Difficulty Working Offline

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Today’s Question: We travel throughout Australia full time and as a result lose Internet access often. When there is no Internet and I try to use Lightroom mobile offline, either many photos are missing or the resolution is so low it is next to useless. Is there a fix?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The only solution here is to make sure that all of your photos and updates are synchronized to the Creative Cloud before you find yourself offline, so that the full-resolution previews will be available regardless of whether or not you are online.

More Detail: The Lightroom mobile application for iOS and Android devices can be very convenient for reviewing your photos and even updating metadata or adjustments for those photos. Those updates can be applied even if the source images are not available, such as when you are only using a mobile device without the benefit of a computer and external hard drive, for example.

Of course, Lightroom mobile revolves around synchronization to the Adobe Creative Cloud servers. So if a synchronization does not complete before you go offline, you won’t have access to all of your photos or may see lower-resolution previews of some photos.

Fortunately, it is possible to check the status of synchronization with Lightroom on a computer or on a mobile device. On Lightroom for the desktop, you can check the synchronization status on the Identity Plate. When photos are synchronizing, you’ll see an indication of that on the Identity Plate, which is located at the far left of the top panel in Lightroom. If you click on the Identity Plate itself, you can see some additional details about the synchronization status.

On Lightroom on your mobile device, you can check the synchronization status by tapping the cloud icon toward the top-right of the interface. This will show an indication of whether a synchronization is active, or whether it has completed and everything is therefore up-to-date.

When you are online and getting ready to head into a situation where you may not have Internet access, it is important to make sure that synchronization has completed. You should first confirm that Lightroom on the desktop has finished synchronizing, so that the source images have been synchronized to the Creative Cloud servers. Then check your mobile devices to make sure they have completed the synchronization process as well. Once synchronization is completed on both desktop and mobile platforms, you should have full utility when working offline on your mobile device.