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Lightroom update for iPhone and iPad deleted photos and presets

An update rolled out earlier this week by Adobe for its iOS Lightroom app contained a bug that wiped user photos and presets from the device.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Adobe has since confirmed that the lost photos and presets are not recoverable.

The alarming blunder gained wider attention when users started hitting forums to voice their anguish over the effects of the version 5.4 update.

First reported by PetaPixel, the error means that anyone without a backup who downloaded the update will have lost their Lightroom images for good.

Adobe offers a free version of Lightroom with a cap on cloud storage, but looking at the forum comments, a number of paying customers were affected, too, with some apparently losing thousands of images.

“All of my photos and presets are gone,” one wrote. “When will this be fixed? Even purchased presets are gone! How do I get my photos and presets back?” Another said they’d lost more than 8,000 photos.

Adobe responds

Adobe representative Rik Flohr confirmed the software error in a forum post, saying the company wanted to “sincerely apologize” to anyone affected by the issue.

Florhr added that Adobe had resolved the issue with the release of version 5.4.1, though he added that the update would “not restore missing photos or presets.”

Here’s his response in full:

“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 apologize to any customers who have been affected by this issue.”

Oddly, this is the second time this month that a massive tech company has messed things up for photographers. Canon just recently launched — and soon took down — its new “camera cloud platform” after it discovered that some photo and video files had been lost.

Digital Trends has reached out to Adobe for more information on the issue and we will update this piece when we hear back. In the meantime, whether or not you use Lightroom, do make sure you back up your photos regularly.

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