What happens to Lightroom after my membership ends?

[note]: We recently updated to Lightroom 6.0.  When you’re subscription ends in Lr CC / Lr6, you will continue to have access to the Library, Slideshow, Web, Book and Print Modules as described below.

Since the launch of the Creative Cloud, Adobe has engaged in an ongoing dialog with the photographic community. We’ve tackled mobile workflows, provided ongoing enhancements and lastly, provided a membership plan tailor made for all levels of photographers. With the latest update to Lightroom 5.5 I believe we’ve also addressed a lingering concern in the community: What happens to my photographs after my membership ends?  With Lightroom 5.5, at the end of a membership, the desktop application will continue to launch and provide access to the photographs managed within Lightroom as well as the Slideshow, Web, Book or Print creations that we know many photographers painstakingly create. The Develop and Map modules have been disabled in order to signal the end of the membership and the need to renew in order to receive Adobe’s continuous innovation in those areas. Access to Lightroom mobile workflows will also cease to function. We hope this meets the expectations of our customers and we look forward to an ongoing dialog.

132 Responses to What happens to Lightroom after my membership ends?

  1. Greg says:

    This is a concern I have. I already own Lightroom 5.5 and I am not a Creative Cloud member. I have been contemplating taking up the current Lightroom/Photoshop offer but does that mean that, if I fail to renew, that my previous standalone Lightroom will be affected?
    Does this also imply that there are to be no further updates to the standalone devlopment and mapping modules?


    • Tom Hogarty says:

      TH: This will not impact your previous standalone version of Lightroom and we will continue to provide upgrades to the perpetual versions of Lightroom.

      • Greg says:

        Thanks for the quick reply. Much appreciated.

        • Dominique says:

          This is not true — I have stand-along Lightroom 5.7 on my PC, signed up to free trial of CC version and when that ended, my Lightroom develop function has been disabled. This is extremely frustrating. Can you please tell me how to fix this?

          • Rikk Flohr says:

            Dominique – you will need to uninstall the CC version of Lightroom and then relaunch as the 5.7 version. If you’ve uninstalled the 5.7 version somewhere along the way, you will need to reinstall it.

            Note: any catalog that you’ve created with the CC Version (2015.x) will not open in LR 5.7.

    • Nathy says:

      Hi Greg, Can you use your Lightroom 5.5 offline, just one your computer to edit/modify/fix your photos? I want to purchase the program but don’t want a membership or to store them in cloud.
      Would it work and where can I purchase the program?
      Thank you

  2. Stephen Starkman says:

    I purchased LR at version 1.
    I’ve paid for every upgrade since, and opted in to adobes original limited time offer bundle with Photodhop CC. Adobe later made it “permanent “. At that time adobe stated LR was to continue as a perpetual stand alone product. That’s why I bought the bundle subscription. As far as I’m concerned I have a perpetual license for LR (all the modules!). Adobes offer at the time should stand.

    If I don’t have a perpetual LR licence, how can I revert to my last perpetual licence? Will you still offer paid upgrades so I can remain current, or have you totally reversed your original offer so that to remain current with LR I have to abandon the perp license for the subscription?

    As far as I can tell, this new policy is not what was offered when I opted into the photography bundle and I’m both concerned and upset.

    I’m totally pissed off at being lied to.


    • Tom Hogarty says:

      TH: This post has no impact on our perpetual commitment and just reassures those customers who have chosen to adopt the membership model going forward.

      • John says:

        You are forcing everyone into a subscription model. There are plenty of people who prefer a stand-alone permanent option to a monthly subscription, myself included. This is a horrible and unwanted change. I, for one, usually wait a generation before making a purchase. For example, LR1, skip lr2, buy LR3, skip lr4, buy lr5, unless there is some sort of gigantic upgrade or immediately visible benefit to my workflow. This subscription system abuses happy adobe customers like myself.

    • Hennell says:

      >At that time adobe stated LR was to continue as a perpetual stand alone product.

      Continue with a separate standalone product. As in you can buy LR 5 as a stand-alone one-off payment version or as the continuously updated, mobile supporting subscription. This is in contrast to Photoshop, Illustrator (and the rest) which are now CC only in their newest release and have no perpetual licence on offer. (CS6 being the last that did).

      The bundle was always a subscription system – if you want a perpetual license you’ll need to buy the stand-alone version that is available for Lightroom.

  3. wei chong says:

    This is too tightly worded. Does this mean there will be no LR 6.0? Or does this mean there will be a LR 6.0, but changed process? Would have been more clear if you put 5.5+ and beyond…

  4. Robert Offer says:

    I like the idea of the Lightroom & Photoshop package, I have boxed LR4 now but I would not want to place myself in a position whereby I’d paid for a product[s] for a period and stopped payment for whatever reason and then was not able to use the products which I’d paid for. I’d accept not having further updates but losing the facility to use a purchased product, I don’t accept and not something I’d want to pursue.

  5. Mike Pasini says:

    Tom, can you confirm that the Library module is unaffected, allowing new imports to the Catalog and quick edits? TIA

  6. JP Gea says:

    Tom – this is a step in the right direction, very good to see Adobe is listening. I’m very close to sign for this deal – however there is one last tweak to the licensing I would like to propose – which I believe would address the last remaining concerns. You have to admit blocking the develop module is a strategic choice – and when you say “the need to renew in order to receive Adobe’s continuous innovation in those areas” – this is a commercial decision rather than technical one (you could very well leave the develop module functional – but with no update).

    1. When I start CC subscription – I enter in a 12 (or 18) months agreement with Adobe. If I stop paying before the end – I have no more update and lightroom is functioning as you suggest.

    2. If I stop paying after 12 months – then I have no more update – but software if fully functional (maybe excluding maps / anything cloud related – but develop module still works). Obviously once I stopped – even for 1 months only – I will have to enter a new 12 months cycle.

    Incentive is still there – most people will never stop paying monthly – but customer will still have the choice to without loosing the use of their software.

    • Tom Hogarty says:

      I’m not sure I entirely understand your question. Yes we are a commercial venture so there is that underlying motivation in the expiration model. In terms of when someone decides to end their subscription, I don’t think that should influence the behavior thereafter.

      • JP Gea says:

        I understand the commercial motivation of the expiration model – and I can see why Lightroom may not bring enough revenues vs what it costs. However showing you are trying to hook-up customer for life with a subscription model is a dangerous marketing strategy, can alienate people and create unnecessary noise.

        I’m guessing the CC model has more a challenge of sign-up than attrition so I was suggesting you give customers the perception of an exit strategy with a frozen but fully functional software (without the icing, i.e. online stuff) after some time. In practice – how many people would stop their $10 per month subscription after 18 months ? I’m guessing not many – certainly not me, especially as you have no more real competitor. A consumer perception of choice …

        • Robert Offer says:

          I believe that JP Gea’s proposal is the right way forward, certainly for me. Cloud aspects of both the software packages is of questionable use for me as my internet D/L is poor (sub 1Mbps).
          The other question occurring to me is – what happens when I update my laptop or even change OS from Windows to Mac? Is it seen as a “new” subscription as it can’t see the old computer?
          Still trying to make up my mind.

          • Nino says:

            You can have CC software installed wherever you like, however you can only use it on the computer thats signed into your account.

            So if you change computers, just sign out of the old one and sign into the new one.

          • “The other question occurring to me is – what happens when I update my laptop or even change OS from Windows to Mac? Is it seen as a “new” subscription as it can’t see the old computer?

            No worries in either situation… You can install a single CC license on up to two computers – including both Windows and Mac operating systems flexibly – and you can also choose to move a license activation from one machine to another, or transfer it between system upgrades, etc.
            [This goes for any CC plan or application(s).]

  7. Daniel says:

    Will updates to LRCC be stopped once the customer stops paying or will non-payers continue to have access to updates?

    I ask because the wording in your post lightly implies that LRCC non-payers WOULD have access to updates, but would not be able to enjoy the updates to Map and Develop since those modules would be locked.

  8. Simon J.A. Simpson says:

    Tom, with the greatest respect I think you need to clarify your statements above.

    Some people seem to think that since Lightroom is undifferentiated in CC and on a perpetual license that it is in all respects an identical product. In one of your previous statements you referred to the two as being the same “version” when they are clearly not – one is functional in perpetuity (perpetual license) whereas the other (CC) relies on the payment of a subscription to remain functional. In respect of the disablement of the Develop and Map modules you seem to be conflating two statements – one, that their disablement signals the need to renew a subscription; and two, that renewing a subscription gives you access to Adobe’s future improvements of Lightroom (including the Develop and Map modules). My understanding is, therefore, that unsubscribing to the CC version of Lightroom will remove the functionality of the Develop and Map Modules only; and in addition that, as a non-subscriber, you will not receive any more updates to Lightroom of any kind. Subscribing once again will restore the full functionality of the two Modules, and Lightroom will be updated to the latest version with all the interim innovations you refer to.

    Perhaps you would be good enough to confirm that the above is correct and remove much doubt and speculation.

    • Simon J.A. Simpson says:

      Tom Hogan, would you be good enough to confirm that the above is correct to remove doubt and speculation.

      Thank pou.

      • They are the same version (application binary) that is licensed differently. One uses a serial (perpetual license) and one uses an Adobe ID to sign-in (CC membership).

        If your membership ends, the Develop and Map modules are disabled, but you can still install the updates. (e.g. if you are on 5.5 you will be able to update to 5.6)

        • Hi Tom & Jeff,

          This is great news to see in Lightroom and goes a long way towards reassuring customers on the question you posed, “What happens if/after my membership ends?”

          We’ve seen this question out there for other Creative Cloud apps/files as well… Hoping that this kind of “read-only mode” is something we can expect coming to other CC tools in the future? It would make a lot of sense and be consistent with what you’ve done here with LR. Also likely increase adoption. Thanks!

          • I can’t speak for other applications, but Photoshop has always had a really good story about file access/compatibility. As long as your save your PSDs with Max Compatibility or as a TIFF, those files are accessible from LR or any number of applications that can read those files types (OS Xs Preview app for example). You won’t have rich editing, but you can access your edited images to export/print/publish them.

  9. Daniel Wood says:

    The only thing that I want from Adobe is the option of an annual subscription that does not renew at the end of the term.

    If at any point during my subscription I decide that CC is no longer worth the full price, but I don’t want to cancel immediately and pay the penalty, I’d like to be able to turn off the renewal of my subscription.

    Any time I have to put a note in my calendar that says “cancel XYZ now because company ABC won’t let me until then” I have a negative impression of ABC.

    There are a lot of arguments about subscriptions. But we all know that not providing the option for a non-renewing contract/subscription is the “screw the customer” end of the stick. (Same end of the stick that you can’t cancel without calling us” lives.) Adobe would make its case a lot better if it stays away from that end of the stick.

  10. HRP says:

    I believe what JP Gea is requesting is a model that has often been discussed and suggested: converting a subscription product into an effectively perpetual product after 12 to 18 months of subscription payments have been made. In other words, after Adobe has collected sufficient subscription dollars equivalent to buying a classic perpetual license, leave all features enabled as of the latest subscribed update, and then no longer update the product and no longer treat it as a subscribed product.

    • Uwe says:

      That is the time, when I would consider to buy LR6!
      With every update notification of my perpetual LR 5.7 I immediately start researching, if the next update doesn’t force me into this endless paying CC licensing sceme. As an Adobe customer I feel unsecure not to run into a marketing trap. All I want, is to buy a good piece of software to organize and _develop_ my private photos (= I am not using LR as a professional photographer). Unfortunately there aren’t real alternatives to the great Adobe products, but I feel this company is missusing it’s monopoly position.

  11. Raymond says:

    I like where JP Gea is going. This combines the best of subscription and one-off purchases.

    Let’s say that when you purchase a subscription under that model you are tied to a 12/18month contract.
    Then there are 3 scenarios:

    1. Cancel subscription before the 12/18 month period – the software reverts to the current ‘norm’ – i.e. DAM but no maps for develop module.
    2. Cancel subscription after 12/18 month period – you user will have deemed to have paid the ‘minimum’ amount for the standalone software and therefore the software remains fully functional albeit without the cloud or maps functionality.
    3. User continues to subscribe.

    This is a perfect pricing model for me (and a suggestion for Adobe to think about I guess). The next question would be how to deal with the perpetual updates?

    My view is that small ‘bug’ updates and similar will continue as normal but any ‘point’ upgrades or major upgrades in functional require a user under this pricing model to ‘accept’ to a extended period of minimum subscription before they can cancel and still maintain full functionality.

    Example. LR5.5 subscription requires 12/18 months of minimum subscription after which any cancellation does not cripple the software. If Adobe upgrades to LR5.6, they may require any additional 3 months subscription top-up. i.e. the user will now be required to subscribe for a minimum of 15/21 months. Now lets say LR6 is released, the user may now be required to subscribe for another full 12/18 month period.

  12. Sue Anne says:

    HI Tom, I know you said Library info will not be affected but just want to double check location info…if it was created from the map module will the Country, State, City, data still show up in the library metadata or will only data that has been manually input be all that show up?

  13. Dan Zemke says:

    This seems like a very reasonable approach. I suspect it was very difficult to accomplish internally.
    Thank you !

  14. Mark Ireland says:

    I would like to ask how can customers know when a release of lightroom will be a perpetual or a stand alone version if they do not install further creative cloud updates to the software.
    Seems like a backwards move and all adobe perpetual licenses will become obsolete sooner or later leaving many loyal users out of pocket and out in the cold.

    Mark Ireland
    Vivid Ireland Photography

    • Rikk Flohr says:


      Perpetual=Stand-alone as opposed to Subscription.

      The upside is that any perpetual license you currently own will install until such time as your computer’s OS no longer supports it. Obsolescence of a particular Version of a perpetually-licensed Lightroom is more bound by advances/releases in Mac/Windows and the longevity of your hardware. The DNG Conversion tool coupled with your last “Dot” release of Lightroom should handle new hardware for a long time in the unlikely event Adobe abandons LR in a perpetually-licensed version.

  15. Nate says:

    There’s no explicit mention here of what happens to the metadata when the CC licence on LR expires.
    Also, no guarantee that Adobe won’t change its licence conditions down the track.

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      That is the nature of the world, Nate. There are no guarantees anywhere. Any company can go out of business, discontinue a product, or change its policies at any time. This is a nice and seldom-realized exception that a company will come out and say what Adobe is saying here today.

      Tom has reiterated the Library (the holder of Metadata access in Lightroom) will have access to your Catalog and Images even if your subscription is no longer in place. If you’ve saved your metadata to the images (either embedded in the files or in their sidecars) you are golden. If not, your 5.5 release will continue to function in all ways in Library module giving access to and the ability to change your Metadata.

    • Expiration of membership doesn’t affect metadata. The Library module remains active. Further, if you save metadata to your files (XMP side car or DNGs) that metadata is accessible to any application that reads XMP metadata.

  16. Aruna Basnayake says:

    Hi – the whole world is moving to the subscription model: just look at Amazon, Dropbox and others. Even large corporations are purchasing software as a service. If this allows Adobe to continue to make investments that we, as customers, value, then I am all for it. In fact, by moving to a subscription model, I get LR plus PS, which I didn’t have previously. Plus access on my iPad. I will be switching and this statement from Adobe puts to rest my concerns about what happens if, for some reason, I decide to no longer renew my subscription. Thank you, Tom, for patiently answering all our questions!

  17. thanks for your useful informations…I just hope that stand alone versions of Lightroom will be supported in future versions since I use them often offline, mostly in a mac that is always offline, and I’m no way interested in cloud sharing…but just in the working program itself.

    Thanks again.

  18. Paul says:


    If I upgrade to 5.0 I will have the Develop module, correct? If I further upgrade to 5.5 the Develop module goes away, correct?

    I am not happy that we are being pushed into a subscription that will cripple our software if we can no longer afford it. I truly hope another company sees this as an opportunity to compete with Adobe and help us little guys out.

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      If you subscribe, install LR 5.x and then decide to let your subscription lapse, you lose access to develop.
      If you buy a perpetual (traditional) license, your Develop module works until you, in the future, install an Operating System that LR 5.x doesn’t work on.

      No one is being pushed. Buy the Perpetual and everything is just like before.

  19. Øystein Otterdal says:

    I own a perpetual license of LR 5, and on top of that I have a subscription for LR and PS. I have installed PS, but kept my perpetual LR. Now there is a new update out, but when I want to install that Adobe ask me to install LR from CC to get the update. I don’t want to do that because I’m not sure if I will continue the subscription when my first year is over. How do I update?

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      Normally, you would open your perpetually-licensed copy of Lightroom and go to Check for Updates… and it should take you to the download page for the perpetually licensed version of the latest update for Lightroom. Have you tried this method? If not, how are you trying to do it? If you let us know if you are Mac or Windows, we can post a link for you.

  20. Justin says:

    Dear adobe please change this draconian business model! Access to online services is understandable reason for a subscription but does not warrant disabling the productive functions of purchased software.

    A for the software f for the business model

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      Lightroom still has its original licensing scheme. It also has a Creative Cloud Subscription version. Nothing has really changed except additional ways to license Lightroom. No features of any perpetual license have been disabled.

  21. Mark says:

    So I have a LR5.5 perpetual license. Say I subscribe to CC and download both LR and PS. Then I want to execute an exit strategy after a year or more when LR CC has been updated to LR6 or later. To be clear, I will then be able to move that Library back to my LR5.5 perpetual copy? How is this accomplished?

    • If you install a perpetual version of Lightroom 6/next, it will import your prior version catalog.

      • Mark says:

        So as you update the CC version of LR, the perpetual version will also updated (at a cost for major steps). That’s what wasn’t clear to me. I was under the impression that LR was being treated like PS, where there weren’t any subsequent versions being released. Very confusing to be treating product lines differently. But at least there will be a way to exit… and that makes it a little more appealing to me.

  22. martha cuello says:

    I purchased the lightroom 5 boxed software. I get the updates on my laptop whenever they are due to update. My question, do I need to subscribe to creative cloud? And how do I get Lightroom Mobile on my iphone and ipad? Do I have to pay extra a month (subscribe to something) for this. I am so lost and I am just a beginner.

  23. Sean Gates says:

    I am currently trialling cc with Lightroom and Photoshop on my Mac and Windows. I currently use Aperture but would like to use Windows as well. I really like LR but that is sufficient for my needs and for me Photoshop is overkill. So at the end of the trial I will probably purchase the standalone LR. Is there a way that I can convert to a perpetual licence as I can’t see any way to do this within the product?

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      Download the perpetual LR version from the Adobe Website: Go to http://www.adobe.com and click Products at the bottom of the page. Then scroll to the middle of the page and buy the Lightroom perpetual version.

      • Sean Gates says:

        Thanks – I have found this. My question is about the actual installation. Is it enough to uninstall the CC version and install the downloaded version. SInce there is no uninstaller provided on the Mac this would mean just deleting the app..

        Also before I hit the buy button could you confirm that I have understood the EULA correctly and that I would be entitled to install a copy on my main computer (Windows) and my laptop (Mac) as long as I don’t use these at the same time?

        Many thanks

  24. Chris Nasdel says:

    This is a bad idea all around. I’ve had to go back to editing with Photoshop and iPhoto because I can’t afford a subscription based service. Companies can, but for the individuals it’s not practical at all. Thanks Adobe! You’ve really help to improve my workflow!

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      Lightroom is still available via the traditional perpetual license. You can buy it from Adobe or from retailers.

      • Scooter says:

        I’m a little confused; at this poit it appears that LR Perpetual license is available from retailers, but not from the adobe site. THere *is* a perpetual license upgrade on the adobe site. Chat tells me that adobe has gone to all subscription now and perperual license is not available.
        I wish I could find out the definitive answer – is there something binding somewhere ( like in terms and conditions ) that defines what happens if I decide to not renew my subscription? In this forum I’m hearing that the software will keep running to the extent of the Library module – so I’ll be able to search, sort, make a collection and export, but not Develop. That’s OK with me, I’m mostly concerned about losing all the edits I’ve already done. Which is what I was told elsewhere – that if I dont renew, the software stops working and I will only have access to my originals. That would be unacceptable.
        So … to repeat – is there someplace anyone can point to that has the definitive, binding “Word”?

        • Rikk Flohr says:

          Definitive Answer: Lightroom 5.x is available as a Perpetual or as a Subscription license. The Perpetual is available as an upgrade or as a full stand-alone version. The only thing you get differently with a Lightroom Subscription license (via the Photography Program) is access to Lightroom Mobile. A search of the Adobe website will show you that you can buy Lightroom either way. If Chat has informed you otherwise, that information was incorrect.

          As for what happens when you let a subscription lapse, this article covered that already. Terms and conditions are available if you wish to read them via your software.

  25. Scooter says:

    Thanks for the reply, Rikk. I know I may be being a little obtuse, but I am still … unsettled …

    Last night I wanted to upgrade my copy of lightroom.
    I went to the adobe website. The photographer’s CC subscription looked good.
    I wondered about the issue of what happens if I cancel.
    I initiated a chat. In that chat I was told:
    – there is no longer a perpetual license version of LR.
    – if you cancel, the software stops working. Stops working. Period.
    – but I’d still have access to my original photos.
    – but yes, I’d lose all my edits.
    – but it’s ok because with auto-renew the price will never change as long as I dont cancel.
    – this was repeated to me at least a couple times, even after I quoted from the ‘buy’ page that ‘the price of renewal may change’.
    – At this point, I said I needed to consider a different solution. I was then told I *could* buy a perpetual license upgrade. Or buy from a retailer. I found this just … weird. Definitely time to stop and think.

    I then searched and found this thread. I read through it a couple times. I can’t figure out how “official” this thread is. Who is “Tom Hogarty”? Who is “Rikk Flohr”? Do either of them have authority to make this assurance?

    After much searching last night I found a ‘terms and conditions’ which made no mention of what happens if I stop subscribing ( Other than “we’re sorry to see you go”).

    I *want* the subscription service. I think it is a great deal.
    I just don’t want to discover that all my edits and ability to search my photos disappears and I’m left with just my originals on my file system if I decide I can no longer afford the subscription.
    I can’t believe more photographers aren’t completely freaked out about this.

    Are You & Tom employees of adobe? Is this blog considered binding by adobe?
    Like I said, I don’t mean to be obtuse and definitely dont mean any offense. I just get nervous about losing a year’s (or more !) worth of work and want to really nail down that that won’t happenb …

  26. Ludwik Szymanski says:

    I have a LR 5 (updated to 5.7) and PS 5. I am saving all my images after importing in .dng. I understand that I will be always able to open them in my PS (perpetual) and/or LR (perpetual). However, will I be able to do it in the future with images that I develop and save with PS CC and/or LR CC, if I decide to subscribe? Or, will they be incompatible with the perpetual versions of LR and PS?

    All this sounds like Adobe adopted a traditional system of drug dealers: give out cheap samples and when the customer is hooked, then you got him, since only you make the dope he is hooked on.

    • Warren Young says:

      Every version of LR that has come out has broken backwards compatibility in some way. You can’t open an LR 5 catalog in LR 4, and you can’t expect to open a DNG touched by LR 5 in LR 4 and expect it not to mung the develop settings it finds within. If you want portable files, you need to bake the changes to TIFF, JPEG, PNG, etc. The Creative Cloud doesn’t change these facts.

      Currently, there is no functional difference between the perpetual LR 5.x and the CC version. It may be that LR will follow PS in the future and come only in a CC version, but that’s a worry about “maybes.”

      If that does happen, the post above tells you that you will be able to keep this hypothetical “LR CC” installed, and it will be able to export the photos to some durable, open format.

      This breaks your “drug dealer” analogy. Adobe is giving you the ability to switch what you are addicted to. 🙂 “Hey, it’s Tuesday, I think I will be addicted to cookies today!”

  27. marvin says:

    Thank you in advanced for answering my question!

    I’m new to Lightroom. And I don’t understand the instructions fully. I have a concern with the payment process. If I get the 49.99 dollars plan, would I be paying that amount monthly? Or am I only paying this once a year?

    Again, Thank you.

    • $49.99/mo is the ongoing price for Creative Cloud Complete (which is all our creative software and services). Creative Cloud Photography Program has an ongoing price of $9.99/mo and includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom & Lightroom mobile.

      With both plans, you get all the product updates/upgrades (e.g. Photoshop 2014, 2015, 2016, etc & Lightroom 6, LR7, LR8, LR9, etc) for OS compatibility and support.

  28. Francois says:


    Please help, I have downloaded the trial version and I use it on a pc that has no internet connection.
    So my question is can I just buy the serial code to activate that lightroom trial version that has expired. I am also just interested in getting the stand alone version if this is still possible?

  29. Jeff says:

    I just tried the 30 day LR demo and I’m quite satisfied with it (I still dont understand why the WB presets add a magenta cast, but that is workable I guess – and an other topic).
    Aperture would be another option, but everyone seems to agree that going there is not a good idea since Apple announced the end of its development.
    However, everything including this tread seems to indicate that LR is going toward a subscription based business model. As an photo amateur, there is no way I’m going to subscribe in that type of “pay forever” product. For me, the current status of LR then looks a lot like the status of Aperture, since I cannot know if I will ever be able to upgrade a “perpetual” license if I buy it.
    I would be ready to buy LR anytime if adobe can guarantee me that the “perpetual” license would continue to be available in the next versions.

  30. Roger Hyam says:

    It is all about confidence. I’m a long time Apple Aperture user and Apple are pulling the plug on that software which has miffed me off quite a bit! Maybe the new Apples Photos app will meet my needs maybe not. I considered changing to LR and took a look at the licensing. I also went to an Adobe presentation on their cloud approach. The pitch was that “boxed software is dead” – I haven’t had software in a box for over a decade (the sales guy was talking rubbish) so this really meant “perpetual licensing is dead”. Adobe have moved their business model. The big clue is in the fact you can’t buy perpetual licenses direct from them. It shows little or no commitment to that distribution channel.

    LR5 is available perpetual now from resellers. There is no guarantee that LR6 will be perpetual. I could move to LR5 (quite painful) but I reckon within 2 or 3 years I’ll be in the same situation I am with Apple Aperture. My money is on Adobe going subscription only with LR6 or only offering some features through cloud versions.

    Basic capitalism. Own the means of production and then charge people a tax for using it. Think tenant farmers.

    What really miffs me is they start right out by bundling LR5 with Photoshop so I can’t, for example, pay £20/year just for LR5. I have to pay £105.36/year for Photoshop as well. I don’t want PS but have to pay for it if I want security. There is no good technical reason for selling bundles. The business reason is to sell people things they don’t want/need. Why not have simple flat pricing?

    First thing in a monopoly is your choices start to disappear and you start fitting in with what the supplier wants you to have. Any color you like as long as it is black.

    I’m wondering how I can go open source with the asset management part of my image management at least. I don’t mind paying for products and services but I like to own my own tools and have a commitment from my suppliers.

  31. Nerida waddington says:

    I am a little confused by everything posted above. When I go to the develop section it says that ‘develop module is disabled. Please renew your membership to reactivate the develop module’
    Does this mean I have to purchase a new lightroom 5 or do I just ask for a new one from lightroom?

  32. Flavio says:

    I’ve got LR since version 1 and Ive been updating it everytime until this last one LR5.
    Ive also tried the LR Mobile, wich i liked a lot, but to keep using it, ive to subscribe to the cloud service.
    And as im not a Photo Pro, and i actuaclly dont need the lastest version of LR, I still prefer the tradicional licence than the subscribing to it.
    But as i mentioned i would like to have LR mobile. So Adobe could provide or have a cheaper plan for those like me that want LR Mobile and dont want to sign to always have the latest LR. I also dont use Photoshop too.

    • Due to the nature of cloud services having ongoing costs, Lightroom mobile is not something that can be offered for a one time fee.

      • Flavio says:

        Im not saying to give it for free.
        But for those who choose to buy LRit could have 1 year of LR Mobile included.
        Or we could sign for the LR Mobile for a cheaper fee.
        Because if i buy the LR and sign in, i’ll be paying for it again.
        And i’ll also,pay for Photoshop that i dont use.

        I guess others have the same needs as i do.


  33. Fred says:

    Thanks for confirming that Adobe is now interested in sucking money out of customers’ wallets until the end of time. Fortunately you are not the only game in town, and this software-by-subscription racket is not yet universal.

  34. What happens if my internet connection fails, thanks to hackers or terrorists (if there’s any difference between the two…), or if I’m in a place in the world where there is no internet connection? Will I need an internet connection to renew a subscription, or does Adobe charge my credit card every month?

  35. Flavio says:

    Is it possible to create more logins for Adove LR Mobile? I want to have my account and share it with mu family so they can help me to manage my photo collection.But i also want to choose wich collection to share;

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      File Collections synced through your Lightroom desktop sync via a single Adobe ID. All devices connecting to a catalog collection synced via Lightroom mobile must use that same ID. You cannot sync to multiple IDs at the same time.

  36. Tristan says:

    I already own Lightroom and want to get Photoshop CC. Why do I have to pay £8.50 a month for two products, one of which I already own? I’m not made of money – if there was a £5 per month option for just PS CC then I’d go for it, but this bundle makes no sense for me to subscribe to it, I’m probably going to have to look at alternatives to PS and I really don’t want to 🙁

    • The Creative Cloud Photography Plan includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom & Lightroom mobile. Plus, you get all the product updates/upgrades (e.g. Photoshop 2014, 2015, 2016, etc & Lightroom 6, LR7, LR8, LR9, etc) as part of your membership.

      • Tristan says:

        Thanks for getting back to me, Jeffrey, I do appreciate the response. I’m sure the photography plan is great for people who want Lightroom and PS and don’t currently have access to either, but I do. I only want one product and see little point in paying *again* for LR. Is there no way to just pay for the product I want?
        Will Adobe credit my ‘Cloud Plan’ with the amount I spent on buying LR in the first place?

  37. Jagan says:

    I wish to purchase the boxed version of Lightroom5. Is the boxed version a one-time payable product or do I need to pay an extra amount every year for upgrading it?

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      When you purchase a boxed version: 5.0 for example, 5.1-5.2-5.3… are all upgrades at no charge. The 5.x version can be used as long as your computer will install and run it.

      Upgrading to Version 6.0 would require an additional purchase.

  38. Jack Hecker says:

    I’ve been a professional photographer since 2000. I have purchased every lightroom version since the beginning and PS since 2003. I’m not sure anyone at adobe is really talking to photographers. This is what I mean, with a standalone program Lightroom or PS I have well over $1,000 in third party software loaded. Myself and just about every Professional Photographer I know, skips a cycle or two or even three with PS. Who wants to spend the time and in many cases the money to upgrade. I have found the develop upgrades (in Lightroom) usually entice me to to upgrade. I hate the Idea of paying every month, being in business for myself I try my best to listen to my customers. Adobe if any other company were to offer a product even close, thousands of us would jump ship. I will buy into to the fruit punch but don’t except any Christmas cards form me. Adobe do the right thing admit to your mistake and make it right!!!!!!

    Jack Hecker

    Jack Hecker

  39. kelvin jackson says:

    I am a LR user have not used the mobile app, now when I log on I get LR mobile, saying my trail is expired.
    how do I get back to my reg.LR?

  40. Heidi Neil says:

    I’m new to lightroom and it’s lightroom 5 that I’m using. What is happening is I go to develop the picture in the developing section in lightroom and it gives me this message that says ” Develop module is disabled Please purchase a license to reactivate the develop module.” I shouldnt have to do anything else after already buying the cd and downloading it initially. It’s already paid for? I’m so confused!!

  41. Trish Satkofsky says:

    I need info re your new monthly plan. How exactly does it work? Do we still need to purchase an Adobe CD product to participate, or is everything included with the monthly/annual membership. Is Elements versions included? I thought Lightroom was part of it, but only now find CC + Lightroom. I want to start a friend in editing and wanted Elements, which I know & can help her better if I have a product I understand rather than CC which I have no experience with & help w/b limited. Please explain plans available & costs for me to help her decide what’s best for a beginner. Thanx, trish

    • If you want to use Elements and Lightroom, you’d be better off purchasing those two products separately. Elements doesn’t come with Creative Cloud Photography Plan.


      The Creative Cloud Photography Plan includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom, Lightroom mobile, and get all the product updates/upgrades (e.g. Photoshop 2014, 2015, 2016, etc & Lightroom 6, LR7, LR8, LR9, etc) for OS compatibility and support during that time. With the old model, you’d have to pay extra for upgrades in that same time period.

      One of the reasons for moving to this model is to make sure customers can keep up with the fast changing technology landscape where Apple and Microsoft are updating OSes every 12 months and introducing new hardware and devices at a faster and faster rate.

      Hope that helps

  42. Angela says:


    I am considering purchasing the creative cloud photography package. I already have Photoshop installed on my computer that i bought outright, but want the cloud so i can have lightroom. If i purchase this package will it effect my original Photoshop, and will i have 2 versions of Photoshop on my computer?

    Also was wondering on how many devices Photoshop and lightroom from this package can be loaded onto?

    • What version of Photoshop? If you have CS5 or earlier it won’t affect them. If you have CS6, it won’t affect them unless you choose to install the CS6 updates through the Creative Cloud application. It will never affect your serial & license. If you do update your CS6 to the CC version of CS6, you can always uninstall and reinstall the perpetual version.

  43. Marv Heston says:

    What about versions of the LR database, in the past every new version of LR required an update of the database which I believe prevented returning to an older version of the software. Will this happen with CC, say I subscribe and use the CC version of LR for two years then stop my subscription – will I be able to access those files/database with my standalone LR?

    And if the versions moving forward from here on add new “features” can those files be used in the standalone version of LR?

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      As long as you stay within the same major version level catalogs should be compatible between perpetual (boxed) licenses and CC Subscriptions. i.e. you cannot subscribe to Lightroom 5 today via CC and then quit Creative Cloud and expect your catalog to open in Lightroom 4 but it will open in LR 5.x boxed version.

  44. Art Davis says:

    Lightroom 6
    When will upgrade pricing be available to migrate from LR5 (standalone) to L6 (standalone) be available? Will it be directly from the Adobe site? Where on the site? Many thanks.

  45. John Graham says:

    I have a trial CC account which has now expired (so develop module is disabled) – I have decided to go for the standalone Lightroom (as don’t really use PS). Do I buy and install over the current CC version or is there something I need to do to remove that. Also when I install the standalone version are my current photos/edits transferred across to the new version?

    Thank you

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      You will need to uninstall the CC version(s) of Lightroom. Then, install the Perpetual License Version of Lightroom 6. As long as you do a normal uninstall of CC and a normal install of 6.0, your catalog, settings and edits should transfer just fine.

      It is always prudent to do a backup before – just in case.

  46. Caroline says:

    I would like to upgrade to lightroom 6 but I absolutely 100% do NOT want the creative cloud
    I loathe and detest subscription model and will NEVER use it.
    is it possible to just upgrade ? ( UK) – can’t find the appropriate link on the UK website for purchase of standalone LR upgrade.

    btw may I say that I heartily dislike the new “play-dough” interface on the website. Looks like it has been designed for a 3 year old with the attention span of a gnat and only a mobile phone to use. Wayyyyyy too little real content per “screen”. Virtually impossible to get to anything I want to see and *really* miss sensible menus. I would also dearly love to turn off all those detestable annoying and irritating animations. It would be good if you remembered that many of your users have hi-res wide format monitors and therefore refrained from formatting content into a narrow band in the middle of the page…..

    Thanks – Caroline

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      The Perpetual license is available on the Adobe website for upgrade or full version. Go to http://www.adobe.com and scroll down and click on Products. Scroll to Lightroom and click buy. Those are the US instructions. I am guessing it will be similar in the UK.

  47. gnohz says:

    Could i just clarify, are license keys country-specific? I’m getting the upgrade and if i purchase it from the US website, will i be able to use it on my LR 5.7.1 (non-US version)?
    Thanks for the help!

  48. Steven Hubbard says:

    I purchased LR5 some last year (hard disc) and have been using same almost daily.

    Today, when I accessed the “development” tab, I got a message stating that I need to “renew my membership” before i can use it again.

    What “membership” is Photoshop referring to?

    Thank you

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      It sounds like you installed the subscription version of the last update instead of the perpetual version.

      You would need to uninstall that version and reinstall using the perpetual version: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/updates.html

      • paul mckeen says:

        The link is not much help as after following it, the only LR I get to is LR5.7 — Having a similar problem in that I eventually did manage to get to – what I believed was the perpetual licenced ‘stand-alone’ LR6. After purchase and successful install, I keep having to re-register the product by “logging in to” my Adobe ID account and entering the licence key. LR6 starts, but indicates I have “## days left on my Free mobile trial”. I have to repeat the registration each time I open LR6 as I don’t stay ‘logged on’ to my Adobe ID… because it’s supposed to be ‘stand alone’ and I don’t always have internet access.

        • Rikk Flohr says:

          The poster to whom I was responding specified Lightroom 5.

          After successfully logging in and registering the product you should not need internet access to use the Lightroom 6 Perpetual.

  49. paul mckeen says:

    Forgot to mention that I now have a “FREE” CC account, which I neither requested, nor expected to be part of the LR6 stand-alone application.

    • paul mckeen says:

      Nor do I care for, or require LR mobile. If LR6 perpetual “stand alone” environment does not include the mobile portion, is there any specific reason that is included in the first place. I thought that’s what the LR CC was all about.

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      A free CC account is part of the Adobe ID you use to register your Lightroom software. It is yours to use or not as you like.

  50. Bill Dewey says:

    I was asked a slight variation on the issue of stopping a CC subscription and what happens with LR, in this case LR6. To be sure I have this correct, if I currently have LR6, stop my subscription, Develop and such will cease, but I still have Library access and export, correct? What happens if I need to change computers? Something fails for example. Can I just install the latest version and still have the same access to my current catalog, or do I need to re-establish my subscription first?


  51. April says:

    Hi! I recently used the Lightroom trial, edited 600+ photos that I shot for my friends wedding—and loved the application! I purchased the subscription but the application is telling me it cannot find my files! Six hundred photos that I need to send off to the bride! Tomorrow! How do I regain access to my photos? I can see them, but I cannot edit or export and I’m starting to freak out…

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      Search your hard drive for files with the LRCAT extension. One of these will be the catalog that contains your edits and should connect to your files upon which you were editing. If the image originals have been moved outside of Lightroom, you will need to repoint the Lightroom catalog containing the edits to the image originals new location.

  52. Stephen Ide says:

    I gave up with Lightroom CC and I’ve reverted to my older LR5.7 catalogs. I use Lightroom with photos on a network drive. Not only does LRCC load with errors every time asking me to “switch to” or “retry” every time, but it was so dreadfully slow as to be unusable. I like the concept of using the web to allow easy access to my photos on other devices, but LRCC fails for me on all counts. Sorry, but in my business I don’t have time to troubleshoot a failed product. I’m happy with LR5. It does everything I need. Unless you can get some Adobe exec in my office to experience what I’ve experienced with this Adobe product, you can’t pay me to use the upgrade. I gave it a shot, wasted time reading your forums, tried your troubleshooting. As far as I’m concerned, I should be invoicing you for troubleshooting your product. I’m out.

  53. Well non of the above statesmen from Adobe are now correct.

    They now provides two different version of LR, on for CC and one which is standalone, and they have different functionality.

    This is really infuriating.

  54. Jim Hammond says:

    I currently have installed LR 5.7 and CS6 and was thinking of trying the CC subscription.
    If I copy my current LRCAT file to a new location, tried the new CC with new LRCAT and decided that I did not like after say 6 months, could I then buy LR6 standalone, and then still open old files from my saved LRCAT used with LR 5.7 and still have all my develop module edits intact?
    Or if I did that would the files that I had edited in CC still be able to be opened then in LR6 standalone?
    Thanks for any feedback

    • Rikk Flohr says:

      Catalogs from 6.x are cross-compatible with Catalogs from CC2015.x.

      Catalogs from 6.x and CC 2015.x will not be backwards compatible with 5.7.1 – meaning if you work in 6.x/CC2015.x, Lightroom 5.7.1 will not be able to open the newer catalogs and raws with sidecars or DNGs may not render correctly if edited in 6/CC and opened in 5.

      • Jim Hammond says:

        For now I decided to buy the upgrade from LR 5.7.1 to LR6 and see how it goes. That way if I decide to then try LR/CC if I understand correctly all of my files will be compatible.

        How can I get LR6 to automatically convert my raw files on import to DNG files?

  55. Pam Boling says:

    Mr. Hogarty:
    I purchased CC Complete on May 7 but was unable to get it working after numerous contacts with Adobe support techs. The last attempt even required me to reinstall Windows on my system after doing a remote desktop. Long story short, I ended up having to get a refund and still haven’t re-purchased because of the price hike. In researching my options (upgrading to CS6 from CS5 – I desperately need Acrobat!), I have discovered, amongst other things, there is confusion as to whether or not there will be future upgrades to Lightroom. Most people seem to believe that LR6 is the last perpetual license. I never purchased LR6, thinking I would have CC (at the previous rate of $29.99/month). Then I saw a post yesterday on DPReview stating that you said as brand manager that Lightroom will continue releasing perpetual licenses.

    I am in a bit of a conundrum. This answer will help me to make a clearer decision on which direction: CC or CS + LR. Frankly, I am opposed to “leasing” software, especially at this exorbitant rate of $600/year.

    I appreciate any input you can provide.

  56. Ken W says:

    1. What happens to my images that are stored on the cloud after I end my subscription? How long are they maintained in the cloud? Will my heirs have access to the images
    2. How much space is allocated for me on the cloud a) for free? b) per storage plan and how much is the cost for each storage plan?
    3. Who has access to my images on the cloud besides myself? Can I designate family members to have access as in the case of “Dropbox?”