I am finding the versions of lightroom so confusing. I seem to have multiple versions and am worried that over the years, I may have imported some photos in older versions and then reverted back to newer versions! I really wish adobe had made this clearer years ago. I have already found that various collections I created 15 yearw ago have missing photos!
But what do I do now? I realy only want to work with Lightroom classic CC v 11.1, which is installed.
But I also have all of these these installed on my mac:
Lightroom classic CC v 11.1
Lightroom classic v 6.0
Any ideas how I check that I don't lose anything, how I safely unistall old versions please
Lightroom Classic 11.1 is the current version of Lightroom Classic. The one just called 'Lightroom' is the cloud oriented version. You do not need it but there is no harm in having it installed too. The other two are old versions you should no longer need.
Just to comment on this distinction of "Lightroom" denoting the cloud-centric application: that is currently true but only dates back, obviously, to the introduction of that option. Also the term "Lightroom Classic" also only dates back that far.
If you ever see "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom", that is going to be the earlier product - most likely perpetual licensed - that was the ancestor of the current, subscription licensed, Catalog based and local-files based "Lightroom Classic" program.
The abbreviation "CC" is not a reliable distinguisher since there have been instances of the Catalog based option including "CC" in the full version description. Also some people have supposed "CC" to mean cloud centric operation - when I'd summarise this as only denoting that the licensing makes some cloud based facilities available, and refers to an Adobe account sign-in.
Accessing and comparing older version Catalogs is possible even with only the newer software, since those older Catalogs will get converted and resaved as needed - but to untangle any differences in how a particular image is edited in each, indeed sounds very laborious.
Generally speaking there is a smooth inheritance of your working Catalog's contents and Collections etc, as all that existed at that time, into the next Lightroom / Classic version's upconverted copy: which you then proceed with. Only if you continued to work in the older version and in its own Catalog, in parallel with working in the newer version, can there be anything useful to potentially retrieve and resolve. However if (say) a particular Collection has been deleted at some point and you now regret this, well that is nothing to do with going to a new version - that is what periodic Catalog backup is there for. Personally I would advise ensuring a backup is made at the time of each new LrC CLassic version upgrade and then retained, but once the working Catalog is resaved for the use of the new version, and all is found to be working properly, that prior version's Catalog can be safely deleted / archived elsewhere to avoid potential confusion. To continue working in both would be unwise and practically problematic. If still available as a separate program, that earlier software can be safely uninstalled.
So far as retaining an old Catalog, that need only be the Catalog FILE itself: the related support and preview folders alongside, are disposable.