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What To Do if Lightroom Starts Messing Up

For those of you with a Photoshop background, you know that if Photoshop starts acting weird (anything from tools missing from the toolbar to things just not working like they should), resetting Photoshop’s preference file usually fixes the problem (well, about 98% of the time, which is pretty high).

So, is there a way to do something similar in Lightroom if it’s acting weird?  There is in Lightroom CC (Well, you could always dig up the preferences, but it was definitely a hunt finding out exactly where it is on your computer, which is probably why Adobe made it so much easier in Lightroom CC — now it’s more like Photoshop where you hold a key combination at startup and it asks if you want to replace the preferences.

That keyboard combination for Lightroom is:

Shift-Option-Command (on Mac)
Shift-Alt-Ctrl (on Windows)

Just hold that while launching Lightroom and the dialog you see below will appear asking if you want to reset the preferences or just start normally.


Of course, hit “reset” and that should do the trick. By the way — sometimes just quitting and restarting Lightroom alone will work if things start acting wonky.

In other news…
We are just eight days away from my Worldwide Photo Walk. I hope you’re signed up to join us. If you’re not, here’s the link to see if there’s a walk near you.

Have a great weekend everybody, and we’ll see ya back here on Monday!





  1. Ross Chevalier 29 September, 2015 at 16:10 Reply

    Great tip. One issue I keep seeing on student’s Macs is that the top window bar with the min, max, and close buttons is gone. I don’t know how they manage to make it vanish so I don’t know if this fix corrects it.

    Any ideas?



    • Scott 30 September, 2015 at 14:45 Reply

      Could it be that they have gone into full screen mode? Try Shift + F. Once removes the window bar. A second time brings you to full screen mode with the menu bar disappearing as well (reappears when hovering at the top of the screen). A third time returns you to the normal view.

      Hope that helps!


  2. Randy 27 September, 2015 at 19:19 Reply


    Do you think that Lightroom CC will get some of the new effects that are in Adobe Photoshop Effects…specifically the ability to correct for blurry photos?



  3. Irene Strowe 25 September, 2015 at 13:32 Reply

    Works in LR6 also.

    Or, LR6 – start Lightroom, then immediately hold down Shft + Alt and you also get the dialog box to reset preferences.

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