Lightroom CC: Deleted all of my originals!!!

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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Last week, I got back from a trip and wanted to share some of my photos.  My lightroom cloud was near full, so I needed to make room.  I did not want to delete my files on my computer, just off of the cloud.  So I went to the and deleted a few.  I went back and checked and they were still on my computer.  I have selected "save originals when importing" in Lightroom CC and purposely selected an external drive, to have an extra set of photos saved.  When I saw it just deleted the photos off of the cloud and not on my computer, I went ahead and deleted them all.  Things looked good.  I add new the photos and let them sync up to the cloud.  When I came back to my computer, hours later, I came to find LIGHTROOM CC DELETED ALL OF THE ORIGINALS of the photos I deleted online, off the external drive!!!!!  I can not find them anywhere, not in the Recycle Bin, not anywhere!   Can anyone help?


I find this highly odd and very frustrating that Adobe would have an option to Save the original to a separate location and then wipe them out!  This gives a false sense of security!  Let alone, that Adobe can go in and delete files from my computer!
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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Official Response
Some notes on Lightroom CC functionality

The Lightroom CC Ecosystem is tightly integrated across all clients.  Your managed library, the original photo files, and any work you’ve done on the files are available to all clients: Desktop, Mobile and Web.  When you perform any operation on one client it syncs to all the other clients.  That is the nature of “your photos - everywhere”.  The same holds true with deleting photos. When you delete within the Lightroom CC ecosystem, you are deleting everywhere.  That is why we put up the big scary messages to let you know this and ask you to confirm.

In the Lightroom CC desktop application, there is a preferences option to “Store a copy of all originals at a specified location”. When checked it downloads a copy of all your original photo files.  There is also the ability to select any album and invoke the “Store Album Locally” option.  It is very important to note that these are not ‘backups’ but rather user-selected options to allow you to have access to the original files if you are going to be offline or if your internet connection is too slow to download images on-demand.  When you choose to remove a file from your managed library, you are removing it from everywhere and that will also include those ‘stored locally’ images.  The time it takes to sync changes from one device to another device may make it appear like this is not happening but if you allow sync to run its course you will see that when you delete it will delete from everywhere.

Having said all that, your confusion on this point is 100 percent understandable, and clearly we need to make some changes on our end.

We are reviewing the warnings we provide when you delete a photo to make certain that they are as clear as possible. We are also looking at options in the future to help customers easily recover files if they accidentally delete something they didn’t mean to delete.  In the meantime, we have recovered all of the files that were deleted in this case, I believe you have already received an email on that topic.  Please do reach out to us if you have any issues with the recovered files.”