Latest Lightroom update for iOS wiped all unsynced pictures and presets

“Always have a backup.” It’s an IT mantra. It could be argued, and some would say rightfully, that anyone who loses electronically stored data is a fool for not having it backed up at least once. Equipment breaks all the time. Software glitches all the time. The simplest way to prevent losing your work is to back it up.
Adobe pushed an update for the iOS version of Lightroom that has deleted users’ data. On Wednesday, some found their photos and Lightroom presets gone. One Redditor claims to have lost two years’ worth of photo edits.

“I made a post yesterday that all of my photos and presets had disappeared after updating the Lightroom app. That was 2+ years of edits that are just gone, lost, unrecoverable,” said Extracount-13 on the Lightroom subreddit.

Some users claimed to have lost hundreds of dollars worth of paid presets.

Adobe rep Rikk Flohr responded to the fiasco in the Photoshop help forums confirming that the most recent update caused the problem. Adobe quickly issued a patch that fixed the data deleting bug, but it’s too late for those already affected.

“We are aware that some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud. A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPadOS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.”

Not all Lightroom users lost their data. Those with subscriptions who synced to Adobe’s cloud lost little to nothing. Many of those affected, use Lightroom to edit photos locally and do not see the point in paying for a subscription that mostly offers tools they won’t use.

“I do photography as a hobby, so I never saw a need for backing up photos, and I never paid for the subscription (which would include cloud storage) because I didn’t use any of the tools that came along with the subscription,” continued Extracount-13.

Adobe reissued Flohr’s statement apologizing but saying there was not much else it could do. The data is gone for good. Since the glitch affected photos stored locally, there is no way to retrieve them from its end. The company suggests that users might be able to recover edits and presets from a recent iPhone or iPad backup.