Lightroom Classic CC Offline Updater

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  • Updated 6 months ago

Why are there no (apparent) direct download links for updates to Lightroom Classic CC?

The link to download the full installer is here: Download Creative Cloud apps , but this is for version 7.0.1 (the current version is 7.2). I don't want to update through the cloud or download manager. Previous versions of Lightroom could be updated with offline installers (i.e. here's the updater for 6.14: Download Photoshop Lightroom), but despite scouring Google & the forums, I've been unable to find a proper updater for 7.x.  I'm really not able to understand why Adobe makes it so difficult...

Some people may simply prefer to (or be required to) keep their main work computer offline, and use a second PC for internet. Are these users not entitled to receive the same updates as those who desire (or are allowed to) keep theirs connected directly? 

And even for typically-connected laptops, there are many situations in which an offline installer would be useful or necessary.  For instance, I often go on long photography trips where issues sometimes arise that require me to reinstall, reformat, or even replace the system.  I carry a hard drive with installers for the current version of literally every application I use...except Adobe’s.  This means that if I need to reinstall during one of these trips (or any other time I don’t have direct access to fast/unmetered internet), I'm stuck having to rollback to older versions.

Is there some reason Adobe makes it so difficult to update their software, or did I simply somehow overlook an obvious download link that didn't come up when searching Google or the forums...?

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Metal450

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Posted 6 months ago

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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Lightroom Classic needs internet connection at least once every month, or will fall back to expired mode (no develop module, no maps module). If you are taking longer trips than that, your first concern would have to be this, not an offline installer. Pay your subscription yearly, and the period is three months. The issue of installers can be solved by making a 'clone' of your hard drive, that is regularly kept up-to-date. If anything happens, replace the contents of the hard drive with the clone and you should be good to go.
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ProDesignTools

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Johan, that is not quite true... ALL Lightroom subscriptions are Annual; there is currently no month-to-month option. Therefore, all LR customers can go up to up to four months without needing to connect online to revalidate their subscription:

https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/internet-connection-creative-cloud-apps.html

More below.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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It seems this has changed. There used to be an annual subscription, paid in monthly instalments. 
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Actually, I just noted that nothing has changed. See the sentence just below the screenshot:

"In offline mode, annual Creative Cloud members get 99 days of grace period; month-to-month members get 30 days of grace period. For details, see the table below."
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ProDesignTools

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Again, there is no such thing as a month-to-month Lightroom plan.

All Lightroom plans are 12-month (annual) plans, and thus can be completely offline for one month plus 99 days.
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avpman

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Justin,
I understand your concern and I agree with you. But for right now the solution Johan offered is actually the easier one. I use Macrium Reflect backup this purpose. I keep incremental hard drive images on a portable drive (made nightly.) If I ever have to recover my HD, even to a new blank drive, the process is easy. EVERYTHING comes back. No need to carry around installation disks. Hope this helps.
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ProDesignTools

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Making a nightly clone of your hard drive is an approach that requires a significant level of overhead and ongoing work and yet is still only a partial solution. For one, it does not solve the problem of when you want or need a copy of the latest Adobe installers for installing a system which may not regularly be connected to the Internet, often for security purposes as Justin pointed out.
 
Keeping a local backup copy of the installers for the software running on your (and your colleagues) machines so that you can reinstall the same version at any time no matter what happens, for many people, is simply best practices. But when installing via the CC Desktop app, this is never possible.
 
And there are other valid and important reasons as well:
 
Why Adobe Direct Download Links Are Needed
    
(This also includes having a workaround available when trying to download via the Desktop app, which many customers still run into problems with.)
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avpman

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My incremental backup clone of my 1TB laptop drive takes less than 20 minutes a night to complete. The first full backup takes about an hour longer. I do this to be able to recover my HD at home and on the road. Saved my arz more than once!
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ProDesignTools

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Sure, but there are major costs associated there. That's 20 minutes of your life every day to take care of and babysit, times 365 =  7,300 minutes per year, or 121 hours = 15 eight-hour workdays = 3 work weeks of your time every year, that you could be spending doing other productive things...

And certainly, not every computer user is doing that; far far from it.

That's great that it's saved your bacon, but as outlined above, even having full regular system backups does not solve all the different use-cases for needing offline installers.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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I don't know how you make your daily clone, but mine is done automatically without any user intervention. That makes your calculation a bit far fetched, to say the least.
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Metal450

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I'm very familiar with disk imaging, & I use Reflect for other purposes as well. But as described by both myself & ProDesignTools, that's not an actual solution to the problem.  It's a nice tip for those who might benefit from it, but it's still little more than a workaround for this actual issue: that, again, literally every other application I use (there are MANY) has proper installers for every major & minor version (or equivalently, an installer for every major version + an updater to the current minor) except for Lightroom.  Lightroom is the one and only that cannot be installed from scratch to its current version without an internet connection, and I see no rational explanation for that behavior. Saying "then just image your entire system," while it may work for you, is not a solution for every user and does not address the crux of the issue.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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The rationality is that Lightroom is now subscription only, so Adobe needs to check that you actually do have a subscription when the software is installed. I agree that they could do that too with a previously downloaded installer, but you'd still need an internet connection at the moment you install it.

And no, it does not address the crux of the issue. Because I don't work for Adobe, I can only offer a workaround, not a solution.
(Edited)
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Metal450

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>>Because I don't work for Adobe, I can only offer a workaround, not a solution.

Understood...my hope in posting it here was to get Adobe to actually address the issue ;) 

(Fwiw, the workaround *I* use in the interim is simply to keep myself deliberately out-of-date, so that the version I'm using reflects the version of the installer I have on-hand.  Which seems pretty ridiculous, but so does their "you can only update our software when you're direct-connected to the internet & have unlimited bandwidth" situation, so...)

>>The rationality is that Lightroom is now subscription only

...Yeah, I won't even get into my thoughts about them reneging on their past promises of always making a perpetual version available & all the issues this creates for typically non-connected users...that's been discussed & complained about sufficiently by the thousands upon thousands of upset users in the forums, on blogs, in YouTube,  on Reddit, etc, etc... :P

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I fully agree that it would be better to have direct-download links for LR.  But one argument made in:

Why Adobe Direct Download Links Are Needed

"no way to install an application to a previous version that isn’t the latest release", no longer applies to LR 7. The Creative Cloud app now lets you roll back to previous  minor and major versions of LR, albeit at the expense of a re-download. (I'm on a metered connection at $2/GB, $10/GB for overages.)
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ProDesignTools

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Yes, the CC Desktop app has gotten better lately at providing previous versions to roll back to when necessary. For years, there was very little there. But still, not all minor versions are provided for all apps, and not even all major versions... There are significant holes, which cause problems when customers need those prior versions and try to rely on the Desktop app to get them.

But if direct downloads were available for all recent CC releases, then a lot of this would be solved. Adobe has not provided a complete set since CC 2015.