Lightroom: What is the best way to switch back from CC to Classic?

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So, after testing Lightroom CC (Desktop app) and having all my originals stored in the cloud, I’m considering switching back to Lightroom Classic (I’ve maintained a Classic catalog in parallel in the even that CC didn’t work out for me).My question is, how best to make that switch happen so that one doesn’t try overwriting the other?
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Jon Anscher

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Arne Vollstedt

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So, you did all the work in Lightroom CC so far?
Convert all Raw files into dng, select them all and Press cmd+S (ctrl-s on windows). That way, all the work will be stored in the files. Close LR CC, open LR Classic and that Catalog, Than select all folders and klick Library > Synchronize Folder. A Dialog comes up - be sure, that the last item is checked ( Something like: Update Metadata) that will bring all the work, you put into the files in LR CC into LR Classic. After that, I would let LR Classic render new Previews for every File, depending on how many there are :o)
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Reinard Schmitz

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The photos in the cloud should sync completely to the classic version catalogue when you activate syncing in classic.
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Jon Anscher

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Sorry, I didn’t explain this clearly enough. About 3–4 months ago, I migrated my LR Classic library to LR CC. Up until that point, LR Classic was syncing to Mobile. After the migration, I had to pause syncing in LR Classic and leave it that way (due to irreperable conflicts that were occurring in Sync), but I wasn’t ready to give up my organizational structure in Classic until I had fully evaluated CC, so after editing images, I exported them and manually added them. I already know that if I turn sync back on, CC will try to sync all the images it has into my Classic library, my Classic library will do the same, and it will end up a huge mess.

Additionally, at the moment, all those originals are in the cloud, but if I’m using Classic, I know it syncs only the smart previews.

I’m trying to figure out how to have my Classic library completely overwrite the cloud and not have the two trying to fight each other for dominance.
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Jon Anscher

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So there is an option in LR Classic settings to delete all synced data. If I know everything is in Classic, will hitting that button clear out my LR CC library and allow LR Classic to reset sync from it’s catalog?
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john beardsworth

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Yes.

Just take a step back and check, maybe again, that everything is indeed in Classic.
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Jon Anscher

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Oh definitely. I’ve been keeping them current, but I still have some work to do to make sure all my edits are in Classic. I also used the downloaded to keep a backup of all my LR CC originals, in a worst case scenario. But I’ll definitely be doing some work to cross check to make sure I have everything.

Thanks!
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dmeephd

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This is exactly why I will NEVER have my originals in the cloud.  Backups, you betcha!  Primaries...absolutely not.  No so-called or perceived convenience of editing on an iPhone or iPad is worth the risk.
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Jon Anscher

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The originals are not the problem here. It's the Smart Previews that are not downloading.
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dmeephd

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Understand that.  My point is that there are so many issues with the cloud that one has to be a serious risk taker to contemplate placing the previews, edits, presets, much less originals in a cloud which you do not control.  Yet Adobe keeps pushing users there with over-priced storage.  Meh!
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Jon Anscher

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I’m sorry, I apparently got turned around and thought this was a different thread about smart preview syncing issues. Yes, totally get your point. It’s part of why I’ve been manually maintaining my Classic library alongside CC.
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Andy Hewitt

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You might want to check this thread I started when I ran into trouble with two way syncing between CC and Classic.

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/syncing-problem-cc-needs-better-failsafe-protection

I'm now fully back with Classic, and only sync up Smart Previews.

I only sync from CC any images I take on my iPhone, and really take care how I do it.

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Floris van Eck

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For that reason I ditched Classic and only use CC. Too risky to use them together.
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Jon Anscher

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I didn’t use them together, I used them in complete isolation, manually exporting and importing files to avoid issues. The bugs I’ve encountered are problematic in CC without any cooperation from Classic (such as CC applying the AlreadyApplied XMP tag to my photos, and losing most of my edits all within CC).
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Andy Hewitt

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Yes, although for some parts of syncing and CC workflow, it can be unavoidable.

For instance, copying photos taken on a mobile device (in my case an iPhone), the process gets pretty messy then - with having to download to Classic, stop syncing, delete upload originals, then create new syncing collections, and re-upload Smart Previews. Of course that's really only necessary as I have a small capacity iPhone, and only the 20GB Photography plan.

Creating new Collection Sets and enclosed Collections gets messy too. I find it really helps to use Lightroom CC just for organising the corresponding Folder/Albums structure - rather than attempting it on a mobile device, or in the web interface.

At the moment, if I want to access my images in the CC ecosystem, even just for family viewing, using LR CC for some tasks does make life much easier.

All said though, I think the two separate applications, and the partially synced amounts of information is really confusing and messy.
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Jon Anscher

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Okay, so I have some more questions for anyone out there.

1. If I switch back to LR Classic, I will need to go back to syncing only Smart Previews, correct? I will no longer be able to download the Original file? This means that on my iPad, I will no longer be able to export photos, particularly full size JPEGs? Or can you download the original file to your iPad when your Classic library is open and connected to the network?

2. There haven't been any updates I missed where we can now sync the entire library, smart albums, or folders, correct? So I have to manually maintain a matching collection set structure to have all my photos (smart previews, at least) accessible on my iPad?

3. Importing to my iPad, it will import the originals, and then what? It syncs the originals back through the cloud to my desktop whenever the connection is available? As it does that, the originals disappear from my iPad? How long do the originals stay on the iPad until they are no longer available?

Is there anything else I am not thinking about?
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Jon Anscher

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A couple more:

4. All the collection sets and collections I create, will that hierarchy transition to LR Mobile, or will I lose all that nesting?

5. Is there a way to sync an entire collection set? Or will I need to go in and turn on sync for every single album individually? (I have hundreds of folders I maintain that I'd like access to on my iPad.)
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john beardsworth

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1. Yes, smart previews. If you then want an original everywhere, import it again into LRCC or the phone. Sync is normally smart enough to recognise it should be matched to the corresponding smart preview.
2. Correct. Real folders don't exist in LRCC, but it's a shame Adobe have decided not to sync collection sets. After all, they can sync complicated stuff like adjustments.
3. Yes, originals arrive in LR Classic and originals stay in the cloud. If you then unsync them in LR Classic or delete them in LRCC/iOS, the cloud copies of originals are deleted.
4. As 3
5. Yes, each collection
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Jon Anscher

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John, thank you so much for that detailed response!

To clarify, by your answer to 4, do you mean that if I create the hierarchy in LR Mobile (or LR CC), then it will stay, but if I create it in LR Classic, it won’t?
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john beardsworth

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Yes. Adobe have chosen not to make "folders" in LRCC/Mobile sync in any way with LrClassic, and vice versa.

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Jon Anscher

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Bummer. I have really loved two things about LR CC: it’s fast at selecting and editing photos and my entire photo library is available on my iPad. I use my iPad so heavily, bringing it with me most places and leaving my computer behind, but there are two main things I couldn’t fully use on my iPad: Quicken and Lightroom. Lightroom CC changed that. But I don’t think I can accept the lack of reliability or lack of control over my files/data.