Lightroom FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

I’ve put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions about Lightroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I speed up performance in Lightroom?
Converting Lightroom CC trial into serialized Lightroom 6
Why isn’t my adjustment brush working?
Where do I save the changes I make to my images?
Why is there a question mark on some of my images (or why are they grayed out when importing?)
What is a preset? How do I get that same effect?
Why doesn’t my version of Lightroom support my camera?
Why use Lightroom instead of Bridge?
Which is better, single or multiple catalogs?
How do I combine my catalogs into a master catalog?
How do I set up Photoshop Elements as an External Editor?
Why has the Edit In Photoshop command stopped working?
How to I use the copyright © symbol in Lightroom?
Can I use Adobe Revel with Lightroom 5?
Can’t see Lightroom 5 update from your CreativeCloud account?
How do I fix SmugMug errors?
What are some extra Lightroom 5 resources?

How can I speed up performance in Lightroom?

Try these suggestions that can help you optimize Lightroom on your computer.

Converting Lightroom CC trial into serialized Lightroom 6

All Lightroom 6 or Lightroom CC trials are branded with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC.

Why isn’t my adjustment brush working?

Make sure the Brush Flow and Density are NOT set at very low values.


Where do I save the changes I make to my images?

With Lightroom’s parametric non-destructive editing, the changes you’ve made while processing your images are automatically saved in the Catalog. You do not need to save the changes for them to stick within Lightroom. If you want to share the image with the adjustments applied you can export a copy directly from Lightroom.

Why is there a question mark on some of my images (or why are they grayed out when importing?)

You probably have reorganized (by moving or renaming) your images from the specific locations Lightroom is looking for them in, and this is the cause for the missing link icon.

What is a preset? How do I get that same effect?

Brett Nemecek has created a great resource for working with presets and Lightroom

Why doesn’t my version of Lightroom support my camera?

Jeffrey Tranberry’s article answers a number of questions, including how often we update for new cameras, and how to get the latest camera support in older versions of Lightroom.

Why use Lightroom instead of Bridge?

In this episode of the Complete Picture, Julieanne Kost helps you decide which application is right for your workflow by explaining the differences between Lightroom and Bridge for managing images and assets.

Which is better, single or multiple catalogs?

In this episode of the Complete Picture, Julieanne answers one of the most commonly asked questions “If should you use a single catalog for all of your photographs or if you should you use multiple catalogs?”.

As a general rule, she recommends that you use as few as possible, but discusses when using multiple could be beneficial.

How do I combine my catalogs into a master catalog?

In this episode of the Complete Picture, Julieanne demonstrates how to combine individual Lightroom catalogs into a single, “Master” Lightroom catalog to simplify a photographers workflow and enable multi-shoot searching.

How do I set up Photoshop Elements as an External Editor?

If you’ve selected Photoshop Elements as Lightroom’s external editor, make sure you choose the “Photoshop Elements Editor” NOT the alias for Photoshop Elements (which launches the Welcome Screen).


Why has the Edit In Photoshop command stopped working?

If the Edit In Photoshop command has stopped working, resetting Lightroom’s preferences will likely resolve the issue.

Follow these steps to reset Lightroom’s preferences:

  1. Quit Lightroom
  2. Reset Lightroom’s preferences
  3. Start Lightroom and select your catalog
  4. Try the Edit In Photoshop command again

How to I use the copyright © symbol in Lightroom?

Windows: Hold Alt and press 0169 on the numpad
Mac: Hold Option and press G

Can I use Adobe Revel with Lightroom 5?

The plug-in required to publish directly from Lightroom to Adobe Revel is no longer available. To see how to quickly import your photos into from a web browser, read the following FAQ: How do I add (upload) files to Revel?

Can’t see Lightroom 5 update from your CreativeCloud account?

  • Launch Adobe Application Manager.
  • Click in the upper left-hand corner on your name
  • Choose Sign-Out,  then sign back in

If there is a “Download” link next to Lightroom, that download should be Lightroom 5.

If you have already downloaded and installed but still Lightroom 4.x continues to open up. Make sure that you are starting the Lightroom 5 application and not the Lightroom 4.x version.

How do I fix SmugMug errors?

SmugMug recently released an update to their Lightroom plug-in which addresses the, “Can’t update this collection” error seen when exporting.

The updated plugin (v., is available here:

What are some extra Lightroom 5 resources?


54 Responses to Lightroom FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Florian Fahrbach says:

    Two Links that I tried did not work: The camera-support-related one “Why doesn’t my version of Lightroom support my camera?” and “Which is better, single or multiple catalogs?”
    Great job as always, Adobe!

  2. Tom Hassell says:

    I have a really simple question. Can I delete Lightroom 4 to save space once I’ve successfully installed the upgrade to Lightroom5?

    • Pete Green says:

      Yup! Might want to launch it and make sure it’s running flawlessly for you before uninstalling version 4, but definitely. They run independent of each other.

  3. Michael Giannini says:

    I;m an Adobe Revel premium user who just upgraded from Lightroom 4.4 to Lightroom 5. All plug-ins except Revel were transferred with the upgrade. I followed the link from within Lightroom Plug-In Exchange to the Revel plug-in download site, downloaded the Revel Plug-in (for Windows). The file was rejected as dangerous by my Norton software, but I forced the download anyway. The plug-in appears in my Libraries folder, but when I attempt to add the Revel plug-in from the Lightroom 5 Plug-In Manager, it doesn’t appear in the folder to which it is downloaded. I had no problem using Revel publishing services in Lightroom 4.4. Do you know why my Lightroom 5 Plug-In Manager does not recognize the updated Revel plug-in file, thereby making adding it to my Lightroom publishing services impossible?

  4. Craig Lewis says:

    What’s the native color space in LR5? I just heard a prominent photographer say during a workshop that it’s Lab. I thought that it’s ProPhoto.

  5. Gerard says:

    I have a really simple question. Does LR 5 operate with Mac OS X 10.6.8 ?

  6. fdsfds says:


  7. Sonja says:

    I must have pushed a key by accident –now when I view my photos in the loupe view, the file name, date, etc appear in the upper left corner of the photo. How do I hide those data and get them out of the photos?

  8. Bill Benson says:

    Why do I have to keep entering my serial number every time I open light room 5?

  9. Peggy says:

    When using the new clone tool in LR5, you can almost always see just where you cloned. Is there not a way to feather, or change opacity, or some way to get a better job on the cloning? In the top left box where the fit, fill, 1 to 1, and 2 to 1 are located, sometimes when they are clicked on they do not work, any suggestions. Thanks.

  10. Sue Byrne says:

    I’m currently using LR5 trial version. (I have LR4). First problem is that the gradient filter only allows me to use once, when I try use a second time everything is effected. Any ideas?
    Secondly some of the development tools disappear mid use, even when cursor is not on them, I can replace them but it’s frustrating.
    Are these just quirks of trial version?
    I watched lots of tutorials but can never find any that talk about the “detail” window, would love to know how to use this or at least what is function?

    • Pete Green says:

      To create a second radial filter, click the “new” button next to mask… Without clicking new, you are likely editing the original.
      How do you mean develop tools are disappearing? Haven’t heard reports of this yet.
      Also –which section do you refer to by “detail window”?

  11. Raghu Raj says:

    Can someone help me in fixing ” Map is Offline ” error in Map Module Lightroom 5.

  12. DWC says:

    Why does LR 5 keep on asking me to enter my password after I have entered it and am registered?

  13. jeff hutchinson says:

    In the LR 5 book module – the templates section with mini small previews off the drop-down list while viewing a page . . . under the Creative link it shows some “torn edge looks” which are available for single and double images on page but none for 3 or 4 or more images on a page. Of course I had a wedding client who liked the look of the torn edge and wanted it applied to all the pages sooo . . . the question is – is there a way to make your own or modify an existing torn edge look to include more images instead of just two or one on a page??

  14. Joerg says:

    I dont understand Adobe customer support, I bought 18.06.2013 LR 4 and found out there is a free upgrade for LR5. Applied for it, got the OK from the online chat, provided all the data and the receipt, until today nothing happened, thats said, i like lightroom, but the service is very poor. approached the online help now 5 times, no problem i will get a link for download, nothing but nothing happened, thats very poor !!!! any hint how i can convince them ???

    • caroline lajoie says:

      Have you tried downloading LR5? It may have been set for you to just do that.

  15. Philippe Boite says:

    How do I reset Lightroom to installation settings?

    • Pete Green says:

  16. Charles Penn says:

    i’ve bought Lightroom 5 but can’t download it. What’s the deal? I have iMac 10.6.8. Being told I need 10.7

  17. allan wright says:

    Newly installed LR5 but cannot find “Publish Services” anywhere – am I being thick or what?

  18. Ian McMahan says:

    I use LR2 on my Mac G4 PowerBook. I just got a MacBook Pro running OS 10.8 and am considering an upgrade to LR5. Can I easily move my catalog & photos from LR2 to LR5? Are there particular issues or problems I should be aware of? If my data are on an external drive, would I be able to use them on either computer, with either version of LR?

    • Sharad Mangalick says:

      There should be no issues upgrading your catalog from Lr2 to Lr5. I highly recommend doing a system backup. Once you upgrade your catalog to Lr5, it won’t be readable by Lr2, so this is why backups are important.

  19. Ray Alvarez says:

    I am unable to place the copyright symbol on my pc computer.

    • caroline lajoie says:

      You can only use the numbers on the keypad to the right of the keyboard. You can’t use the upper row of numbers. alt0169

  20. Robert says:

    In photoshop I go to bridge open files , work. and save , easy . Lightromm ….I want to work on one specific file ( preferably in the same evening ) but I have to wait 3 days while it imports all the photos on my sd card and then i have to go through the process off deleting all the unwanted files day after day after day. I hate Lightroom and yet I know its got all the potential I require to get the uncommpromised image I want. Why are the answers so elusive, why is the software so cockhanded. I’ve watched dozens of youtube tutorials and still nothing . I hate Lightroom. Please help me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  21. Norma Walsh says:

    Just upgraded to LR5 and use it with Elements 10. My exports are going to Elements but not showing up back in LR5. Do I have a downward compatibility problem? Do I need to upgrade to Elements 12 to make things work?


    • Pete Green says:

      Saving changes to the edited images should show in Lightroom with Elements 10. Are you saving your changes in the Elements editor? Make sure you’re not changing the file name when saving. You’ll want to overwrite the -edited version that Lightroom is referencing, otherwise if you change the filename (creating another new file) you’ll need to import the new file to Lightroom.

  22. Judy Wintermoyer says:

    I am new at photography. I purchased Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5, do I need to purchase Photoshop or is it included in Lightroom 5?

  23. Lizzy says:

    I would like to purchase Lightroom 4 (I have a two year old mac running Mac OS 10.6.8). Can I use a Lightroom 5 serial number to license Lightroom 4? If not, where do I buy a Lightroom 4 serial number?

  24. Rob says:

    Just installed lightroom 5 how do I get my lightroom 4 catalogs to move into lightroom 5

  25. Judy Wintermoyer says:

    I am a new want-a-be photographer and recently started using Light room 5. I created several folders and now have lost them. the photo show up but say they are lost. not allowing me to print them whays up?

  26. Theresa says:

    Just downloaded lr5 but my factory presets won’t open. I also bought a set from totally rad and they won’t open either. All of my old presets import and work just fine. What’s the deal?

  27. kelly says:

    I am no longer able to ‘mass edit’ when I select a group of photos and then select a preset. it will only edit the first picture. Any suggestions?

  28. Paul says:

    My Lightroom 5.2 has decided not to open when I click on the icon or in the Start menu?
    A day or two before this happened, Lightroom would not import any images from my computer.
    It has been working fine for 13 months. It just stopped!
    Does anyone have any suggestions or suffered the same problems?

  29. Jill Miller says:

    I don’t know what I did, but the upper part of the Adjustment panel (with exposure, brightness, contrast, shadows, clarity, etc) has disappeared. I went back into “Edit” and tried to undo whatever I did, but to no avail. The panel now starts with Tone Curve. How do I get it back?
    Thank you.

  30. Selene Jakob says:

    If I purchase LR5 software and upload it on my computer, will I be able to still use the disc to upload LR5 on to my new laptop when I purchase it or can I not use it on two computers? Sorry if this is a dumb question 🙂 Thanks!!

  31. daya says:

    i am a freelance photographer.
    i had taken some photos of my friend birthday party,i want to color correct it,so when i was using lightroom for color correction, In this while i flag as rejected (photos) my selection of the filter bar goes to rejects photo its not just continuing to other photos

  32. Celesa says:

    I have LR 4 on my PC. Recently I purchased a MACBook Pro and now have LR CC. I want to move my photos from the PC & LR 4 into the Mac & LR CC. What is the best way to do that?

  33. Steve Baker says:

    Hello. I bought Lightroom 5 last year and have a similar question like the person before me. I am thinking of getting a mac book pro, at the moment I use a PC. Can I download the program and use the same serial number/key or do I have to buy the program again. Cheers

    • Hi Steve, Lightroom is a cross platform license, so you can install and activate on both Mac and Windows. You can install activate on a total of 2 of your personal computers.

  34. Gary Long says:

    I am a beginner in Lightroom. I am using keywords by selecting keywords to apply to a group of highlighted photos from the grid view, going to Metadata and clicking on allowing paint, and clicking the done icon at the bottom of the grid. That seems to work since the keywords are there when i select one of the photo’s to further edit. However the collection preset (photo’s without keywords) shows most of my photo’s without keywords. What am I doing wrong?

  35. Ben says:

    While using lightroom 5, I will open an image in PS6 and make edits. When I save the image in Photoshop, half the time the image reloads back into lightroom and the other half saves onto my original folder in my external drive. This drives me NUTS! How do I get all the images I work on from photoshop to go back into lightroom when I save it?