Photos and presets “Not Recoverable” says Adobe as Lightroom update deletes customer images

Aug 22, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Photos and presets “Not Recoverable” says Adobe as Lightroom update deletes customer images

Aug 22, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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It seems that Canon isn’t the only company having issues holding onto its customers’ images right now. A recent Adobe Lightroom update appears to have deleted images and presets for many of its users, too. Users on Facebook, Reddit and Adobe’s own forums had noticed that their work had disappeared with one noting that they’d lost over 2 years worth of edits.

That last one said they spoke with Adobe Customer Service for more than four hours over a two day period and were finally told that there is no fix and the lost images are unrecoverable. Adobe has since acknowledged the issue publicly, stating that the problem is limited to iPhone and iPad version 5.4.0 and that the files are definitely not recoverable.

Some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and/or presets. This affected customers using Lightroom mobile without a subscription to the Adobe cloud. It also affected Lightroom cloud customers with photos and presets that had not yet synced to the Adobe 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 know how frustrating and upsetting this will be to people affected and we sincerely apologize.

Some customers affected by this issue might be able to use iPhone and iPad backups to recover photos and presets. If you are affected by this issue, please refer to the information in our forum.

So, essentially the issue is that anything that was only stored locally on your iPhone or iPad and wasn’t uploaded to the Adobe cloud is gone. They have since launched a 5.4.1 update that will prevent the issue from hitting more customers, however it will not bring any of the previously lost images and presets back. Adobe does seem to suggest that the files might still be available in your iCloud backup, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Adobe also stresses in their announcement that no Lightroom assets that had been saved to the cloud were lost. Lightroom mobile on Android, Lightroom desktop on macOS and Windows, and Lightroom Classic were not affected by this issue.

The website Wedding Photo Hangover had a slightly different take on the issue, which is a rather amusing read citing the stress of the Pandemic and Adobe’s heroic efforts to remove the “mental burden of unfinished projects”. I expect some won’t be able to take it so lightheartedly.

[via PetaPixel]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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37 responses to “Photos and presets “Not Recoverable” says Adobe as Lightroom update deletes customer images”

  1. Daniel Bksz Avatar
    Daniel Bksz

    So if I lose my preset collection worth let’s say £500, then adobe will pay them for me?

    1. Shachar Weis Avatar
      Shachar Weis

      Haha of course not.

    2. Robert Hicks Avatar
      Robert Hicks

      Daniel Bksz No but we will all mock you for 500 worth of presets and not once backing up the data on your phone

    3. Daniel Bksz Avatar
      Daniel Bksz

      Robert Hicks really? You must be the funny guy here then. Nice to meet you. Just saying, when I purhased the yearly subscription I wasn’t told, that occasionally they might fuck it up big time. But thanks for your comment, it adds so much value to people’s life.

      1. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
        Daniel D. Teoli Jr

        Listen up, that is how it is in 2020. Everyone is out to fuck you. This is not 1960s Mayberry.

        Selection from ‘Girl in a Box’

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9488f826d9081cd49baa3a63a5a2bd71da27b2bca95571ed3067a6dfe27bcd2d.jpg

    4. Martin Roth Avatar
      Martin Roth

      Daniel Bksz did you read the terms and conditions before you hit “i agree”? If not, just do it for shits and giggles and answer your own question.

      1. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
        Daniel D. Teoli Jr

        Never read em. What is the use? They got you by the balls. You don’t agree, no install. Open box or download, no refund.

        Selection from ’26 Roadkills’

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bb6f68b52dc211f6c9cb797543098a2bc08c8a1121bcd6a418682e45354c5b29.jpg

    5. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      If you paid £500 for a set of presets, surely you’d just be able to download them again from where you bought them? :)

      1. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
        Daniel D. Teoli Jr

        Someone make a post on why these presets are worth it. Seems you can just do it yourself. Maybe if it is some complex toning formula, otherwise why pay so much?

        Little Dickey (candid)

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9f9ed5268b763cde2528675a69af4e0d5428f423fcbafc9832de960640d691c1.jpg

    6. Don Smith Avatar
      Don Smith

      If you paid, you should be able to download the presets again

  2. Christian Proscia Avatar
    Christian Proscia

    Reasons I only use lr4

  3. Eric G Gagnon Avatar
    Eric G Gagnon

    That’s why I only use LR classic and only LR Lightroom to post on ig

    1. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
      Daniel D. Teoli Jr

      Yes, I use LR3, 4 and 5. Does everything I need. I also have Elements. I need to study it up. I’m an old film photog, so not super digital. I got Elements to learn how to make joiner photos. I like to own my software not rent it.

      Fashion Shoot Wall street (candid)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/138b55d1a675e5a3285fe14893c1562af2e929bd10e492a07895c066387e4ff7.jpg

  4. Andrean Datura Avatar
    Andrean Datura

    Adobe the greedy dysfunctional company strikes again and deletes millions of photos of its users.
    When are people going to wake up to this company?

    1. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
      Daniel D. Teoli Jr

      Some brainiac needs to make a LR clone. I never moved on from LR 5, so does not affect me.My main computer is kept offline after all software installed. No more forced updates from filthy Microsoft. Greed ruins everything it touches.

      Hen Party Amsterdam (candid…but caught!)

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b83ca8b595894c5808c78ebe2474c8a13cbf6e7645eec8dc2cbe89359d8827e4.jpg

      1. charles young Avatar
        charles young

        I’m still on LR 6 for the same reason. The money I’ve saved from the subscription has paid for a lot of replacement equipment. The features i’m missing out on are minimal and not essential as my company has the subscription version so I clearly now the evolution has been.

  5. Marcin Pietrzak Avatar
    Marcin Pietrzak

    That why I use capture one and lr 5.6 all those on-line shit are redicolous.

  6. James Moore Avatar
    James Moore

    Affinity photo is serving me well and I’ve had no issues.

    1. MegaNickels Avatar
      MegaNickels

      yep it’s pretty great. i couple that with capture one and I’m a happy camper.

  7. Michael Bray Avatar
    Michael Bray

    This is the reason I use a PC and Android….I haven’t had a single issue with Lightroom losing photos or presets…. Plus I have all my presets saved to my laptop and backed up and I always and I mean ALWAYS back up my photos after I edit them including my RAW files.

  8. Don Smith Avatar
    Don Smith

    This is no big deal, it is only items stored locally on the device. Sync and sync often.

    1. Looming Tower of Pizza Avatar
      Looming Tower of Pizza

      Thank you for the advice, Adobe PR division.

  9. Robert Hicks Avatar
    Robert Hicks

    I can’t get too upset about this since it was only photos local to the phone/tablet if you can’t be bother to backup images on a device almost 100% connected to the internet you were one drop or leave behind away from losing them all anyway

    1. Bob Scola Avatar
      Bob Scola

      ^^^^this

    2. Valter Vilar Avatar
      Valter Vilar

      There is a huge difference in YOU losing your photos and SOMEONE ELSE losing them for you specially if it is a Corp that promised to take good care of your property.
      This attitude is baffling to me!

    3. Looming Tower of Pizza Avatar
      Looming Tower of Pizza

      I can’t get too upset about this since it was only photos local to the
      phone/tablet if you can’t be bother to backup images on a device almost
      100% connected to the internet you were one drop or leave behind away
      from losing them all anyway

      You’d make a great defense attorney… “Your honour, if the alleged victim stayed at home, instead of going to the park and getting in the way of the bullet my client fired during the mugging attempt, he would still be alive. This is all his fault.”

  10. DavidB23 Avatar
    DavidB23

    They never accidentally delete your credit card # for the monthly subscription that you pay forever. You just dont get to keep the photos forever that they accidentally delete for you.

  11. Michael Stevens Avatar
    Michael Stevens

    Who’s surprised? Adobe doesn’t care. They get your money every month no matter how badly their software sucks. Renting software is such a great deal! For Adobe at least… #adobesucks

  12. Guido Avatar
    Guido

    Adobe has always been the Microsoft of the graphics world. That level of fail would be expected.

  13. Hai Nam Nguyen Avatar
    Hai Nam Nguyen

    Who responsible for this must be fired

    1. Jeff Carson Avatar
      Jeff Carson

      Hai Nam Nguyen It’s that machine over there, yeah that one. Pull it’s ?.

  14. Jeff Carson Avatar
    Jeff Carson

    You know it’s going to be bad and nothing will be done when they “sincerely” apologize.

  15. Evgeniy Korol Avatar
    Evgeniy Korol

    Backup all and always

  16. MegaNickels Avatar
    MegaNickels

    Woooooow Adobe really screwed the pooch with this one.

  17. Nigel James Hughes Avatar
    Nigel James Hughes

    I have no sympathy for people who store images on a cloud based platform alone???? I have all my images on 2 different drives which are raid! All my images on my site are backed up on a server as well. Call it paranoid call it being cautious either way I am not going to be bothered about loosing edits stored on an I pad or phone as I do not use this application alone? I call it piece of mind?

  18. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
    Daniel D. Teoli Jr

    Put it on M-Disc or laser engraved quartz. If it is digital and not on M-Disc or quartz…it is not archived.

    ‘The Lost Princess’ (candid)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c47a881e148f4eeac49df69a4ef840c63ea3223d02068102a005943eb804c7d1.jpg