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Odd Photoshop Bug Affecting (some) Lightroom Classic Users

This is not a typical post for me, but I’ve been getting so many emails from people (only Windows users so far) who are having this problem when sending a photo from Lightroom Classic to the latest version of Photoshop (20.0.1) that I need to share the situation in case it helps others (I added a bonus tip at the end for both Win and Mac users just in case it is also helpful).


The problem is that people are finding certain actions are missing, notably menu options grayed out (see below) or the Ctrl+J shortcut to duplicate a layer not working, when sending a copy of a raw photo to Photoshop from Classic. I can only replicate this on Windows, and I’ve only heard from Windows users with this issue, so I think it is safe to say this is Windows only. If you’ve experienced this issue, head over to the Photoshop Family forum, and add a “like” to this post on the issue to be notified when an update is available.


The current workaround is to:

  1. Close Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.
  2. Re-open Photoshop.
  3. Re-open Lightroom Classic.

Basically, if you just open Photoshop first you will avoid the problem.

Alternative Workaround

[Update] You can also open Photoshop’s preferences to the General tab, and check Disable the Home Screen.

Bonus Tip and Additional Alternative Workaround

Well, if you read this far I’d like to leave you with another tip that can actually function as a workaround for this issue, but really it just gives you another route to send a copy to Photoshop for editing and works for both Win and Mac. Did you know that you can create an Export preset that sends a copy to Photoshop, saves the copy to the same folder as the source photo, adds the copy to the catalog, and even stacks the copy with the original? You can! Sure at face value it simply mimics the Photo > Edit in Photoshop command, but because you are using the Export dialog you can choose JPG instead of PSD/TIF, you can resize the copy, and all the other things you can configure on Export. Granted, this is not something I use much myself, but I think it is handy to file away for just that time it might be helpful. I think the reason this may work around the problem is that it saves the copy to disk before opening in Photoshop, but that’s just a guess.

To create the Export preset:

  1. Select any photo in Library and click Export.
  2. On the Export dialog, expand the Export Location panel and set Export to same folder as original.
  3. Check the boxes for Add to this catalog and Add to stack.
  4. Choose a file naming convention for the copy (such as, Filename-Edit).
  5. Configure File Settings as desired for file type, bit depth (if applicable), and color space.
  6. Configure Image Sizing as desired (most likely, uncheck resize to fit and enter desired resolution).
  7. Expand Post-Processing panel and set to Open in Adobe Photoshop as the After Export step (this is the key).
  8. Click the Add button to save settings as preset (and give it a meaningful name).

Now you can press CMD/Ctrl+Shift+E to open the Export dialog and select your preset, or if that was the last export you did previously, you can just press CMD/Ctrl+Shift+Option/Alt+E to trigger Export with previous and skip the Export dialog. Eventually that bug will get squashed, but you can use this bonus tip forever!



  1. Robbie Carpenter 25 February, 2019 at 16:28 Reply

    Ok I got the export option to work but now how do I get the new version from photoshop back to my Lightroom catalog

  2. Odile van Asperen 10 December, 2018 at 05:18 Reply

    Thank you. so have to wait to work in PS .Have windows and since 20.1 menu barre is greyed out and shortcuts with CTRL not working. When downloading this version the older one did not disappear. So have both versions. How to say to LR not to send to latest version? because older version still works

  3. David Golding 6 December, 2018 at 21:56 Reply

    What about, in Photoshop preferences, selecting to disable the home screen? Someone has mentioned that as a solution

  4. Dan Dirr 22 November, 2018 at 08:56 Reply

    Another work around is to go into Photoshop preferences under general and select “disable the home screen”. Photos sent from Lightroom will open normally with full editing functionality

    • Ernie M Stripling 22 November, 2018 at 22:39 Reply

      I have a problem with 20.1 too. I have a company account and a personal account. I tried to open 3 images from LR in PS. The first time I have ever seen this. PS locked up and I can’t even open PS nor uninstall it. Windows says close it in TASK Mgr but it’s not open. It is totally locked up and will open nor uninstall.

  5. Joe Schmidt 21 November, 2018 at 14:36 Reply

    Sorry for asking a question about another problem I am having. I cannot sign out of Photoshop 2019 or Lightroom Classic 2019. I can sign out using the Creative Cloud app. I have been in touch with Adobe about this and they have no answer. When I go to Help in both programs and click Sign Out a white screen comes up with a blue spinning circle that never stops spinning. This does not happen in the previous versions of these programs. Sorry to ask about this here, but I can’t get any help anywhere else.

    • Rob Sylvan 21 November, 2018 at 18:40 Reply

      Hey Joe, I’ve not encountered that one. I’d post over on the Photoshop Family forum I linked in the post above. There are awesome Adobe support folks in that forum who would be be in a better position to help you out.

      • Joe Schmidt 23 November, 2018 at 12:04 Reply

        Thanks Rob.I have posted there and someone from Adobe contacted me, but gave up and I have not heard from them again. Maybe it will get fixed with the next release. Seems to me that it is not making an internet connection. Maybe a missing file somewhere. Previous versions are not having the problem. Strange.

  6. Gary Kranston 21 November, 2018 at 06:57 Reply

    Thanks for this tip Rob. I actually just encountered this issue for the first time last night – edit as layers in PS and once there was unable to duplicate layers. I closed the photos, went back to LR and repeated the same command – this time everything was functional. Perhaps this worked because PS was already open on the 2nd attempt? Happy Thanksgiving!

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