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Reducing Adobe cloud storage usage: How to move 2,000 Mobile-captured images to LrClassic-based?

HansT

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Lightroom Classic version: 10.2
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  1. Windows 10
  2. macOS 11.0 Big Sur
  3. iOS
Apologies for this topic, which seems to come up monthly, but 2 hours of reading posts hasn't gotten me to a clean&comprehensive solution. (All the answers I've found deal with a handful of photos; or a one-time operation to abandon LrCC; or require operations on individual collections, etc.)

I think my pattern is simple and common:
  1. Create a photo on iPhone (taken with camera, or a friend sent it to me in Messages)
  2. Import to Lightroom Mobile (via the iOS LR Mobile app) ... which quickly uploads to Adobe cloud storage
  3. later, in LrClassic on my desktop, Develop it, add to collections etc.
    1. Some of the target collections are synced, and so these photos replicate via synced Collections on my other mobile devices (e.g. family member phones). This works great.
    2. Some collections just exist within my desktop LrC.
These Mobile-originated photos consume Adobe cloud storage space. I'd like to "move" the original from the Adobe cloud down to my desktop LR Classic environment, as if I first imported the photo via LrC. Without removing them from any collections -- synced or unsynced.

Of my ~18k synced photos, ~2k are consuming Adobe cloud space (against my 20GB). They appear in a total of ~50 collections, a mix of synced and unsynced.

Is there a process that lets me, perhaps twice a year, "move" the original out of the cloud and down to my desktop LrC, resetting my Adobe cloud storage to 0GB? Preferably just a few clicks, and certainly not requiring me to do anything with each of the 50 collections that may include these 2k Mobile-originated images.
  1. this thread (https://feedback.photoshop.com/conv...om-all-synced-photos/5f5f46154b561a3d4272ee14 ) seems to get close, but I'm hoping for confirmation of the general approach before I dig into implementing it.
 
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Unsync all the collections, then sync them again. That's probably the least messy way.

Start by using the Collections panel's filter to find all the synced collections and give them all a colour label so you can identify all the synced collections later. Then go to Preferences and press Delete all Synced Data. Use the panel filter to find all the collections, select them all and click the little sync icon.
 

HansT

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Thank you John -- very much obliged. This is super helpful.

Question: what if I have a photo with original in the cloud, but not in any collection that LrC sees. After your procedure, I guess this photo will still count against my Cloud quota?
  • So to completely zero out Cloud usage, I need to make sure all Cloud-hosted photos are in a LrC Collection -- to allow me to pull the originals into LrC. I suppose I could either
    • drag "All Synced Photographs" into a new LrC collection; or..
    • ..just find my 2,000 Cloud-hosted photos (vs all 18k that are synced): see the procedure below (which needs access to Lr to identify these photos.)
Anyway, here's a more complete description of John's method for those interested...
  1. Mark Collections with sync'd photos:
    1. Per John above, LrC/Collections/FilterCollections/dropdown/Synced Collection
    2. Using shift-click and/or ctrl-click, highlight all of the synced collections
    3. Right click on any one of them to "Add Color Label to Collection", for instance Red
  2. Tell Classic to remove dependence on the Adobe Cloud:
    1. Edit/Preferences/Lightroom Sync/press Delete all Synced Data.
  3. Wait until LrC settles down (check the Cloud button for sync status)
  4. Re-sync the photos back into the cloud (uploading smart previews for them)
    1. Collections/Filter Collections/Color Labels/Red
    2. For each highlighted collection, hit the sync button for that collection
  5. Check LrM to see if your photos are back
  6. Clean up: Permanently delete photos in the Cloud trash

Two "considerations" for using this approach:
  1. Between steps 2 and 4, your LrMobile's are removing and restoring all of these synced photos
  2. For the skittish photog, is that this is a "big bang" deletion (of originals from the Cloud) via "Delete all synced data" button. The faint of heart might want to be able to test a procedure with fewer than the 2,000 photos hosted in the Cloud.
    1. In LrC,
      1. Create a new Collection; Sync it
      2. Put Cloud-hosted photos in it
        1. Should show up in Lr after a minute or so. Photos will indicate they're Backed Up (so, counting against your Quota)
      3. Unsync the Collection
        1. Corresponding Album should disappear from Lr, but the photos remain available in All Photos
    2. Find and delete the photos in Lr
      1. They will appear in Lr in Deleted photos
    3. in LrC, re-sync the Collection
      1. LrC will push Smart Previews into the Cloud; the whole Collection should appear in Lr, but all photos will have status "Synced from Lightroom Classic"


--------------- Appendix --------------------
If you like to understand what's happening on a photo-by-photo basis:
  • Install Lr (non-Classic) on a desktop, which allows you find only those photos with originals in the Cloud:
    • "Filter" button; Sync Status/Synced and Backed Up
  • On a per-photo basis:
    • Lr, when you show information, gives "Sync Status" as "synced and backed up" or "Synced from Lightroom Classic"
    • lightroom.adobe.com: when you move a photo's original from Cloud to LrC, the Info/Import Date will change from the capture device (e.g. iPhone) to the name of the computer hosting LrC. (You might have to reload your Web page to see this.)

I can't find an easy way to mark only the Cloud-hosted photos in a way that's visible to LrClassic -- so
  1. In LrClassic, create a Collection "OriginalsInCloud"
  2. Wait until "OriginalsInCloud" appears in Lr
  3. In Lr,
    1. Filter to show just photos with originals in the cloud
    2. Add all of these photos to "OriginalsInCloud"
  4. Wait a bit; then back in LrC you will have all the cloud photos in "OriginalsInCloud"
  5. [Optional] Now you can add a keyword or a highlight
  6. .. then use John's procedure above to move the originals out of the Cloud
(It might work to just create the Album on Lr or LrWeb, but it seems to take a while to show up in LrC.)
 

HansT

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Apologies for the extra post, but I found an easier way to migrate just the photos in one Collection (specifically, the part where you have to find and delete the photos in the Cloud). See the red changes below.

  1. In LrC,
    1. Create a new Collection; Sync it
    2. Put Cloud-hosted photos in it
      1. Should show up in Lr after a minute or so. Photos will indicate they're Backed Up (so, counting against your Quota)
      2. In Lr, create a new Album "ToDelete" and drag in all of these Cloud-hosted photos
    3. In LrC, Unsync the Collection
      1. The corresponding Album should disappear from Lr, but the photos remain available in All Photos and in ToDelete Album
  2. Find and delete the photos in Lr: Just delete all photos in the ToDelete Album
    1. They will appear in Lr in Deleted photos
    2. For instant satisfaction, Permanently delete these photos in the Cloud, and you will immediately see your Adobe cloud usage fall
  3. In LrC, re-sync the Collection
    1. LrC will push Smart Previews into the Cloud; the whole Collection should appear in Lr, but all photos will have status "Synced from Lightroom Classic"
 
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Question: what if I have a photo with original in the cloud, but not in any collection that LrC sees. After your procedure, I guess this photo will still count against my Cloud quota?
Lightroom Classic sees every picture that is in the cloud, no exception. If it isn’t in any collection you created, then it is still in ‘All Synced Photographs’.
 

HansT

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Thank you Johan. Let me then ask the next question: why do I need to unsync LrC collections before Delete All Synced Data?
  • I can't unsync "All Synced Photographs"
 
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Because if you do not, then when you delete all synced data, by rule the images in all synced collections will automatically be removed from those collections when you delete all synced data....that's because a synced collection can only contain synced images, or put it another way unsynced images cannot exist in a synced collection. So if the images are unsynced, they have to be removed from synced collections, but unsyncing the collections first allows the images to remain in those collections when they become unsynced. An unsynced collection can contain both synced and unsynced images, a synced collection can only contain synced images.
 

HansT

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Thank you Jim (and Johan). I misstated my earlier question: it should have been

Question: if I have a photo with original in the cloud, but only in LrC's "All synced photographs" collection: After John's procedure, will this photo still count against my Cloud quota?​

[I.e.: for such Cloud photos not in any user-created, synced collection: do I need to add them to a user-created Collection, and then unsync that Collection, to "force" the Cloud to forget that photo?]
 

Web-Betty

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It sounds like you're in a similar situation that I was in — wanting to remove images from the Adobe sync universe (completely removed from sync and not counting against your storage limit), but wanting to ensure that the images remain on your hard drive. I don't know what your LrC organization structure is, but the answer is pretty simple when you understand that the "All synced photographs" is a collection that is pulling from a folder that's stored on your hard drive. If you remove an image from "All synced photographs," it will unsync and be removed from the Adobe sync universe. The image will remain on your hard drive, however, because you haven't removed the physical image, you've removed a copy of it that was in the ASP collection.

It seems to me the simple answer is to simply remove the images you no longer needed synced across devices from the ASP collection. This removes the synced image, but the physical image is still located in a folder in your LrC library. If you don't know where, right-mouse click on an image in the ASP collection and select the option "Go to folder in library." This will navigate LrC to the actual folder in LrC where the physical image is stored.

This was the answer to my problem, which sounds similar to what you are experiencing. Before acting on this, however, please test my assumption and ensure that your ASP collection is, in fact, pulling from a physical folder on your hard drive.

collection-vs-folder.png
 
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Question: if I have a photo with original in the cloud, but only in LrC's "All synced photographs" collection: After John's procedure, will this photo still count against my Cloud quota?

It will count after you have unsynced all the synced collections, but will not be there after you Delete All Synced Data.

So let's say you have some photos that were not in synced collections, stray originals in the cloud. To slightly modify my approach, unsync all the synced collections, then see if any photos remain in All Synced Photos and hit remove. Let sync finish, then go to Lightroom Web to check if there is anything that hasn't yet synced down. Wait for it to sync, then remove from ASP or Delete All Synced Data for a completely fresh start.
 

HansT

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Thank you John. These "strays" (photos with original in Web, but not in any user-created LrC Collection) have caused me to rethink my whole approach. (Also the fact that LrC's "delete all synced data" doesn't do anything but tell you to go to Lr Web to actually do something. :-/ )
  • I still want these "strays" available -- I just haven't added them to any LrC Collections yet.
  • I really only want to move (AKA delete in cloud, replace with smart previews) the 2,000 photos with originals counting against my quota, not the other 16,000 photos (with just smart previews) visible in the Cloud. Per above, identifying those 2,000 photos seems to require Lr (non-Classic desktop) and its distinctive filtering capability.

So.. Final Answer... note you will need non-Classic Lr somewhere..
  1. Mark Collections with sync'd photos in LrC:
    1. Per John above, LrC/Collections/FilterCollections/dropdown/Synced Collection
    2. Using shift-click and/or ctrl-click, highlight all of the synced collections
    3. Right click on any one of them to "Add Color Label to Collection", for instance Red
  2. Unsync collections. (if you have them all still selected, you can unsync all of them with one click)
    1. This can take a while for 18k photos! And LrC doesn't indicate there's any Cloud activity going on. Watch CPU usage or listen to your fans.
  3. Create a Cloud Album with just&all the Cloud-hosted-originals photos. In Lr,
    1. Filter to show just Sync Status/Synced and Backed Up
    2. Add these photos to a new "OriginalsInCloud" Album
    3. In LrClassic, wait for that Album to appear (within "From Lr mobile" Collection Set) and unsync it
  4. Perhaps back up your catalog now.
  5. Remove originals from the Adobe Cloud:
    1. In Lr, your OriginalsInCloud Album is gone (you unsync'd it in LrC). Instead, delete all the photos matching filter Sync Status/Synced and Backed Up
    2. LrC starts thinking again .. let it settle down
  6. Re-sync the photos back into the cloud (uploading smart previews for them)
    1. Collections/Filter Collections/Color Labels/Red
    2. For each highlighted collection, hit the sync button for that collection
    3. You can see this progress in the Cloud icon of LrC, and photos/Albums will reappear in Lr (and on the web). This is moving some significant data (all the smart previews) so it will take a while.
  7. Now stop playing in Lr and get out and shoot some pictures
 

HansT

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Two updates/caveats:

  1. Note that, though I've tried to focus on just the 2,000 photos (not all 18,000 in the Cloud), this procedure will still cause some churn on all your devices in the CC ecosystem: all of the synced collection will disappear and then reappear. I believe the photos (well, their smart previews) remain in place, so you shouldn't suffer a massive bandwidth hit to your LrM devices. But be aware.
  2. Videos. Grr. Videos sync from Cloud down to LrC, but not up. So if you replicate videos around the CC ecosystem, you will have to modify the above procedure. (They will still exist in LrC, and still be a part of LrC Collections, but if you delete the Cloud version then they will disappear from all Cloud Albums.)
 
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Here is my risky response. When I used an iPhone, LR Mobile would upload to their cloud from my camera roll, which LR Classic would download to my PC. I had a folder set in LR for the iPhone. I would then move the photos from the LR sync folder to that folder. Then I would delete everything sync related. I'm sure there is an easier way but this is what I did. It worked for me. For over a year now I have used an Android phone so I don't need LR Mobile to transfer. I just plug the phone in to the PC and import to the proper Classic folder. (Old man yelling at the clouds)
 
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Here is my risky response. When I used an iPhone, LR Mobile would upload to their cloud from my camera roll, which LR Classic would download to my PC. I had a folder set in LR for the iPhone. I would then move the photos from the LR sync folder to that folder. Then I would delete everything sync related. I'm sure there is an easier way but this is what I did. It worked for me. For over a year now I have used an Android phone so I don't need LR Mobile to transfer. I just plug the phone in to the PC and import to the proper Classic folder. (Old man yelling at the clouds)
There is no need to physically move images between folders. A folder does not determine whether an image gets synced or not.
 
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