Today’s Question: How many copies of Lightroom do I have to keep on my hard drive? I still have version 4 and 5 installed on my hard drive. The nice folks at Adobe told me not to uninstall them???
Tim’s Quick Answer: Once you have confirmed that the latest version of Lightroom is installed and working properly (including ensuring that all of your plug-ins, presets, and other customizations available), from my perspective you can most certainly uninstall older versions of Lightroom.
More Detail: I imagine the only reason a support representative at Adobe would have recommended that you keep older versions of Lightroom installed was to take a cautious approach to “upgrading” to the latest version of Lightroom.
I am also very cautious about ensuring the latest version of Lightroom is working properly before removing older versions of Lightroom, but I am also eager to remove older versions of Lightroom since the application all by itself (even without your catalog files) consumes over a gigabyte of hard drive storage space. The “extra” copy of your catalog (since you would have upgraded your Lightroom 5 catalog to Lightroom 6, for example) is also consuming additional storage space.
While I’m always interested in having backup copies of my important photos and data, I am also interested in reclaiming hard drive storage space that is no longer necessary.
The key is to make sure that everything is indeed working properly in the latest version of Lightroom before removing older versions. For example, I would want to make sure that all plug-ins are working properly from Lightroom 6, and that I’ve migrated all of my presets and templates, for example.
But once you have everything configured properly (and tested) with the latest version of Lightroom, I certainly recommend removing any older versions of Lightroom. Of course, I also recommend that once you believe everything is working properly with the latest version that you wait for at least a few days (or more) just to be on the safe side.