Synchronizing a Folder to the Cloud


Today’s Question: I want to synchronize all the contents of a folder in Lightroom Classic to the cloud so I can have them on my phone in the Lightroom app. Is it possible to create a synchronized collection that includes all photos from the folder, and that gets updated automatically if I add photos to the folder?

Tim’s Quick Answer: No, this isn’t entirely possible because it would require a smart collection, and smart collections can’t be synchronized to the cloud. However, you could create a bit of a workaround using a normal collection.

More Detail: With Lightroom Classic you can enable synchronization for collections of photos, so that they are available through the Lightroom mobile app on a smartphone or tablet, for example. You can also create a smart collection, including a smart collection that includes all the photos contained in a particular folder. However, you can’t synchronize a smart collection, which in this case means you need to use a workaround to synchronize all photos in a folder to the cloud.

You can, however, use a workaround to accomplish the same goal, though without the automatic updates for when the contents of the folder get changed. But you can also work around that limitation without too much difficulty.

The first step is to create a collection that contains the full contents of the applicable folder. This can be done incredibly easily by dragging the folder from the Folders section on the left panel in the Library module down to the Collections section. This will create a collection with the same name as the folder, and with the same contents. You can then enable synchronization for this collection, and once synchronization is complete, you’ll be able to see the collection as an album in the Lightroom mobile app (and throughout the Lightroom ecosystem).

If the contents of the folder change, such as if you import additional photos to the folder, you can update the collection relatively easily.

One option would be to select the newly added photos from the folder to the collection. However, if you don’t want to keep track of what specific changes were made to the folder, you could simply delete the collection and created it again. To do so, right-click on the collection and choose Delete from the popup menu. Then drag the folder again from the Folders section to the Collections section and enable synchronization for the collection. You’ll need to allow synchronization to complete again, but once that’s done the updates will be reflected throughout the Lightroom ecosystem.