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Restoring a directory from the cloud

New Here ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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Hi. Can I restore a catalog from the Adobe cloud? As a result of an accident, I don't have access to the catalog file, but it was synced to the cloud. On my iPad, I can still view and edit photos in the mobile app.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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Are you using Lightroom Classic or Lightroom Desktop? If the latter, then the process is very simple in that you launch Lightroom Desktop application. A new catalog is created automatically and files will automatically download to the new catalog. With Lightroom Classic, the process is slightly more complex, but we'll get to that when you provide details on which version of Lightroom you're actually using.

 

 

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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I use Ligtroom Classic

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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Unfortunately, a copy of the whole Catalog does not sync to the cloud. Only certain edited images - those in collections that you have chosen to sync out to the cloud, where they appear in corresponding virtual groupings. And, are only stored in cloud in the form of Smart Previews plus metadata, not as the full camera file that is in the local storage. Also such matters as editing History, and the organisation of images within folders on disk, are not represented in the cloud at all.

 

If you still have got access to the images that you had imported, but have only lost access to the Catalog you imported those into (and cannot retrieve that), then some of the editing info may still be OK. That is, IF the option was selected as you worked on the images, to Auto-save new changes out to external XMP. In that scenario those images on disk will have LrClassic editing metadata attached. On making a fresh empty Catalog and importing those images, the attached metadata will get read so that the latest available Develop edits are seen (rather than an unedited photo). That would not restore a lot of Catalog organisational stuff such as Collection membership, also Virtual Copies would not be restored at all in this scenario.

 

The very best approach is to get a Catalog back -  for example, if you had backed up the Catalog on closing LrC then that can now be extracted from its ZIP archive and opened.

 

However it is not clear to me whether you do still have the photo files (camera Raw or camera JPG, etc). FYI a Catalog backup only covers the metadata database concerning imported photos, and does not embody the imported photos themselves, which require separate backup provision. Worst case, if lost entirely from computer setup and no backups, photos may still be present on the camera card?

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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Thank you for your time. I have the original raw files. Unfortunately, I did not use saving to xmp files. It would be ideal if I could restore the edits saved in the cloud, but I don't know how to do that.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2023 Feb 03, 2023

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A couple of questions:

 

1. Were ALL the images in the original LrC catalog synced to the cloud?

2. And are those original raw files still in the same disk location that they were in when they were cataloged in LrC?

3. And how many images are we talking about?

 

If the answer to the first two questions is "Yes", what I'm thinking you should be able to do is to import all the raw images directly into the Lightroom desktop app. For each image added, Lightroom "should" automatically detect that a smart preview of that image already exists and so it would replace the smart preview with the original (i.e. the new original would inherit all the edits of the smart previews). If that works as planned, and once all the originals have been uploaded to the cloud, you would then start Lightroom Classic and create a new empty catalog but before doing anything else you would go to LrC's Preferences>Lightroom Sync tab and there set the location on your local system that you want to use for the images that you are about to download from the cloud. Also choose one of LrC's standard dated-folder schemes into which the images will be placed. Then you would enable syncing in that new catalog (of course you need to be signed in to the same Adobe account), and then you would wait while all the original raw files are downloaded into the catalog, and stored in that new location. They would be complete with all preserved edits, and will also be stored in the same collections as the albums that they are stored in the cloud.

 

Downsides:

 

1. Cloud space. Assuming you only have the standard 20GB of cloud space, and depending on the answer to question 3 above, you are likely to temporarily need more cloud space. You would need to contact Adobe to arrange for a temporary increase in your cloud storage. Once all has been recovered into LrC, you could then unsysnc all the existing collections in LrC (make sure you do that first), then remove all images from LrC's All Synced Photographs special collection. That would delete all the images from the cloud, after which you could then re-sync the collections again which would re-upload smart previews again, after which you could revert your cloud storage back to the original 20GB.

2. Keywords and Location data: any of this data that was added to the original LrC catalog is lost, as that does not sync back when you initally download all assets into the new catalog.

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