Lightroom Classic CC v7.3.1 stuck synching photos after metadata update

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I have been having problems with extremely slow synching of photos on LR 7.3. I merely updated the keywords on about 120 photos and had to leave it running overnight to make any progress. However, it finally got stuck at the last 21, where it would not progress. I tried rebooting LR but that did not resolve it. I have just updated to v7.3.1 but this did not fix it either. I just tried updating the keywords on only 1 photo and it has not finished synching after 20 minutes. Downloads from LR mobile devices happen quickly and reliably in far less time. Why does uploading metadata updates have this problem?
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Frank Rossi

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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I am sorry you are seeing slow syncing issues, Frank.

I have a few questions for you.

Are you still stuck at 21images syncing?
If you go to Lightroom Preferences-Lightroom Sync and wait for the Sync Activity section to populate, you should be able to see which image has you stuck and why. That might give us a clue as to how to get your syncing finished. 
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Frank Rossi

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Hi Rikk,

thanks for your suggestion. I did try looking at the Sync Activity section but all it showed was the list of photos being synced. There was no information about why they were stuck. I finally removed the 21 photos from the All Synced Photographs collection to stop the syncing altogether. After that I tried updating just one photo's keywords, which immediately caused LR to sync that photo. As I described in my post, after 20 minutes syncing was still incomplete. I shutdown LR and returned about an hour later and it completed about 10 minutes after that. It should only have taken a few minutes at most to sync one photo.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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So currently, you have 0 showing to sync-correct?
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Frank Rossi

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Hi Rikk,

to answer your question from 12 hours ago, yes zero showing syncing in LR Classic.

I tried an experiment to isolate what was going on. See the steps listed lower down.

The changes are actually appearing in LR Mobile or LR Classic within 1-2 minutes. So syncing is actually taking place, but LR Classic still shows "syncing 1 photo" at the top left of the screen long after (10 minutes) the changes show up in either program.

The problem seems to arise if the Catalog settings have "Automatically write changes into XMP" checked. If unchecked, the investigation below demonstrates that LR Classic shows "syncing 1 photo" for only 10 seconds or so.

The other night when I updated 120 photos in LR Classic, those 10 minute delays added up to more than a 24 hours delay. I still don't understand why the last 21 did not progress at all, even allowing for the 10 minute delay.

This is a significant issue as having "Automatically write changes into XMP" checked is a recommended setting that many LR Classic users will have for good reasons explained in the online LR literature.

There is another strange thing about this behaviour as LR Classic does not sync keywords with LR Mobile. That limitation on syncing keywords is an acknowledged limitation by Adobe: keyword syncing doesn't work either to or from LR Classic. But why was LR Classic attempting to do so the other night with my 120 photos? The only changes I made to those photos in LR Classic was to add keywords. So what was LR Classic attempting to do for those 24 hours when it showed "syncing .. photos"?

If we can't trust the messages LR Classic gives us about syncing then that is a serious flaw in the management of our catalogs. Can you please have this resolved?

INVESTIGATION:

1. I tried taking one photo with LR Mobile (v.3.2.0) on an iPhone SE.

2. After 4 minutes, LR Mobile has finished uploading. The photo appears at its full resolution in LR Classic (v.7.3.1) shortly after. However, LR Classic still shows "syncing 1 photo" at the top left of the screen.

3. After a total of 10 minutes after taking the photo, LR Classic no longer shows "syncing 1 photo", i.e. a full 6 minutes after LR Classic actually had the photo available at full resolution..

4. Tried changing the exposure setting on that photo (-3 stops) in LR Classic.

5. Exposure change appears in LR Mobile in < 1 minute. But LR Classic still shows "syncing 1 photo" for another 10 minutes.

6. Unchecked "Automatically write changes into XMP" in Catalog settings in LR Classic.

7. Tried changing the exposure setting on that photo (+4 stops) in LR Classic. Exposure change appears in LR Mobile in < 2 minutes. This time LR Classic shows "syncing 1 photo" for only 10 seconds.

8. Tried returning the exposure setting to normal in LR Mobile. Exposure change appears in LR Classic in < 1 minute. LR Classic shows "syncing 1 photo" for only 10 seconds.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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 I find it interesting that Auto-write XMP settings has an adverse effect.  That is a nice clue. I am passing that on to the team.