Switched from windows to mac, any possible way to retrieve original files?

New Here ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Hello, I recently moved from windows to macbook, I had transferred everything, I am pretty new with Lightroom software, I know how to edit the pictures and all that stuff but when it comes to crazy inner settings thats where I get confused. I thought I had everything set up, turns out when I tried to edit a picture in lightroom to photoshop, I am unable, I found out that I need the original file, I unfortunately deleted all files from old computer. I believe the pictures I see on my lightroom catalog are just smart previews. Is there a way to retrieve those original files from the cloud? Or am I out of luck?

 

Thank you.

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How to, Mac, Sync

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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The images you see in the catalog are normal previews, not smart previews. The problem is that they are only used to view the images, because Lightroom uses a non-destructive workflow that doesn't alter the images. Without previews you would not be able to see the effect of your edits, but you do need the originals to make those edits or to send an image to Photoshop. If you deleted your originals and you do not have a backup, then I'm afraid that means they are lost.

 

Lightroom Classic does not save original images in the cloud. If you synced your catalog while you were using Lightroom on Windows, then there may be smart previews in the cloud. Syncing this catalog will download them as a new 'original'.  That is better than nothing, but it still means that these 'originals' will only be the size of a smart preview (2560 pixels longest side).

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Hi Default,

 

Deleting files may be reversable. If you still have access to that Windows computer, and want to invest in a bit of money and some time, it would well be worth it to see if you can recover the files.

 

Bit of background: any file on the computer is composed of two parts: the actual file and a small piece of code that tells the computer where that code is located. What happens when you "erase" things is that you remove the directory information about where that file is located which (at the same time) makes that location available for new files. Once that location is overwritten, THAN that file is truly gone. File recovery software looks for the files and can move them to an external drive. However, since it has to look for the files sector by sector, this takes time. This is the kind of thing you start in the morning and just let it go. It will take more time than just getting a cup of coffee. 

 

Simply, if your images are worth it, than this is worth the try.

 

Good luck!

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