Today’s Question: What happens to Lightroom Classic, my photos and catalog, if I cancel my subscription for the rest of the year?
Tim’s Quick Answer: If you cancel a subscription that includes Lightroom Classic CC, you will actually be able to continue using most of Lightroom to manage your photos. Only the Develop and Map modules will stop being available when you cancel your subscription, and of course you won’t be able to install future updates.
More Detail: It is understandable that photographers would be concerned about losing all of the metadata for their photos if they discontinued their subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. With applications such as Photoshop, discontinuing your subscription means the software will simply stop working. You can’t use Photoshop at all if you don’t have a current Creative Cloud subscription.
With Lightroom Classic, however, because it is a tool for organizing your photos, Adobe has ensured that you won’t lose access to the information about your photos.
As noted above, you won’t be able to adjust the appearance of your photos in the Develop module after you discontinue your Creative Cloud subscription. You also won’t be able to access the map in the Map module. In addition, online services (such as the synchronization of images in collections) will no longer be available.
You will, however, continue to be able to launch Lightroom, and work in the Library module. That includes the ability to update metadata for your existing images. You can even continue to print from the Print module. Of course, since you won’t have access to future updates, you won’t gain access to any new features. You also won’t receive updated support for new proprietary raw capture formats.
The most important consideration here, of course, is that you won’t lose access to your photos, and you won’t lose access to the metadata about your images. Obviously if you cancel your Creative Cloud subscription you are likely using an alternative software tool to manage your photos. But during the transition away from Lightroom, you won’t lose any of the information about your photos just because you canceled your Creative Cloud subscription.