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Clearing out cloud storage

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Mar 8, 2015
London, UK
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
Lightroom Classic version: 8.4
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
  2. Android
For a couple of months I seem to have become 'stuck' with both Classic and Android app telling me I have used 21GB+ of my 20GB storage.
I've unticked every folder in Classic to unsync everything, but it hasn't changed anything, so reading another thread here went to 'All Synced Photographs' and removed everything.

I'm now faced with two issues:
1. All my files previously published on Flickr have now been removed and are showing as to be deleted. I can't seem to see how to change this. I can drag files back into the publish folders manually but they will be shown as needing to be published again.
2. On Classic, I have zero synced photos (yay!) but on Mobile, it still shows 'Storage Limit Exceeded, with 505 uploads pending (has been like this for weeks. It just feels 'stuck')

I'm sorry if these have been dealt with elsewhere.

Many thanks for any help on either / both!

Hi Sashina,

Sorry for your troubles. The whole syncing thing is LR is quite convoluted at best and seems to be the biggest problem that people have especially when trying to work across the Lr Classic - CC divide.

At this point you should proceed carefully as it can be quite easy to accidentally permanently delete some of your original images from the "Creative Cloud" (CC) So you may want to disable syncing on all your CC enabled devices while you sort out exactly what is going on. I know that one of the latest releases of the IOS Lightroom app finally has a "trash" bucket so that deletes are not immediately erased. I am not sure if that has made it into the Android app.

There are two classes of images that can get stored in the "Creative Cloud" (CC) and the difference is not easy to discern.

1) Anything originally comes from a "CC app" or the "CC desktop". This includes any images that you capture with the builtin camera in the app or import into the CC app/desktop from say your DSLR. In this case the original (when an internet connection is available and syncing is enabled) are uploaded into the CC. These are the ones that (today) count against your storage quota.

2) Any image originally in your Lightroom Classic catalog that you sync to the CC by clicking the "Sync Collection" check box in the collections panel of Lr Classic. In this case the original image file stays on your local hard drive and only a Smart Preview (reduced resolution DNG file) is uploaded to the CC. AND none of these count against you CC storage quota.

Both classes, however, are included in the "All Synced Photographs" special collection in your Lr Classic "Catalog" panel and it is not obvious how to tell the difference.

One important fact is that in Lr Classic when you enable syncing then any original image in the CC will be downloaded to your local hard drive. This should show up in your Lr Classic catalog as an additional device in the "Folders" panel sometimes with the same name as you phone or tablet where it originated. See below for changing this default location to make it easier to find and process your mobil CC images

IMPORTANT CONCEPT: As stated above "All Synced Photographs" has both classes of images. So when you remove any or as in your case all images from the special collection ALL of those images are then removed form the "Creative Cloud" and there for will be removed from ALL of your CC apps.

So long as Lr Classic had previously had time to download all the originals from you Android you should be ok at this point because the originals are now safely stored in your Lr Classic catalog. This is in fact is the technique I use to make manage my limited CC storage. Once my originals are uploaded from my iPhone to CC and then downloaded to to Lr Classic on my main computer, I selectively remove those images from "All Synced Photographs". Then after finishing any post processing and organization etc., I selectively publish back to CC using synced collections in the Lr Classic Collections panel.

I think that you unknowingly over did it by removing everything from "All Synced Photographs" but I don' t think that you did any harm. I don't know but I suspect that the reason you mobile app is still stuck is there are all those images the had been deleted that are now in the deleted bin but still consuming your quota there by keeping your addition syncing stuck.

On you mobile device in the "Library" tab (book shelf icon) there is hopefully a "Deleted" section. If so it is should have all the images that were previously in you "All Synced Photographs". If present you should be able to look at what the CC is going to eventually delete. In the upper right hand conner under the "..." (more options) you should have the option to "Permanently Delete All". Be really careful here because this will Instantly and Permanently delete these images from the CC. You will want to confirm that you really want to do this and/or that they are already included in your Lr Classic catalog.

Changing the default sync location:
Before proceeding change the default location for mobile CC images. Set the default "Location" in "Lightroom Sync" tab of your preferences? This is where Lr Classic physically stores any images from a CC app that are uploaded from the CC. They are also by default included in the "All Synced Photographs" collection along with any collections in you Lr Classic catalog marked for sync.

Since my goal is to move all origionals from the CC to my Lr Classic catalog I make this a separate folder on my hard drive and therefor in my catalog. If they are still in this folder then they are still stored in the CC and I eventually want to remove them from "All synced Photographs".

I am not sure what happened to your Flickr images. Did you perhaps use a Smart Collection based on a previously synced collection? I would make sure that all those that are flagged to be removed from Flick are put into a different collection just to make sure that you can keep track of them.

Hi Louie

Thanks so much for the very detailed post. It's extremely useful and I will flag for future reference.

The good thing is that there's nothing in the CC that is not on my hard drive - so I won't lose anything, as far as I know! And I am an assiduous backer-upper.

However, going to your critical paragraph, ie deleting the Deleted items from the CC
"On you mobile device in the "Library" tab (book shelf icon) there is hopefully a "Deleted" section... "Permanently Delete All". Be really careful here because this will Instantly and Permanently delete these images from the CC. You will want to confirm that you really want to do this and/or that they are already included in your Lr Classic catalog."
  • On my device the Deleted items folder has 0 items in it, and there are 12172 photos still in their original folders in the CC, even though I have turned of syncing from LR Classic for EVERY folder I had previously synced. That's what I mean when I say I think the whole thing is 'stuck'.
So my question is:
  • Is the right thing to do to go into each folder on my device and select Delete? Is that safe, provided syncing is off on LR Classic? Will that finally flush out the CC files?

Thank you so much

Don't do any deleting on you mobile device yet. You want to be absolutely sure that all of these are actually in your Lr Classic catalog.

So it sounds like you have a "Deleted" folder in Lightroom CC on your phone.

On Lr Classic is the "All Synced Photographs" now zero?

So your saying that on your phone "All Photos" is 12172?

Are these all imported from your mobile device photos or what it is called on Android? i.e. taken with the Android camera app?

Or are some or all taken with the Lightroom CC camera?

I am concerned that some or all of the remaining 12172 photos have not made it to Lr Classic. It could be so and syncing has just become stuck because your quota was all used up when you tried to clean it up from the Lr Classic end.

I can help some more today but I will be on the road for the next week. There are several others here that should be able to followup if you continue to have problems untangling you sync or not to sync problems.

Hi Louie

Thank you.

No, I am 100% sure that everything is on LR Classic on my laptop.
So it sounds like you have a "Deleted" folder in Lightroom CC on your phone - yes. Since my last message 129 photos appeared there. I deleted them.

On Lr Classic is the "All Synced Photographs" now zero? - Yes.

So your saying that on your phone "All Photos" is 12172? Yes (and it didn't change with the 129 photos above)

Are these all imported from your mobile device photos or what it is called on Android? i.e. taken with the Android camera app? - No. A mix, but mostly have come from SLR via good old SD card. I'm relatively experienced in making sure everything is in my LR Classic catalogue. They are all in the one catalogue, filed correctly.

Or are some or all taken with the Lightroom CC camera? Yes, but these are now in the LR Classic catalogue.

So now I can delete the folders?? I assume that just clears out the CC?


I had turned off syncing on ALL Collections over a week ago.
I opened LR Classic just now. All the Collections which were previously had been synced are shown as syncing again (the arrow symbol) and are empty!!

The photos are still there in the catalogue - just empty Collections.

Sometimes I really do dislike this software... Guess I have some some manual rebuilding of Collections to do?

Apologies - I tried to delete the above message but it was too late.

I've restored the backup catalogue from last week so all good.
I've also signed out of LR mobile and taken a deep breath. I'm thinking of deleting and reinstalling the mobile app and just starting over. Seems sensible!


Reinstalling the app won't make any difference if you're getting the message about space. It's telling you that you have filled storage space in Adobe's cloud.

Have you anything in the Dropbox-like Creative Cloud folders? I ask because your Adobe space consists of Lightroom files and Creative Cloud files. As Louie's comments are very long, I will summarize. Your 20Gb consists of:
  1. Originals uploaded via one of the Lightroom apps - as Louie explains
  2. Anything stored in the Creative Cloud folders - I may have overlooked it, but I think Louie didn't mention this
  3. Creative Cloud library items - these are assets that you save in Photoshop or other Adobe apps (less likely)
Go to Adobe Creative Cloud Files in a web browser. Also look at its separate Deleted items Adobe Creative Cloud Deleted where there is a Permanently Delete button at the top right.

Now back to Lightroom. To ensure nothing is lost from Mobile, download and run the Lightroom Downloader. Now you're back to Louie....
Last edited:
Hi John, and thanks so much for your further reply

This is turning into a tiresome saga, for which I apologise!
* I logged on to the Creative Cloud web storage area. There was nothing in any folder including deleted items
* I downloaded and have started the Lightroom Downloader. It tells me:
"Your Lightroom account contains 11,667 photos, 0 videos, 0 deleted photos, and 0 deleted videos totaling 122.0 GB..." (Where does the 122GB come from? That's not a CC figure)
* As stated before I am 100% confident everything I need is on my hard drive in LR Classic.
* Back in LR Classic, because I had to restore an old catalogue (as my Collections were empty), it now tells me All Synced Photographs = 16,442
* I've unsynced all Collections (except my Flickr Publish ones)
* I now try to sync, but get the following error message:

* I did this, started again, and the same message popped up.
* Also, have logged back in to LR mobile, and it says All Photos = 12,172. Deleted = 0
I feel like I may be going round in circles?

Before you edited your post you mentioned "Once that has downloaded anything in Adobe's cloud, then you can take the nuclear step of deleting all synced data - this is in classic Lightroom's Preferences."
Isn't that what I already did?

Many thanks

Last edited:

I finally got it all cleared out.
I decided to delete the CC files from the website, but doing it from the mobile app would have achieved the same end.
There were quite a few files on mobile which LR decided I wanted to upload to CC, so I had to wait for that to finish. These were phone downloads, screencaps and the like. I just let them upload, then deleted them from LR Classic.

I decided months ago I would be more rigorous with mobile files and doing a weekly cleanup of files, checking on CC capacity etc... But it just slid, even though I was still regurlarly uploading actual photos to LR Classic via SD card, and shooting using the LR camera on my phone.

The best advice I can give to anyone who stumbles on this thread is to keep everything tidy regularly, while you remember what you've been doing, what needs tidying up etc. Once you max out the CC storage, it becomes a bigger task to fix.

Thanks for all your advice.

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