Safely Removing Photos from Lightroom Mobile


Today’s Question: I have Lightroom Classic and Lightroom mobile. I don’t know where to delete from Lightroom mobile without deleting my originals. I do not want to have thousands of photos on my mobile devices. I do all my processing on my computer for all the photos I take with my camera. I know that collections are synchronized to mobile. But I’ve cleaned out my collections but they’re still thousands of images on my mobile.

Tim’s Quick Answer: While this can be a challenging issue to resolve, ultimately you need to carefully remove the photos you don’t want to appear in the mobile version of Lightroom from the “All Synced Photographs” collection.

More Detail: Synchronizing photos to the cloud within the Lightroom ecosystem can be a bit challenging, in that there isn’t an obvious way to remove the photos once you have transferred them to Lightroom Classic without the risk of losing the original photos if you delete them in the wrong way.

To remove photos from the cloud without affecting the original images you’re managing in Lightroom Classic you need to remove the applicable photos from the “All Synced Photographs” collection found in the Catalog section of the left panel in the Library module in Lightroom Classic.

The challenge with removing photos in this way is that you want to be sure not to remove photos that are being synchronized via a collection in Lightroom Classic. You also want to be sure to only remove photos from the cloud after you’re sure those photos have been safely transferred to your hard drive and are being managed by Lightroom Classic.

I use a color label to identify photos that I’ve migrated from the Lightroom mobile app to my Lightroom Classic catalog. Once I know those photos have been safely transferred to the desired folder on my hard drive, I can then remove those photos from the “All Synced Photographs” collection based on the color label I assigned.

If you have thousands of photos to clean up in this manner, you could turn off synchronization for all collections in the Collections section of the left panel in Lightroom Classic. Then make sure that all original photos from the Lightroom mobile app have been safely transferred to a hard drive within Lightroom Classic. Once synchronization is then completed you could remove all photos from the “All Synced Photographs” collection, and then re-enable synchronization for the desired collections.

This can be a bit of a tricky and involved process making sure that all photos are safe on your hard drive before you remove them from cloud-based synchronization. However, I do think it is important to go through that process to avoid the risk of losing photos accidentally.

Note that I provided coverage of my recommended workflow for getting photos from Lightroom mobile to Lightroom Classic, including the process of then removing the photos from Lightroom mobile, in the August 2022 issue of my Pixology magazine for photographers. If you don’t already subscribe to Pixology you can learn more and subscribe, which will provide you to access to back issues, on the GreyLearning website here: