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Almost lost my edits, pls help so I won't be stupid again ...

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mist_d

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I have my Lightroom Catalog (+ several catalog backups) on my internal SSD on my Mac and my raw files + .xmp sidecar files on the external hard drive (backed up as well on another hdd).
I always had Lightroom to write changes to XMP files (save .xmp feature selected in catalog settings).
Yesterday I had a shock when I noticed that for some strange reason some edits in particular folders or files were gone. I inspected the .xmp file for those files and they all were totally "striped" down of the edits, back to "default" (no edits). Those "modified" xmp files were like 4 KB when others that contained edits were around 10 kb.

The behavior was strange because It affected only some folders and some files thru the entire catalog. Some edits were there, others not. Some files from within the same period had edits, others not.
I had a sleepless night trying to restore a bunch of catalogs .... same results. The backup catalogs were loading with the edited preview but almost instant would reset back to "no edit" state (kinda like reading the "modified" .xmp with no edits)
Today I reverted back to my current (to date) catalog. When browsing around, I noticed in Develop Module that the latest entry was "Reset Settings". When I rolled-back the history on entry before it .... VOILA !!! THE EDITS ARE BACK !!!!
I want to ask you guys, what caused this behavior ? What created that "Reset Settings" entry in develop module history, only for some particular files ?
How can I prevent this to happen in the future ?
Thank you so much ! Today I am filled with relief and happiness because I managed to save my edits :D and I want to prevent this for ever happen again. !
 
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You didn't perchance have "auto Sync" turned on at the bottom of the right panel in the Devlop Module (not related to syncing collecitons with the cloud)? If you did, have the "feature" turned on, and you "reset" the image in on the screen, it would have reset all the selected images, not just the one on the screen - and that matches description result in your post. So, if that's the case then the obvious answer to how to prevent this is "don't use Auto Sync". I have deemed this feature the most dangerouse button in all of Lrc and coach my students to never use it unless the ":sync" button won't do what you need (very rare).
 

mist_d

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Thank you for replying Califdan ! I don't have any "auto Sync" button in develop module, just "Previous" and "Reset".
In Library module, the "Sync" and "Sync Settings" are greyed out (not clickable)
It's strange anyway ....
I started to go through my entire catalog, file by file in develop module, and revert that "Reset Settings" history wherever I feel that thing was an error for the particular image.
I almost want to start over with a fresh catalog:
- after I corrected the current catalog, all .XMP files got rewritten with all the edits from catalog database.
- I will create a new, fresh catalog (backup the old one) and re-import everything with the corrected .xmp files.
- I don't have too much other stuff in the current catalog (keywords, collections etc.) so a fresh one with all the edits intact will be a good new start.
I'm afraid of this behavior for the future ... so I'm thinking about maybe a fresh start with re-import will work out all the quirks.
 
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In order to see the "Auto Sync" button in the Develop Module you have to have more than one photo selected. But even so, I was remis in not identifying it better. It's the "lightswitch" toggle shown below with arrow pointing to it. If you hover your mouse over it, it will tell you that it turns on Auto Sync.
1663191298619.png


Once it's on though the bottom of the right panel in the Develop module looks like this....
1663191410128.png


I would not start over with a new catalog unless you want to loose stuff in the process (Edit history, Collections, Flags, Etc.). In addition, if you start over with a new catalog and you don't have XMP writen to the files from LrC, you'll lose your develop module edits and new/changed metadata entered via LrC. I would strongly suggest that you stay with our current (updated) catalog or find a backup catalog from before the problem and start from there.

But you imply that you've re-entered the lost info so I'm not clear why you're thinking of starting over with a new catalog? If all the XMP has been written to the files by LrC, then LrC has all of that data in the catalog and starting over with a new catalog would only eliminate information and not add anything that's not already there.

I am also confident that LrC did not do something on it's own to cause this problem for if there was such a bug we'd be hearing from a lot more people about it and we're not - either here or in the Adobe Forums. So, I'm pretty sure it was some sort of operator error (possibly ncluding opening an older catalog). So, even with a new catalog, doing the same thing (whatever it was) would have the same resuilt.
 

mist_d

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I see it now. I didn't have it enabled.
For sure, I did something to cause it, now or down in the past and I can't remember.
There was something that cause it, some action that would do a bulk "reset" in develop module for some images (for example like an entire folder of a shoot) and as a consequence "save" a reseted xmp file for each file.

Thank you again for your help !
 
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So if you ruled out Auto Syunc, the next possible culprit would be that somehow you deleted the XMP files and then "read metadata from files". Perhaps you copied the non XMP image files to another folder and left the XMP's behind and then relinked LrC to the new folder and read metadtata from the files. Bit of a stretch but possible.

Another thought would be in the Library Module that you used the "sync settings" as it will do bulk changes to all selected images. The problem is that I don't see a way for that button to issue a reset command.

However, if you have several images selected in the Library module and do a <ctrl>+<Shift>+R (Windows) or <cmd>+<shift>+R on Mac, it will issue a Reset to all selected images. Do you recall in the history panel if the Reset was on top of other edits or the only think in the history (other than import) was a reset?
 

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"Reset Settings" was on top of the other edits (on the very top, basically the last one added)
I reverted the image to one step prior to that and all the full edited state of the image came back.
 
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That's good and the proper way to "undo" the 'reset'. It also supports the idea that you did a bulk reset and the only ways I know of to do that is with Auto Sync (which you did not do) or in the Library module with either selecting reset in the menu or using speed keys. I'm betting on the later.

I use a screen capture tool that uses <Ctrl>+<shift>+R to do a screen shot of a "region" (ergo the "R"). From time to time I think the screen capture tool is active when in fact it is not and I hit that key combo to take a screen sho but instead get an LrC "Reset" that I then have to undo. Maybe something similar happened to you?
 
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You didn't perchance have "auto Sync" turned on at the bottom of the right panel in the Devlop Module (not related to syncing collecitons with the cloud)? If you did, have the "feature" turned on, and you "reset" the image in on the screen, it would have reset all the selected images, not just the one on the screen - and that matches description result in your post. So, if that's the case then the obvious answer to how to prevent this is "don't use Auto Sync". I have deemed this feature the most dangerouse button in all of Lrc and coach my students to never use it unless the ":sync" button won't do what you need (very rare).
Dan, I was skimming this thread because I was going to suggest something. I was taught something by your post. As I walk around as a travel photographer and shoot on the move, in post later I very often (standard practice) select several images that are similarly lit after developing the first one the way I want it. I then sync them as a good start point for developing the whole similarly lit images. I choose the images I want to apply mu edits from the oine I developed and hit sync. Never had a problem and it is a powerful tool and one of the reasons I don't use presets.
But I didn't know about this toggle. I just looked at my last shoot and I think I had the auto sync toggle on. I need to dig into this and discover what it means. Man ... I didn't know this!

I use syn constantly and have for many years every day all day as I develop my raw files. But I didn't know about that toggle switch for auto sync on and off because I never used it. What is it doing to me? Nothing I think....
 
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Glad to be able to enlighten you (no pun intended).

If Auto Sync is turned off then (left button says "Sync") then nothing is happening automatically and if you wish to copy some settings from one image to a bunch of others you need to press the "Sync" button. On the other hand, if the left button says "Auto Sync" in white on a lighter gray background than every change you make in the develop module auto matically gets copied to EVERY other selected image with no pop up warning message of any kind. If you don't happen to notice the button, or notice images changing on the film strip that are not the active image, you may not even be aware that this is going on.

Pressing the Sync button is the better way to copy desired changes from one image to a set of other images for several reasons. First is that it is a one and done operation. You don't have to remember to turn it off to keep it from continuing to copy settings. Second is that you can pick and choose which settings you want to copy to the other images.

Auto Sync, as I said, is just too dangerouse. If it's inadvertantly left turned on one can ruin thousands of images with a single click - and perhaps not even notice it till weeks or months later when undoing what it did is way more difficult and time consuming with few or no tools available to show you what images were affected.
 
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Glad to be able to enlighten you (no pun intended).

If Auto Sync is turned off then (left button says "Sync") then nothing is happening automatically and if you wish to copy some settings from one image to a bunch of others you need to press the "Sync" button. On the other hand, if the left button says "Auto Sync" in white on a lighter gray background than every change you make in the develop module auto matically gets copied to EVERY other selected image with no pop up warning message of any kind. If you don't happen to notice the button, or notice images changing on the film strip that are not the active image, you may not even be aware that this is going on.

Pressing the Sync button is the better way to copy desired changes from one image to a set of other images for several reasons. First is that it is a one and done operation. You don't have to remember to turn it off to keep it from continuing to copy settings. Second is that you can pick and choose which settings you want to copy to the other images.

Auto Sync, as I said, is just too dangerouse. If it's inadvertantly left turned on one can ruin thousands of images with a single click - and perhaps not even notice it till weeks or months later when undoing what it did is way more difficult and time consuming with few or no tools available to show you what images were affected.
Dan that is amazing! You mean, if for some other reason I highlight a bunch of images, the settings from the first highlighted image just automatically apply to all without hitting the sync button? You have got to be kidding me! Why in the worlds would anyone want that? That is a horrible potential disaster and I think I had it set that way. I will look at that very carefully from now on. No way I would ever want auto sync on.
Unbelievable! Adobe had to do it for a reason. Who would possibly ever want that? Crazy!
That is absolutely incredible and highly dangerous! It is like a booby trap.
Incredible. I had no idea.....

Wait - I just practiced some settings on that. When I hit the toggle, the name changes in the box to "auto sync" instead of sync. So you know it is on auto sync without having to figure out those stupid white and gray switch boxes, which I can never tell what that is set on. Anyway, then you would have to click on auto sync - not the switch, but the box for it to sync. It wouldn't just do it immediately after highlighting a bunch of images. (I hope.)

Wait, I'm too experienced to be confused by this., I gotta play with this and make sure I understand it.

I want mo Auto Sync! ,
 
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Dan that is amazing! You mean, if for some other reason I highlight a bunch of images, the settings from the first highlighted image just automatically apply to all without hitting the sync button?
Not exactly. If "Auto Sync" is on, and you have multiple images selected, each edit you do on the active image is automatically applied to all the selected images. Other edits that had previously been done are not affected unless the current edit is for the same slider.
... the settings from the first highlighted image just automatically apply to all without hitting the sync button?
Again, not quite. When it is turned on, the settings already in the active image are not passed on to the other selected images. But, while it is turned on, every slider movement or adjustment made in the Develop Module is applied simultaneously (well as quickly as it can) to all the selected images, not just the active image being shown.
 

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Interesting. I assume if you have auto-sync enabled and you hit "reset" on the active image, all the other images in the same selection will be reseted. That's really dangerous . Yeah, I didn't messed around with that option ...

I got familiar to just use "copy" and then "paste" the develop edits manually to each image when I needed the same edits across multiple images.

I think my issue had something to do with either with the "read metadata from files" , although the xmp were always there ... or like you said, by mistake I used that shortcut without realizing it.

Quick question:
Does Lightroom ALWAYS record the edits in the catalog database if you have the .XMP option ON ? So basically the .xmp it's a "duplicate" of the edits as an external file next to each image ... ? If you loose the XMP, the catalog will have the edits and vice-versa ?
 
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Not exactly. If "Auto Sync" is on, and you have multiple images selected, each edit you do on the active image is automatically applied to all the selected images. Other edits that had previously been done are not affected unless the current edit is for the same slider.

Again, not quite. When it is turned on, the settings already in the active image are not passed on to the other selected images. But, while it is turned on, every slider movement or adjustment made in the Develop Module is applied simultaneously (well as quickly as it can) to all the selected images, not just the active image being shown.
OK Dan - this is very useful. I'm sure had I followed my promise and read Victoria's book cover to cover, this would have been stated. This is very valuable information for me. Again - I'm amazed after years with LR that I did not know this. So, from what you have explained on this last bit, I can indeed use auto sync at times. There have been many times that I have applied, or failed to apply, a slider that affected say 20 images and I wanted to go back and add it or negate it. Let's say I applied some shadow lifting that I synced to 20 images because I liked the overall edits and I wanted to use that as a start point on those other images. But lets say on 15 of them I want to zero out the shadows slider. Before, I would methodically go through and do that one at a time. Now, I can select the 15 images, move the shadow slider ny initiating auto sync and have that one slider copy over to all the selected images and it effects nothing else.
But I need to turn it back off! But I think it is apparent. Why? Because when I just practiced it, when you toggle it, the wording of the box changes fron sync to auto sync and you still have to click on it before it applies the edit to the selected images.
I need to play with this more and make sure I absolutely get it in practice.
 
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Quick question:
Does Lightroom ALWAYS record the edits in the catalog database if you have the .XMP option ON ? So basically the .xmp it's a "duplicate" of the edits as an external file next to each image ... ? If you loose the XMP, the catalog will have the edits and vice-versa ?
Lightroom ALWAYS writes changes to the catalog no matter what, and it doesn't give you control back until it has.

Writing to XMP is optional and is a non synchronous background operatation meaning that it gets to it when it's not too busy and you can be doing other things in the mean time. If you shut down LrC before it has finished, it will pick up where it left off last time.

XMP is a partial replication of what is in the catalog. Not everything pertaining to the image that is in the catalog winds up in the XMP. The notable exceptions are:
  • Edit history. The last known slider positions are in XMP, but not the history of the the changes that led up to those settings
  • Participation of the image in collections and Publish services
  • Pick Flags (as I recall)
  • Any information perttaining to Virtual Copies including the fact that there are even are any virtual copies
  • I'm not sure about Snapshots but I suspect they too are not captured in the XMP files
Those are the ones that come to mind. So, no - you cannot consider the XMP files as a backup of what is in the catalog. However, it is a bit of insurance in the event that you completely lose use of the catalog and you were not smart enough to not have any useabel catalog backups.

BTW, a significant percentage of my clients fall in that last category ("I was going to back up the catalog tomorrow", "I didn't want to back it up untill I got done processing my 3 week trip to Antartica", "My catalog backups were on the same laptop computer as my catalog and it was stolen at Starbucks", "My husband was supposed to take care of that but he thouht I was", and not quite the same but "I thought my imported images were in the catalog so I deleted all my RAW and JPG files to save space")
 
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OK Dan - this is very useful. I'm sure had I followed my promise and read Victoria's book cover to cover, this would have been stated.
See pages 86. 96, 132
So, from what you have explained on this last bit, I can indeed use auto sync at times. There have been many times that I have applied, or failed to apply, a slider that affected say 20 images and I wanted to go back and add it or negate it. Let's say I applied some shadow lifting that I synced to 20 images because I liked the overall edits and I wanted to use that as a start point on those other images. But lets say on 15 of them I want to zero out the shadows slider. Before, I would methodically go through and do that one at a time. Now, I can select the 15 images, move the shadow slider ny initiating auto sync and have that one slider copy over to all the selected images and it effects nothing else.
Yes, but it's only a couple of extra clicks to use the manual sync method - change the active image, click "sync", click "uncheck all", then check the box or boxes for the items you want to sync.
But I need to turn it back off! But I think it is apparent. Why? Because when I just practiced it, when you toggle it, the wording of the box changes fron sync to auto sync...
The crux of the matter is turning it off. Even though they (sort of recently) changed the look of the button when it is on , it is still not as apparent as you might think. Especially if you get interrupted with a phone call or something.
and you still have to click on it before it applies the edit to the selected images.
NO! ! ! ! ! IF IT IS ENABLED, THEN EVERY EDIT GETS SIMULATNOUSLY APPLIED TO ALL SELECTED IMAGES IMMEDIATLY. IT DOES NOT WAIT FOR YOU TO CLICK THE AUTO SYNC BUTTON TO APPLY THE CHANGES TO THE OTHER SELECTED IMAGES.
 
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See pages 86. 96, 132

Yes, but it's only a couple of extra clicks to use the manual sync method - change the active image, click "sync", click "uncheck all", then check the box or boxes for the items you want to sync.

The crux of the matter is turning it off. Even though they (sort of recently) changed the look of the button when it is on , it is still not as apparent as you might think. Especially if you get interrupted with a phone call or something.

NO! ! ! ! ! IF IT IS ENABLED, THEN EVERY EDIT GETS SIMULATNOUSLY APPLIED TO ALL SELECTED IMAGES IMMEDIATLY. IT DOES NOT WAIT FOR YOU TO CLICK THE AUTO SYNC BUTTON TO APPLY THE CHANGES TO THE OTHER SELECTED IMAGES.
See pages 86. 96, 132

Yes, but it's only a couple of extra clicks to use the manual sync method - change the active image, click "sync", click "uncheck all", then check the box or boxes for the items you want to sync.

The crux of the matter is turning it off. Even though they (sort of recently) changed the look of the button when it is on , it is still not as apparent as you might think. Especially if you get interrupted with a phone call or something.

NO! ! ! ! ! IF IT IS ENABLED, THEN EVERY EDIT GETS SIMULATNOUSLY APPLIED TO ALL SELECTED IMAGES IMMEDIATLY. IT DOES NOT WAIT FOR YOU TO CLICK THE AUTO SYNC BUTTON TO APPLY THE CHANGES TO THE OTHER SELECTED IMAGES.
That last all-caps post is very important. Very dangerous!!! Me not like. Must avoid auto-sync, Will be very careful to make sure it is not on. Those tiny toggle click boxes are hard to read and I have to click back and forth a few times to figure it out....
 
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Lightroom ALWAYS writes changes to the catalog no matter what, and it doesn't give you control back until it has.

Writing to XMP is optional and is a non synchronous background operatation meaning that it gets to it when it's not too busy and you can be doing other things in the mean time. If you shut down LrC before it has finished, it will pick up where it left off last time.

XMP is a partial replication of what is in the catalog. Not everything pertaining to the image that is in the catalog winds up in the XMP. The notable exceptions are:
  • Edit history. The last known slider positions are in XMP, but not the history of the the changes that led up to those settings
  • Participation of the image in collections and Publish services
  • Pick Flags (as I recall)
  • Any information perttaining to Virtual Copies including the fact that there are even are any virtual copies
  • I'm not sure about Snapshots but I suspect they too are not captured in the XMP files
Those are the ones that come to mind. So, no - you cannot consider the XMP files as a backup of what is in the catalog. However, it is a bit of insurance in the event that you completely lose use of the catalog and you were not smart enough to not have any useabel catalog backups.

BTW, a significant percentage of my clients fall in that last category ("I was going to back up the catalog tomorrow", "I didn't want to back it up untill I got done processing my 3 week trip to Antartica", "My catalog backups were on the same laptop computer as my catalog and it was stolen at Starbucks", "My husband was supposed to take care of that but he thouht I was", and not quite the same but "I thought my imported images were in the catalog so I deleted all my RAW and JPG files to save space")
Great post and lesson. But with all that said, I love sidecars and they are not a bad idea since I never care about history and don't care if I retain tags. They are tiny and no hindrance so why now (especially since I use them to transfer my edits from laptop to desktop cat vs syncing or importing the cat from the laptop to the desktop). Losing virtual copies? Yes, that hurts because I use them a lot. Also, if you have sidecars some programs will read them and show you the results on vies (like Bridge).
 
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:)
Great post and lesson. But with all that said, I love sidecars and they are not a bad idea since I never care about history and don't care if I retain tags. They are tiny and no hindrance so why now (especially since I use them to transfer my edits from laptop to desktop cat vs syncing or importing the cat from the laptop to the desktop). Losing virtual copies? Yes, that hurts because I use them a lot. Also, if you have sidecars some programs will read them and show you the results on vies (like Bridge).
XMP side car files can prove useful from time to time as you point out. They take up a bit of space, but disk drives are so cheap and big these days that should not be an issue.

I would have Auto Save XMP's turned on but I can't. What happens is that when one makes a change to metadata or edits an image, LR set's a marker in the catlog for that image to tell it that the XMP data needs to be written back to the disk file. All fine and good. However in my system for some unknown reason that so far has elluded all who have looked into it is that Lrc sets that flag for no apparent reason. For example, I have some images with the icon indicating that the metadata on disk is out of date compared to the metadata in the Catalog. So, I save the metadata to the file. The flag goes off but within 5 or 10 seconds comes right back on again for no apparent reason and without me touching my mouse or keyboard. If I turn on the automatic wirte XMP'sit never finishes since for many (but not all) images as soon as it updates the XMP data in the disk file it once again sets the flag that it needs to do it again = endless loop. And, each time it does this, my Backup SW detects that the file has changed and marks it to backup that evening to my a local drive and immedialty starts uploading the file to my cloud backup service to the point that my cloud backup can never finish and more important things (like my finances) never get backed up. Someday I hope someone at Adobe figures this out but I suspec no one is looking.
 
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That last all-caps post is very important. Very dangerous!!! Me not like. Must avoid auto-sync, Will be very careful to make sure it is not on. Those tiny toggle click boxes are hard to read and I have to click back and forth a few times to figure it out....
A handy tip... in recent years, the whole button is lighter when auto sync is enabled, whereas when it's off they fade back into the normal UI color.
 
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Yes, they finally did change the button to a lighter shade of gray than normal buttons, however, even so, still easy to miss. I would have preferred one or both of

1) Flashing RED button if more than one image is selected.

2) If Auto-Sync is enabled, you change your selection and the new selection is more than one image you get a pop up saying "Auto Sync is turned on, do you want to turn it off Yes/No" (with a "don't show again" checkbox for those who like to live on the edge)
 
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1) Flashing RED button if more than one image is selected.

2) If Auto-Sync is enabled, you change your selection and the new selection is more than one image you get a pop up saying "Auto Sync is turned on, do you want to turn it off Yes/No" (with a "don't show again" checkbox for those who like to live on the edge)

Those would drive me mad... but I keep it turned on all the time in Develop so I expect all selected to update. I think the trick is either leave it turned on all the time or leave it turned off all the time, so you get trained to the behavior.
 
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Those would drive me mad... but I keep it turned on all the time in Develop so I expect all selected to update. I think the trick is either leave it turned on all the time or leave it turned off all the time, so you get trained to the behavior.
I guess then option 2 would be preferable as you could check the "Do not show again" the first time you get the pop up and not be bothered again. I also like your comment about either leaving it on or leaving it off all the time. But we'll still have a fair number of folks who just turn it on for a specifc set of images and then forget to turn it back off again and for them providing a reminder that they have to click on (unless they choose the "do not show again") would save a lot of grief for a lot of folks down the road.
 
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I'm in Cagliari, Sardinia now and shot all day yesterday lugging around a GFX 100s and big 45-100 GF lens with a 30mm prime in the bag. I got back last night to our little rented apartment in the old town and was too tired to edit. This morning I culled the shots and have 135 to edit. For example, I edited the first shot and got it like I wanted it. I accidently applied a little bit of negative exposure to that first image during the editing process. I highlighted the next 10 images and hit sync (not auto sync), duplicating all edits to the those first ten shots. But I realized that negative exposure was not needed, and it was applied to all ten shots. So, I highlighted those ten images again and switched to auto sync and zeroed out the exposure slider. The dialog box came up and said, "Your exposure change was applied to all ten images." It only changed that slider that I moved after turning on auto syn. It didn't move anything else that had already been moved prior to turning it on. So, I guess auto sync, once turns on, only applies any new edit immediately to all highlighted images. In this case, auto syn was a good tool to correct a mistake that had been applied to many images. But I can see how it would get you in trouble if you were unaware. But since it tells you it applied the changes to the selected image, then that helps. Maybe that part is new.
 
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May 9, 2015
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Palo Alto, CA
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Turning on Auto-Sync and using it for a desired purpose as you did is very valid and does not, in itself, cause any problems. Forgetting to turn it off when your done is where the danger is.

I like Victoria's comment that one should either leave it on all the time in which case you'd be be used to your changes being applied to all selected images or leave it off all the time and use the "Sync" button rather than auto sync when you need to copy an adjustment to other images.
 
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