Selective Cloud Synchronization

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Today’s Question: Can I choose which photos that I want to add to the LR CC cloud-based storage? For example, can I select photos, place them in a folder or folders that I want to be added to the LR CC cloud-based storage?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The cloud-based Lightroom CC will synchronize every photo you import, so the only way to limit synchronization is to only import photos you want to have synchronized. If you use Lightroom Classic CC, by comparison, only photos you add to collections that have synchronization enabled will actually be synchronized to the cloud.

More Detail: When Adobe launched Lightroom CC (and renamed the existing product to Lightroom Classic CC), one of the key differences between the two versions of Lightroom related to synchronization.

With Lightroom CC all photos you import into your catalog are automatically synchronized to the cloud. That means that every single photo you import will be available (in its original form) from virtually anywhere. You can access all of those photos from another installation of Lightroom CC, from a mobile device using the Lightroom CC mobile app, or from a web browser by going to https://lightroom.adobe.com.

With Lightroom Classic CC, the same basic synchronization feature exists, but is implemented differently. Instead of synchronizing all photos, only those photos contained within a collection that has synchronization enabled will actually be synchronized.

To me, the differences in synchronization between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC provide the key differentiator between the two. In other words, in my mind this is the feature photographers should focus on when choosing between the two versions of Lightroom.

If you want to always have all of your photos available to you from virtually anywhere, Lightroom CC might be the best choice for you. If you prefer to have all of your photos stored locally (such as on an external hard drive), and you only want to synchronize a relatively small portion of your images to review from anywhere or share with others, then Lightroom Classic CC might be the better fit.