Recovering Lightroom for mobile (iOS) photos

If you are facing problems while recovering the original photos in Lightroom on mobile (iOS), follow the solutions provided in this article to quickly troubleshoot and recover photos in Lightroom, directly from the app cache. 

How to recover photos in Lightroom for mobile (iOS)

When you start the app, Lightroom for mobile performs some housekeeping tasks in the background. If a problem occurs during this process, the following error message may appear:

'Lightroom detected a corrupt database. Please connect your device to a computer to back up your photos, then install Lightroom again.'

You can recover original images and user-created or imported presets by connecting the iOS mobile device to a Mac or Windows PC.  Follow the workaround steps mentioned below.


If you're using macOS Mojave or earlier or a Windows PC, use iTunes to share files between your computer and your iOS or iPadOS device.


  1. Connect the iOS mobile device to your Mac or Windows personal computer using a USB cable.

  2. Select Finder > Locations > your mobile device name > Files.

  3. Select Lightroom and navigate to the folder where you have the original files stored. Copy the desired original files to your desktop. 

    iOS device connected to mac device for file recovery
    Lightroom iOS mobile device connected to mac device.

  4. After copying the folder to your computer, navigate to the 'Originals' folder to locate the original images that Lightroom had imported. Navigate to folder settings-acr > UserStyles to find XMP files that are the custom presets imported or created in Lightroom.


    If more than one Lightroom account has been created on the device, there may be multiple user folders, and therefore multiple instances of Original files and preset to locate.

Once you have recovered your Lightroom mobile photos, you can now re-install the Lightroom for mobile app from the App Store. 

  • If you use Lightroom for mobile without signing in, you can copy the recovered photos to your mobile device and then import these photos into Lightroom for mobile (iOS). To know how to import photos from the device Gallery, see Import photos in Lightroom for iPhone and iPad.
  • If you are a paid Creative Cloud member or a free trial user, you can use Lightroom on your desktop to resync photos with the Lightroom for mobile app. For details, see Sync Lightroom across desktop and mobile platforms.  

Common scenarios for recovering Lightroom photos

  • When you want to quickly pull out all original images and custom user presets from Lightroom for mobile instead of exporting items individually. 
  • When you have signed into Lightroom for mobile (iOS) using more than one email address or social sign-in service, you have created more than one Lightroom account. Each account will have its own set of original images, custom presets, etc. 
  • When you experience corruption in the local database.


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