Adobe Lightroom users on iOS and iPadOS reporting missing photos, presets

Posted:
in General Discussion
Adobe's recent Lightroom mobile update had an unfortunate consequence -- it deleted some users' entire library of photos, edits, and presets.

Adobe Lightroom users on iOS and iPadOS reporting missing photos, presets


Adobe customers are now reporting that updating to Lightroom 5.4.0 on the iPhone and iPad wipes all photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud storage service. There's no word on how many people were affected by the bug.

The problem primarily affects those who did not pay for an Adobe subscription, as their work was not automatically backed up to Adobe's cloud storage. A post on the Photoshop support forums states that there is no way to recover the photos or presets if a user has already updated to Lightroom 5.4.0.

Understandably, users weren't happy. Some took to Twitter to air out their grievances, with one user noting that she'd lost over 800 images and hundreds of dollars worth of presets.

Did anyone else lose all your @Adobe @Lightroom photos and presets with their last update?! This is literally the worst. I lost 800 pictures and all my paid presets (which are worth hundreds of dollars.) All they have to say is we apologize. pic.twitter.com/5xGsJ3nEaR

-- Lauren Lambert (@llambert89)


One Reddit user, as pointed out by PetaPixel, said that after four hours of talking to Adobe, they were told that there would be no fix.

The situation serves as an important reminder to always back up your work to your cloud service of choice, such as Apple's iCloud.

Adobe has since released a new version of Lightroom mobile, version 5.4.1, which does not wipe photos or presets. It also does not restore any lost data.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 
    skippingrockGG1Alex1N
  • Reply 2 of 12
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,164member
    sflocal said:
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 
    Likewise, though I do keep a copy of all 3-5 star images backed up to Google Cloud as well and a copy of final print-ready images on Google Photos (as much for sharing as anything else). I have had drives fail before tho very rare over the past 20 years
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Backup of backup of backup. 
    Trusting a single source for your backups, even your own drives is a recipe for disaster. 
    Trust me I know. 
  • Reply 4 of 12
    5.4.1 “resolved a bug in which some customers may have lost access to their photos” - spinning this major mistake into something neglectable will make the affected likely even more furious. 
    edited August 2020
  • Reply 5 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member
    gatorguy said:
    sflocal said:
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 
    Likewise, though I do keep a copy of all 3-5 star images backed up to Google Cloud as well and a copy of final print-ready images on Google Photos (as much for sharing as anything else). I have had drives fail before tho very rare over the past 20 years
    All my photos reside on an 8-drive RAID array, and archived in Dropbox which has an excellent disaster-recovery features if I ever need to restore data.  So an on-site redundant option, and an offsite, redundant option for the worst-case, house-burns-down scenario.

    Anyone not having a backup solution is just asking for trouble.  First Canon, now Adobe?  Who's next?
  • Reply 6 of 12
    If you have an iCloud backup can you get them back? Or are they stored somewhere that isn’t part of the regular backup? 
  • Reply 7 of 12
    sflocal said:
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 

    Unfortunately, the issue affected mostly free customers. Those customers whose photos were synced to the cloud did not lose anything. There were a much smaller number of paying customers that lost photos that were not yet synced.

    This issue also did not affect 100% of free customers or those paying customers whose photos had not yet synced. The issue occurred when someone had logged into the same device with two or more different Adobe IDs and then launched 5.4.0. We were able to (with Apple's support) get a new build of 5.4.1 out really quickly to prevent more people from being affected and thankfully the total number of affected customers is actually very low.

    We have identified the root cause and also identified why it wasn't found in our QE, automation, and beta testing processes and have taken actions to improve our engineering, QE, and release engineering processes to avoid this from happening again in the future.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 12

    tokyojimu said:
    If you have an iCloud backup can you get them back? Or are they stored somewhere that isn’t part of the regular backup? 
    Yes, an iCloud backup of your device can restore the catalog. We have some customers that were successful in this approach.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    Backup of backup of backup. 
    Trusting a single source for your backups, even your own drives is a recipe for disaster. 
    Trust me I know. 
    Backing up things on iOS isn't so easy. With the Mac, you can clone everything multiple times and browse all your backups to make sure everything is copied. iOS expects things to be synced via a cloud server and often only the cloud options available in each app.

    There should be an option in every app to save all its internal data to an external drive, even to a Mac or PC via AirDrop or cable. With iOS supporting USB drives, this should be easy to do now. iTunes backups work to an extent but it's not so easy to recover a single app from a backup.

    Time Machine is a decent feature on the Mac but seems to have been forgotten about. It would be really useful on iOS and they can sell USB-C and NAS SSDs that plug into a router or direct and have a Time Machine app that is set to backup to a chosen drive regularly and it would save all the app data in the background locally. People who invest so much time and money in professional workflows will buy these drives for the peace of mind and families can share backup drives. The backups can be optionally encrypted using touch id or face id and stored on any drive and should be decryptable on a new device with the same biometrics or a text password can be used for backups so they can be recovered on Macs.

    The more productive iPads become, the more that millions of people will rely on them to do tasks that they invest a lot of time and money in and it's so easy to lose valuable data.

    I suspect this will become more important with the Apple Silicon Macs where they can run iOS apps natively. There will be a need to keep data in sync between the Mac app and iOS app and cloud syncing isn't going to work well for apps that have multiple GBs of data like video editing apps. It will be much easier to do a direct sync locally or via a local drive/server. It's not too late to add this kind of backup feature to iOS 14, even if it's just a full app data backup/restore feature.

    It could be an app with a Time Machine icon. Open it and it lists every app on the device. There would be an option to choose the drive or folder to keep the backups and each app can be backed up individually or all enabled app backups together. If an app or its data was removed, the backup app would have the data listed and you would be able to tap it to restore the data, ideally with some info about whether the backup was older than the current data and how they differ and it can allow swapping the data without erasing.
    bestkeptsecretmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,728member
    sflocal said:
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 

    Unfortunately, the issue affected mostly free customers. Those customers whose photos were synced to the cloud did not lose anything. There were a much smaller number of paying customers that lost photos that were not yet synced.

    This issue also did not affect 100% of free customers or those paying customers whose photos had not yet synced. The issue occurred when someone had logged into the same device with two or more different Adobe IDs and then launched 5.4.0. We were able to (with Apple's support) get a new build of 5.4.1 out really quickly to prevent more people from being affected and thankfully the total number of affected customers is actually very low.

    We have identified the root cause and also identified why it wasn't found in our QE, automation, and beta testing processes and have taken actions to improve our engineering, QE, and release engineering processes to avoid this from happening again in the future.

    Thanks for clarifying what went on.  I've read numerous discussions and articles throughout the day about this issue and I didn't realize it only affected locally-stored images, and images stored in Adobe's cloud were unaffected.

    While it's inexcusable for Adobe to essentially get away with erasing countless hours of people's work, it also highlights the responsibilities and negligence of users.  BACK UP YOUR DEVICES!!

    If a user's iPad were to be stolen, would they then be complaining about losing all their data?
  • Reply 11 of 12
    sflocal said:
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 

    Unfortunately, the issue affected mostly free customers. Those customers whose photos were synced to the cloud did not lose anything. There were a much smaller number of paying customers that lost photos that were not yet synced.

    This issue also did not affect 100% of free customers or those paying customers whose photos had not yet synced. The issue occurred when someone had logged into the same device with two or more different Adobe IDs and then launched 5.4.0. We were able to (with Apple's support) get a new build of 5.4.1 out really quickly to prevent more people from being affected and thankfully the total number of affected customers is actually very low.

    We have identified the root cause and also identified why it wasn't found in our QE, automation, and beta testing processes and have taken actions to improve our engineering, QE, and release engineering processes to avoid this from happening again in the future.

    Maybe this is an issue with how AI presents or moderates it’s forums, but who the hell is “Josh_Haftel”? There is zero information that I can see anywhere as to who the “we” represents. I’m sure AI readers will correct me but as it stands, this comes across either as AI fumbling or typical Adobe arrogance. If the latter, then the solution is, as always, don’t use Adobe rental software. 
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    jmulchino said:
    sflocal said:
    Inexcusable.  

    As a Lightroom Classic user, it's crap like this which is why I refuse to use Lightroom where one keeps their photos under the Adobe clould umbrella.  I am beholden to a company to make sure they don't ruin my photos.

    I keep my photos on-site on my own server, with my own backup facility. 

    Unfortunately, the issue affected mostly free customers. Those customers whose photos were synced to the cloud did not lose anything. There were a much smaller number of paying customers that lost photos that were not yet synced.

    This issue also did not affect 100% of free customers or those paying customers whose photos had not yet synced. The issue occurred when someone had logged into the same device with two or more different Adobe IDs and then launched 5.4.0. We were able to (with Apple's support) get a new build of 5.4.1 out really quickly to prevent more people from being affected and thankfully the total number of affected customers is actually very low.

    We have identified the root cause and also identified why it wasn't found in our QE, automation, and beta testing processes and have taken actions to improve our engineering, QE, and release engineering processes to avoid this from happening again in the future.

    Maybe this is an issue with how AI presents or moderates it’s forums, but who the hell is “Josh_Haftel”? There is zero information that I can see anywhere as to who the “we” represents. I’m sure AI readers will correct me but as it stands, this comes across either as AI fumbling or typical Adobe arrogance. If the latter, then the solution is, as always, don’t use Adobe rental software. 
    According to this, Adobe Product Manager:
     
    https://blog.adobe.com/en/2015/08/13/introducing-the-newest-member-of-our-product-management-team-josh-haftel.html

    I think it's nice when people take the time to address issues directly and are open about them.

    There's always the choice not to use products if people don't feel they are worthwhile. For businesses, the subscription model works well. Every team member can have the latest version and access to the whole suite and no serial codes to send around making sure of no duplicates. Just use company email and it's all signed up and finance takes care of the payment for the whole company. It's expensive software but that was always the case.

    Data loss is always a sore point because in many cases the data is irreplaceable but it's hard to ensure it will never happen with so many variables. That's why I feel the OS should be taking more responsibility in protecting data. Even someone accidentally deleting the wrong folder on a Mac can wipe out GBs of files. When a lot of files are about to be removed or modified, the OS can detect this and intervene. Even if the user decides to go ahead with it, the OS can store the files safely for a period of time just to make sure. Someone's kid could be messing with the computer and delete a whole lot of important documents.

    I've seen people abandon Macs completely because they think it was Apple's fault they lost files when their hard drive failed or they suffered some other data loss because they don't understand how data works or how it's stored. They shouldn't be expected to either but what they should know is that the data is vulnerable to loss and needs to be backed up and there can be easy methods to help. Even during app upgrades, the OS can keep a copy of the data safe just in case something went wrong and they could roll back the app install. If the updated app wanted to erase all of the app's internal data and that was 20GB of files, the OS could easily tell the user this and ask for a confirmation.
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