Lightroom Mobile without Synchronization


Today’s Question: In Lightroom Mobile I want to edit a DNG and export a smaller JPEG. I do not want to synchronize to the cloud, because in some situations my internet connection will be very slow while traveling. Rather, I want to edit and save locally on my tablet. Can this be done?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can export copies of photos from the Lightroom mobile app, and if you keep your device offline then photos add to the device won’t synchronize. However, cloud-based synchronization is at the core of how Lightroom mobile functions and can’t be disabled.

More Detail: For many photographers, the way photos get to the Lightroom mobile app in the first place is by being synchronized from the Adobe Creative Cloud service. However, you can also capture photos with the Lightroom mobile app or import photos from a media card or other connected device.

If you were using your mobile device without a cellular or WiFi connection, you could still capture photos with the Lightroom mobile app and import photos from another device. Those photos would not synchronize to the cloud under those circumstances, but as soon as your device was once again connected to the internet the synchronization would start. You can’t disable the synchronization feature in the Lightroom mobile app.

You can still edit photos that are on your device in the Lightroom mobile app, and you can save copies to your device or export copies via the sharing feature, such as to use AirDrop to send a photo from Lightroom on an iOS device to another device or a Macintosh computer.

In other words, you can make use of many of the core features of the Lightroom mobile app even if you’re not able to synchronize because of the lack of an internet connection. You can also disable the cellular antenna and WiFi on your device when you don’t want synchronization to be active. However, as soon as you’re back online the synchronization will resume, because that is a core feature of the Lightroom mobile app. And, of course, if you prevent the device from getting online to stop Lightroom synchronization, that also means other apps won’t be online, such as email and other online features.