panel and the images appear below the device name.

If you have created an album then it appears as a collection under the From Lightroom collection in the Collections panel.

How can I sync images edited with Lightroom desktop in Lightroom Classic?

You need to turn on sync in Lightroom Classic to sync images edited with Lightroom desktop. For more information, see Set up Lightroom Classic for sync. Synced images and albums from Lightroom desktop appears in From Lightroom collection in Lightroom Classic.

How do I transfer all my images from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom desktop and sync them?

You can migrate your images from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom desktop. For more information, see Migrate photos and videos from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom.

Note:

It is recommended not to use sync in both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom desktop.

How do I turn off sync in Lightroom Classic?

To pause sync in Lightroom Classic, click the sync icon located in the upper-right corner, next to the module switcher, and click Pause Syncing in the pop-up.

Pause sync

Can I unsync a single image from a collection or a group of photos from Lightroom Classic?

You can sync a single photo or group of photos without adding them to any collection by adding them to the All synced photographs collection. But individual photos from a synced collection cannot be unsynced.

How can I sync Lightroom Classic on two different computers?

Lightroom Classic syncs only one catalog at a time. And since Lightroom Classic on two different computers uses two different catalogs, you cannot sync catalogs between Lightroom Classic on two different computers.

Can I use Lightroom Classic Lightroom for desktop together?

Syncing between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom for desktop isn’t recommended.

Why do I have a lot of unwanted images from my mobile phone in Lightroom Classic?

If you have the Auto Add feature enabled in Lightroom for mobile and sync is turned on in Lightroom Classic, the images from your mobile begin to appear in Lightroom Classic. To disable the Auto Add feature, go to the preferences in Lightroom for mobile and turn off the Enable Auto Add setting.

My desktop is running out of space if I turn on sync in Lightroom Classic. What should I do?

Lightroom Classic downloads original images from the cloud if sync is turned on. If you have a considerable number of images on the cloud, it may take space on your local hard disk.

Can I delete images from Lightroom Classic after syncing it with the cloud?

If you delete images from Lightroom Classic after syncing it with the cloud, the images will be deleted from the cloud as well.

Caution:

Managing third-party Online Storage and Syncing services with Lightroom Classic 

In Lightroom Classic, when syncing with services like Microsoft OneDrive or Apple iCloud Drive, be mindful of unintentionally using up online storage. Exclude the Location for Lightroom Ecosystem's Images in your syncing client's settings or specify a different folder location in Lightroom Classic's sync preferences to avoid uploading to your syncing service's online storage.

What is MobileDownloads.lrdata? Can I delete it to free up space?

MobileDownloads.lrdata contains all your synced and downloaded images from the cloud. It is not recommended to move or delete it. Lightroom Classic will not download the images that are already downloaded and all those images will be marked as unavailable. You can customize the location for Lightroom's synced images from Edit > Preferences > Lightroom Sync (Win) or Lightroom Classic > Preferences > Lightroom Sync (macOS). While customizing the location for Lightroom's synced images, you can choose to move the downloaded images to the new location.

What happens to my synced and shared collections if I cancel my subscription?

All your synced images will be available for 30 days before they are deleted. You will receive a notice regarding the deletion of your registered email address before it takes place. For details, see Lightroom Cloud deletion.

Benefits of Upgrading the Sync Catalog

Updating the catalog is required to keep in sync with the latest Lightroom versions feature set, below are a few questions related to keeping the catalog up to date.

Why update the catalog?

When you install a newer version of Lightroom (especially for a major version update), the app asks you to upgrade the catalog to work with the latest version. This is normal, when there is a newer version asking for an upgrade, it's generally to cater to database-related changes made in Lightroom. These changes are important to support new features and performance improvements in Lightroom. This is safe, and you'll be informed with a progress bar during the upgrade.

What happens to my data after the upgrade?

Your data, edits, presets, other preferences, etc will remain intact after the upgrade.

Will my old catalog be deleted?

If you wish to use the last Lightroom Classic version, your old catalog will be in the same folder location.

Back up catalog?

"The backup is a compressed zip file and doesn't take much space on the hard drive and is saved next to the catalog by default in a folder named backup.

Can I open my old catalog on the newer versions even after the upgrade?

You cannot open the old catalog in the new Lightroom Classic without updating the catalog.

 Adobe

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