Skip to main content

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
iOS 16: Everything you need to know about 2022’s big iPhone update
Man holds an iPhone 13 Pro with the iOS 16 logo on screen.

Apple announced iOS 16 at WWDC on June 6, 2022. There, the company shared all the main crowd-pleasing features alongside its iPadOS 16 and MacOS Ventura previews. As of September 12, iOS 16 is now available as a free update for anyone with an iPhone 8 or newer. It will also ship the iPhone 14 with iOS 16 pre-installed for anyone who buys this year's newest iPhone.

Here's a quick look at everything coming from iOS 16.
iPhones that will get iOS 16
Apple is known for supporting its iPhones for extended periods compared to Android rivals. The Pixel 3 and 3a, for example, won't be getting Android 13 this fall, while the similarly aged iPhone X and XS can download iOS 16 without a problem.

Read more
The stable iOS 16 update is finally coming to your iPhone early next week
Man holds an iPhone 13 Pro with the iOS 16 logo on screen.

Apple's Far Out event was jam-packed with one announcement after the other. We saw the Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods Pro all get a refresh. The iPhone 14 series is the major announcement, and the lineup will ship with iOS 16 out of the box. But current-gen iPhone users need not wait long to experience the stable iOS 16 update. In fact, you can get iOS 16 starting next week.

Apple's iPhone 14 and 14 Plus launch press release reads: "iOS 16 will be available as a free software update on Monday, September 12." So if you are an iPhone 8 and above user, Apple will roll out the latest iOS version for you on September 12.

Read more
Still have an iPhone 6 or 5s? Update it now to fix a big security vulnerability
sell your smartphone iphone 5s

Are you still carrying an iPhone 6 or 5s to save money on the latest Apple device, including the upcoming iPhone 14? If so, Apple has released a new version of iOS 12, which addresses a serious security issue you might not have known about until now.

The security issue iOS 12.5.6 sets out to fix enabled malicious websites to craft content, including PDFs and apps designed to execute unchecked code on your phone if you open it on Safari, Chrome, or another web browser. Apple said in the patch notes that it was made aware of the vulnerability after receiving a report that a bad actor has been actively exploiting it. The last update that addressed this issue was iOS 12.5.5, which Apple released in September 2021.

Read more