Adobe erased users' photos with botched Lightroom update

Adobe has admitted that users' images and presets have been permanently deleted due to a bug in the latest version of the Lightroom app for iOS and iPadOS.

As first reported by PetaPixel, users started reporting missing files after updating Lightroom to version 5.4 earlier this week.

Those affected lost photos, presets, edits, watermarks, and more. One Reddit user said that he lost two years of edits, and there are a number of similar complaints from people who lost important data.

The majority of those hit by the glitch were using local storage and hadn't upgraded content to Adobe's cloud storage service, although some paid users were also impacted and lost thousands of photos.

Adobe has since pulled the botched update and release a new version of Lightroom for iOS and iPadOS (5.4.1) that "prevents this issue from affecting additional customers".

However, in a forum post, the company warned that "installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0."

"We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We sincerely apologize to any customers who have been affected by this issue," Adobe added.

In a follow-up statement, the company recommended that affected users try to restore an iCloud backup that might have the lost content, but reiterated there's no solution on Adobe's end to address the loss and no fix if there's no ‌iCloud‌ backup.

News of this glitch comes just weeks after Canon warned that some users’ media has been permanently deleted following a coding error that arose from a botched attempt to switch its service to new software.

Carly Page

Carly Page is a freelance technology journalist, editor and copywriter specialising in cyber security, B2B, and consumer technology. She has more than a decade of experience in the industry and has written for a range of publications including Forbes, IT Pro, the Metro, TechRadar, TechCrunch, TES, and WIRED, as well as offering copywriting and consultancy services. 

Prior to entering the weird and wonderful world of freelance journalism, Carly served as editor of tech tabloid The INQUIRER from 2012 and 2019. She is also a graduate of the University of Lincoln, where she earned a degree in journalism.

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