Lightroom CC: Desktop not finding anything in Search

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  • Updated 2 weeks ago
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Hi all,

I've separated this out from a post on the Lightroom CC forum.

Whatever I search for using a Lightroom CC desktop app, both on a Mac and a Windows machine, or indeed my iPhone, I cannot get any search results at all.

My setup is 60,000 images stored in Lightroom Classic CC on my iMac. This has about 15,100 images synced to CC using dedicated Collections. All images have completed syncing on all devices, and has been running for a couple of weeks now.

If I try to search for something, using the Search box at the top of the screen, I only get the "Oh No! a Black Hole" message. Doesn't matter what I search for, nothing - I've tried filenames, file extensions, descriptive words (such as boat, tree, building and so on), and I've tried known existing keywords. Nothing gets found.

I spent an hour on Chat, to the usual 'support' call centre, but I'm not sure they even understood what the problem is, and I gave up in despair.

I've tried turning off all security on my router (Firewall and SafeGuard), and nothing is on my devices.

I restarted the router, and got the message in the Search box in LR CC desktop that I couldn't search without Internet, so that's clear it's actually connecting when it is online.

If I login to my Web account, and access Lightroom CC through a browser, then Search works fine, typing in 'boat' brings up hundreds of images.

I suspect there's something in my CC account playing up though, as a search on my iPhone using cellular network also fails to bring up any search results.

Any ideas. This is really bugging me now, and it's actually the one thing that's stopping me considering migrating over to Lightroom CC fully now.

Thanks.

Andy.
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Andy Hewitt

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Posted 3 months ago

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Andy Hewitt

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Sorry to reply to myself, but after much mucking about here, I've found a really strange development.

Even after all the updates, I still cannot get any search results in Lightroom CC on Mac, Windows or iOS.

But, weirdly enough, it works perfectly in Lightroom Classic CC.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Andy, 

Some obvious items to check. Have you:
Restarted Lightroom CC?
Restarted your computer?

OS Version Level? 
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Andy Hewitt

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Hi, thanks for replying Rikk.

This hasn't worked since I subscribed to CC a few weeks ago, I've had a few restarts and an OS update in that time (on all devices). I've even tried reinstalling Lightroom CC on the Mac and iPhone, and Lightroom Classic on the Mac, but still no difference.

I would have thought that a good suggestion, except this is the same problem on three different devices, and three different OSs.

I've tried deleting caches and prefs too.

As I say, I can type any word into Lightroom for Web, or Lightroom Classic's 'Text' search box, and they find a whole bunch of images (with or without keywords), so it seems my network isn't blocking it. But any Lightroom CC version here does not find anything, even existing keywords, no filenames, nothing.

It's actually stopping me migrate to CC at the moment. Otherwise the latest updates have swung the balance for me.

My systems are:
  • iMac Late 2013, macOS 10.13.5, 16GB RAM, 3TB HDD (partitioned for dedicated Lightroom storage). Main storage of photos using Lightroom Classic to manage and edit, then sync to CC. Lightroom CC being used to try out for migration from Classic.
  • iPhone SE, iOS 11.4.
  • HP Laptop, Windows 10 Home (Latest updates applied), Lightroom CC only being used here for viewing images synced.
I'm working on the iMac mainly. I'm wondering if it's something on my account on the server side maybe?

Cheers.
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So, Lightroom CC - Desktop application has never been able to search since day 1?  Can you verify (Help>System Info...) that you are on the latest version  - 1.4?
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Andy Hewitt

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That's correct, I hadn't noticed for a few days, as I was building the collection structure for syncing - starting with a fresh set in Classic to work from, and waiting for all the syncing to finish.

Lightroom CC is on v1.4, but it was the same with v1.3 as well.

The same problem occurs on the Windows Laptop, and on my iPhone, all were updated at the same time when the recent releases came out, but all were not functioning at any time I tried it before.

Regards

Andy
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Let's make sure your environments are talking to each other. 

Import a test image into Lightroom CC desktop and allow it to sync to the ecosystem.
(make it an easy to identify object for searchign)
Verify it is in http://lightroom.adobe.com
Verify it is on your mobile device.

Once it is all three places make an edit to the image in Lightroom CC that will be obvious.
Check the other two places and make sure the edit has migrated. 

Add a tag describing the image in Lightroom CC Desktop. Give it time to sync. 

Results:
Search for the tag in Lightroom CC for Desktop?
Search for the tag in your device?
Search for the tag in the web client?

Now, try and guess the most appropriate AI tag that Sensei might assign. Try a couple

Results:
Search for the tag in Lightroom CC for Desktop?
Search for the tag in your device?
Search for the tag in the web client?
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Andy Hewitt

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Hi Rikk,

Thank you.

Ok, I Imported a JPG image into a Test Image album, which synced with the web and iOS device within a few seconds.

(I also added a handful of iPhone photos that have been uploaded in the last few days, so I have images actually stored in the cloud from different devices, rather than just Smart Previews).

All images, edits, captions and keywords were viewable on all devices with the information showing in their respective Information panels. These all appeared within a few second each time I added something.

Search for tags:
Lightroom CC - 'Oops Sorry! a Black Hole'
iPhone - 'Oops Sorry! a Black Hole'
Web client - images found as expected.

Sensei search was exactly the same.

It really does not matter what word or information I search for, all app versions on a device come up with the same message.

Only the web client and Classic CC find any results (indeed Classic also seems to work with a sensei search too, as it correctly finds images without keywords attached).

Cheers.
(Edited)
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Andy Hewitt

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Hi

I don't suppose we've anymore suggestions for this one?

I've tried some more things here, changing firewall and safeguard settings, and such like, but nothing's making a difference here.

At this time I'm regretting my decision to go with the CC subscription plan, as the Chat helpline was pretty hopeless, and there doesn't seem to be anything in settings on any device that makes a difference. Without a working search function, my plan to migrate to Lightroom CC fully is completely on hold.

It seems clear that Sensei is working on my system, so we're not looking at network problems blocking the data. I can do a search in Lightroom Web, and in Lightroom Classic, and they work pretty well, often finding many hundreds, or even into thousands of results. All syncing works fine otherwise and as expected.

This is only affecting device based Lightroom CC apps. What's most frustrating is that they won't even find any of the local search data that actually exists, such as applied keywords, filenames or any other image data that could normally be searched, and it doesn't matter if they're synced images from Classic, or freshly uploaded originals into the CC system.

My main thought now is that there must be something in my account that has got corrupt and is failing to connect to any of the Lightroom CC apps. It feels like I need to delete a cache or pref file, but within my cloud account.

Just desperate for any suggestions, however daft.
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Andy, can you email me here:

I sent you a direct message but didn't get a response.

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Stig Kristiansen

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Well, I have exactly, yes completely the same problem ( also including on the Apple TV Lightroom app, web interface, iphone app - search not working in any environment). Even no result on the web version’s «home screen» where the pictures are divided by among other, per month. They all show up in small versions, but when clicking on each month (eg July, with 300+images), the black hole message is displayed.

Also big problems with any meaningful follow up from Adobe’s customer service. So please fix this bug on my license as well? I have had this problem from day 1. Lightroom CC without this functionality is just an image editor.
(Edited)
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Andy Hewitt

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Hi Rikk,

Just replying in public here. Thank you so much for taking the trouble to discuss this with me, and look into the issue.

I'm not sure if your guys had a look at the problem with over the last week, but while I've been on holiday it looks the issue is now resolved, I can now search in LR CC on my desktop and iPhone.

Many thanks again
Andy
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Thanks for reporting back, Andy. 
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Erlend Glommen

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Hi Rikk, I have the exact same problem. Downloaded CC a few weeks ago and uploaded all images from Classic. Search always gives "black hole" message. Is this some sort of indexing issue? For how long did you wait Andy? You didn’t do anything?? I am desperate as well to see this work. All images are synced, but search is not working... Best, Erlend
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Andy Hewitt

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I started the syncing processes (using Classic Smart Previews at first) at the end of May, but my Search function didn't start working until the beginning of July, probably about 5-6 weeks. I didn't do anything, it actually just started working after I got back from a weeks holiday.

At that time I was still only using Smart Previews from Classic (as I was trying it out before committing to the CC package).

Up to that point I had just over 20,000 images synced. I have now migrated over the the Lightroom CC only plan, and have 57,000 full originals uploaded and it still works fine.

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Erlend Glommen

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Thank you Andy for your quick reply.

Rikk, if this is connected to indexing, where can I see how far this has progressed? I have approximately 50.000 images on a 2TB plan - syncing took long (a few full days) and as mentioned, search is not working. Always black hole. Looking forward to your advice on this.

Best, Erlend
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Stig Kristiansen

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Well, I stopped importing at appr. 3000 pictures because I noticed the problem. It has been several weeks now without any improvement, so it cannot be the indexing. It is weird being ignored by Adobe, especially when obviously there are other users experiencing the same thing. This is not fake news.
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@Erlend and @Stig

Do you both still see a 'black hole' when attempting to search?

Has your machine been connected to the internet and the Lightroom CC App been active for 8 continuous hours (overnight)?
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Stig Kristiansen

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Hi, sorry about the late reply. Yes, connected 24/7. So everything works, except for the Search function, on all apps and platforms. So even the Dashboard on the lightroom.adobe.com, where pictures are divided by month etc, clicking on the header (pictures showing up on the main page according to month), black hole. Clicking on just Photos (videos other option), black hole.
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Stig Kristiansen

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Hi, weird thing has happened. As I have stopped uploading my 50k images, I uploaded one picture from my iphone yesterday. It was indexed it seems. Searched «water», «buliding» and it came up on the search result. However, no other pictures shows up. Uploaded one more photo today, which was indexed. However, I added a keyword to the same picture, which was not showing up when searching for this keyword.
(Edited)
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Stig Kristiansen

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Hi Rikk,

Something has started to happen. It seems like all new images are indexed. However, no images uploaded initially was indexed. However, I noticed if I edited, rated, or did something to an old image, it was indexed and became searchable. Following on that idea, I moved the whole library into an album. Swosh, everything was indexed in about 8 seconds (3200+ images).

I noticed that on the web dash board, where you can click on July photos, September photos, now all images show up, even though they were captured on a different date. However, if I type in the Seearch field "May 2018", all May 2018 images are showed.

My own tags/keywords, also show up. I put the surname as a tag on one picture, and it showed up in the search.

It seems someone has flipped on the switch, and linked the database and the search interface. If it was you Rick,  it is greatfully appreciated!. Has anyone done anything, or is this part of the normal maintenance procedure for the product on Adobe servers? It seems like several people have this problem, and I have used one month trying to resolve this. Please let Adobe customer services know that this is an actual problem for some users, and fix it immediately.

However, the Customer Service, first line, do not know the product and responds like in the episode of X-Files Season 11, Episode 7. I had to cut and paste product descriptions of Lightroom CC to explain that, yes Lightroom can do that, beacuse they said it was not possible. The last response on this problem was that I cannot search images tagged with my own keywords (sic), and that the noun "person" was not possible to use as a search word.


I will upload my whole library now, and let you know how it works.
(Edited)
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Thanks for the update. I wish I could take credit but from the description you've provided it sounds like things were stuck locally.  I am passing this on to engineering to see if they have any ideas. 

Did the recent change (where an image is indexed upon touching it in some fashion) just start working or was it something you hadn't tried before?
(Edited)
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Stig Kristiansen

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No, it just started to work. But Adobe Customer Service closed the case (without any explanations) because they said that it was resolved - however, they had done several times before (but then without any improvements). There must be a bug, which is resolved after some monthly server updates (integrity checks or something). Should be labelled the Black Hole bug. Quite annoying bug indeed. It has taken one calendar month, and I feel one year older because of this process.
(Edited)