Lightroom Desktop: Syncing Feature - Deleting photos from phone?

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I'm having an issue with the syncing feature - a rep told me that I basically can't do anything about old photos that have been synced if I delete them in LR it will delete them off my phone and I have no choice. I feel very unsettled with that answer and feel like I'm being forced into paying for more storage or having a huge work around. Not happy with this at all.
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Becca White

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Posted 3 months ago

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Tom Hunsinger

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Becca, what happens when you try it? Take a picture, import it into Lightroom and then delete it in Lightroom. I find that any photo that is on my phone stays on my phone when I delete it in Lightroom. Don’t take my word for it (or anyone else) just try it and see.
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Becca White

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It's strange I tried it once and it deleted from my phone - then I tried it again and it didn't.  I guess because of that 1 time I'm worried without backing everything up, but I also don't want to pay for extra storage space.  Thanks for your response!
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Tom Hunsinger

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That is strange! My understanding and the way I setup LR and my tablets, desktop, and phone is the photos I take on the phone are automatically imported into LR Cloud and it syncs Smart Previews to my mobile devices and full resolution copies to my desktop. If I delete an image in LR it will be deleted LR in the mobile devices and my desktop. The images that are stored on my phone’s picture storage (not Lightroom storage) are separate. Ideally, you can delete the photos on your phone once they are safely in LR Cloud to free up room on your phone. I leave them for way too long because I’m lazy and a bit obsessive compulsive
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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It all depends on how you took that photo. If you shot it using the standard photo app, not the built-in photo app in Lightroom, then that photo initially ends up in your camera roll. If you import it in Lightroom Mobile (manually or automatically), then that is a second copy. That means you can delete this second copy and still have the original one in the camera roll.

If you shot the image with the built-in camera app of Lightroom Mobile, then the only copy is in Lightroom Mobile. Delete it from there and you will delete it from the phone.
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Tom Hunsinger

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I knew I left at least one important thing out! 
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Laura Shoe, Champion

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If you took them with the Lightroom camera but you don't want them in Lightroom anymore but you want them in your camera roll, one option is, in Lightroom Mobile, to export copies to your camera roll: in Lightroom Mobile select the images, tap on the Share icon, Export as.., file type Original (or JPEG if you prefer), tap the checkmark, then Save Image. (At least that's how it's done on an iPhone.)