Lightroom Metadata Locked?


Today’s Question: I’m considering making the move to the new Lightroom CC, but want to be sure my metadata is safe if I ever stop using Lightroom CC. Will my updates be saved to my photos, or will they be locked up with Lightroom CC?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Updates applied within the new Lightroom CC application are not saved directly to your photos, but rather are stored within the library (catalog) file. However, Adobe recently released the Lightroom Downloader application that enables you to download all of your photos (and most of the related metadata) from your synchronized Creative Cloud storage.

More Detail: The new Lightroom CC, unlike what is now referred to as Lightroom Classic CC, revolves around cloud-based synchronization. In other words, for all intents and purposes you can think of Lightroom CC as storing all of your original photos on the Adobe Creative Cloud servers, while Lightroom Classic CC employs local storage that you control directly.

The approach of using online storage employed by Lightroom CC has led to some concern among photographers about whether their photos or metadata updates might be “locked up” by Adobe if the photographer decided to cancel their monthly Lightroom CC subscription.

Adobe has recently released the Lightroom Downloader application, which addresses these concerns. With this application you can download all of your photos and metadata updates from the Creative Cloud servers, even if you recently canceled your Lightroom CC subscription.

If you had been using Lightroom CC as a free trial, you will have three months from the end of your trial to download your photos from the Creative Cloud servers. If you had been using a paid subscription that timeframe is extended to one year from the end of your paid subscription.

You can learn more about the Lightroom Downloader application on the Adobe website here: