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How To Get Your Lightroom CC Images Back From The Cloud

Happy Friday, everybody! Today I thought I’d share a Q&A that I wrote in this month’s issue of Lightroom Magazine (Published 10 times a year for KelbyOne Pro members), and it’s answering a question I’ve been getting about the cloud-storage based version of Lightroom (now called “Lightroom CC”). Here’s the question:

Q. I don’t take that many images each year, so I’m considering switching to Lightroom CC [cloud-based storage]. If I do store all my images in Adobe’s Cloud, and then I decide it’s not for me, how do I get my images back? 

A. Adobe makes a free “Adobe Lightroom Downloader App” that will let you download all the images your stored in the cloud directly to your desktop computer. Here’s how:

1. You can find the free downloader at https://lightroom.adobe.com/lightroom-downloader

2. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, launch the app, then click the “Begin” button.

3. In a moment it will ask you to log-in with your Adobe User Name and ID.

4. Now it analyzes your cloud-based image library to get some important stats for you.

5. When it’s done, it lets you know how many photos you have, and how much free disk space you’ll need to store them on your computer. Now choose which folder you want them downloaded into.

6. Now it starts the process of bringing them down (it automatically sorts them into folders by date).

That’s all there is to it. Hope you find that helpful. 🙂

Have a great weekend everybody, and if you’ve been waiting for an excuse to finally learn Photoshop, check out the official trailer for my course “Learn Photoshop in One Hour” — you could be up and running with Photoshop this weekend! One Hour. That’s it!



P.S. Here’s that trailer (below) and here’s a link to the course.



  1. Mitchell Miller 26 January, 2021 at 09:55 Reply

    Does anyone know how to re-upload images to a different light room cloud account? I’ve successfully download it 520 GB worth of images. But now I’d like to upload them to hey second, separate Lightroom cloud account along with edits. I know the download includes XMP files along with the originals, but how to import (or read upload) into Lightroom cloud so that the edits in the X MPs are recognized?

    (Otherwise, this is a true “killer tip.“ It’s an Adobe feature that was slipstreamed in, don’t think many people know about it. Thanks Scott!)

  2. Gerry Mckay 9 November, 2020 at 09:07 Reply


    Will this also included the edits you made to the photos so you can open them in Lightroom Classic, or is it juts the photos straight from camera?

    If it is just the photos straight fom camera, does anyone know how to get the edits as well?

  3. Kit Jernshøj 13 July, 2020 at 11:39 Reply

    I’m currently using the downloader app to download all images (776GB) from the cloud. The Lightroom app keeps unexpectedly going offline and I can’t see any option to get it online other than restarting the download. The pc has internet connection and I’m logged into my Adobe cloud account. It means it will take years to download the content. Have you experienced this?

  4. James Daubert 14 August, 2019 at 16:40 Reply

    I have been using Ligtroom CC. And all my photos are in the cloud. Before I use the Downloader you have here. I have a question about Classic . I synced all the photos to Classic from CC. In Classic the collections are smart previews not the original photos. There use to be original + smart previews. Where is the actual original photos located in classic that were synced from Ligthroom CC into Lightroom classic? Need a video tutorial that sheds some light on this topic.

  5. Dan Ward 26 February, 2019 at 16:53 Reply

    Does anybody know what happens once you download all of your photos and you try and put them back up with a different adobe account? The downloader app puts all of the photos into date labeled folders but what happens when you re-upload – it seems like you get the date labelled folder name instead of the edited name that i had in LightroomCC. I have literally hundreds of folders that were descriptively named. Is there a way to recover the folder name that the images were stored in, i would find it difficult to believe that there is no option to do this

  6. David Rye 19 February, 2018 at 03:17 Reply

    Is there any way to get a filename for a photo that has been accepted by Adobe Stock for sale that I sent in or some of the metadata such as time/date? I’ve gotten some I sent in that I didn’t key with a pending tag or were somewhat similar, and when I get a email notice back saying that they have accepted a specific picture, they never include the LR file name or the metadata such as I mentioned or a large enough image allowing me to distinguish them.

  7. Michael 27 January, 2018 at 16:51 Reply

    I just have Lightroom Classic on my desktop PC, that brings down everything from the cloud and syncs locally, working well for me so far, CC on my phone, Surface Pro, and classic on my desktop setup.

  8. callmebob 26 January, 2018 at 09:02 Reply

    1) Is this a one-time option, or can you do this again through time ?
    2) Can you use this to get just those synced since a previous download ?
    2) Are the photos/files (see Andy Bryant Q) you downloaded removed from the cloud and do you have that option ?

    Thank you Sir.

    • Rob Sylvan 28 January, 2018 at 12:18 Reply

      Bob, From my experience, you can re-download files as often as needed through the downloader app, but my understanding is that it re-downloads everything, not just the changes from last time. It is an all or nothing type of process. It doesn’t remove the files from the cloud, just downloads copies. I don’t see any option to do that in the app, but you can always do it from Lr CC or Lr Classic.

    • Rob Sylvan 28 January, 2018 at 12:20 Reply

      Andy, From my experience, it pulls copies of all original files and smart previews that have been synced. XMP files are also downloaded, but I can’t confirm if all possible info is included in the XMP sidecars. The safe money is on just copies of the originals. Will have to test further.

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