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Adobe Lightroom lost photos are ‘not recoverable’ and users are heartbroken

Adobe has confirmed that users who lost their entire photo edits library following an update to its Lightroom app will not be able to recover them.

The recently released 5.4 update for the iOS and iPadOS application caused paid-for presets and watermarks data to disappear from the app – as well as the history of photo edits, if they had not been backed up to the Adobe Creative Cloud locker.

In the official response on the Photoshop forums, the company apologised to affected users but made clear the further update (5.4.1) would not restore the lost photos and presets. It will simply prevent the issue affecting other customers.

Wow. That’s going to be a tough one to swallow for those who’d spent hours on end painstakingly editing images via the app. An official representative wrote:

“We are aware that some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud.

“A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.

“Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0.

“We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We sincerely apologise to any customers who have been affected by this issue.”

Affected users have taken to social media to register their displeasure at the fault, with one in particular claiming to have lost 800 pictures and hundreds of dollars in paid presets. We probably haven’t heard the last of this one.


Some iPhone users have been able to recover their images by reverting to an old iCloud backup from before the update. It’s a case of selecting Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups > Select your current device and look for Lightroom in the list of apps.

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