Adobe Accidentally Wiped User’s Photos and Presets With a Lightroom Update

A Mac device running the Adobe Lightroom program
Adobe

In a significant failing, Adobe accidentally wiped User’s photos and presets with a Lightroom App update. Adding salt to the wound, the company admits there’s no way to recover the data. Customers are already saying they’ve lost years worth of data. A new update corrects the underlying issue, but won’t help anyone already affected.


Update, 8/20/2020: After publication, Adobe spokesperson reached out with an expanded comment to note that the problem only affected iOS devices, and is already patched:

Some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and/or presets. This affected customers using Lightroom mobile without a subscription to the Adobe cloud. It also affected Lightroom cloud customers with photos and presets that had not yet synced to the Adobe cloud.
Note:

No assets in the Lightroom cloud were lost or are at risk. Lightroom mobile on Android, Lightroom desktop on macOS and Windows, as well as Lightroom Classic are not affected.
A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.
Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0.

We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We know how frustrating and upsetting this will be to people affected and we sincerely apologize.

Some customers affected by this issue might be able to use iPhone and iPad backups to recover photos and presets. If you are affected by this issue, please refer to the information in our forum.

The original report is left intact below


First spotted by PetaPixel, users on Adobe’s forums started complaining about the data loss yesterday. After updating to Adobo Lightroom 5.4 for iOS, the users discovered their photos and presets were gone. One user in Lightroom’s subreddit complained that Adobe deleted over two years of data.

Adobe later confirmed the problem in a statement, saying:

We are aware that some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud.

A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.

Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0.

We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We sincerely apologize to any customers who have been affected by this issue.

If you are affected by this issue, please refer to the information this forum thread.

Unfortunately, relying on a singular source for storing your data is never a good idea. The safest method involves multiple backup locations, including at least one (if not more) that you control. Adobe released a new update that won’t wipe photos and presets, but that’s little consolation to anyone who has already lost their images.

And if you see a Lightroom update ready on your iOS device, doublecheck that it’s 5.4.1 and not 5.4 just to be safe.

Source: Adobe via PetaPixel

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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