Today’s Question: I use Lightroom Mobile to make raw captures on my iPhone, and I sync the captures via Adobe Creative Cloud, from which they are automatically downloaded to my Lightroom Classic catalog on my computer. After this download, I move the images within Lightroom Classic from the Pictures folder on the Mac to an external hard drive, where I keep all of my photos. Can I then delete the photos from my iPhone, or will that cause the photos to be deleted from my external hard drive as well?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Once you have moved photos within Lightroom Classic from the synchronized folder to another storage location (such as an external hard drive) you can safely delete the cloud-based copy of the photos from the Lightroom mobile app without losing the photos on your external hard drive.
More Detail: The Lightroom mobile app includes an option to capture photos in a raw capture format, producing an Adobe DNG (digital negative) file. Those photos are then synchronized to the Adobe Creative Cloud, so they are available through your Creative Cloud account elsewhere, including within Lightroom Classic if you have synchronization enabled.
This provides a convenient way to get the photos captured with the Lightroom mobile app into your normal workflow that revolves around local storage (on an external hard drive in this example).
Once those raw captures have been synchronized to your computer, they will appear in the location designated in Preferences on the Lightroom Sync tab. By default this is within a “Lightroom” folder in the Pictures folder for your operating system. You can drag-and-drop those photos to a different storage location, which will move the source images to the destination location you specify.
However, the photos will remain in your Creative Cloud storage, creating redundancy that can be confusing. Therefore, when you have finished moving the synchronized folders to your preferred local storage location, you can delete the original captures through the Lightroom app on your mobile device. The local copy of those photos managed by Lightroom Classic will not be affected.