The newest Mac operating system, macOS 10.15 Catalina, went live today. The big question is, do Lightroom and Lightroom Classic work?
It’s a good question, especially since Apple announced that Catalina will no longer support 32-bit applications. In this post we will look at the different Lightroom versions and how they are affected, also any related aspects that may affect your decision to upgrade to Catalina.
Catalina has been used by quite a number of testers as a beta version, but there may be additional issues that haven’t been found yet. We’ll keep this blog updated as any additional problems are found.
Lightroom Desktop (the cloud-based version)
There’s one current known issue in the latest Lightroom Desktop (cloud) release when running on Catalina:
- Apple Photos migration to Lightroom Desktop fails. When you select File > Migrate From… > Apple Photos Library migration fails with “Migration was not successful” dialog. Adobe is working with Apple to correct.
- FIXED – There was a Volume Disconnected error on Catalina when using earlier versions, but updating to the latest version (3.0) fixes this issue.
There are known issues in the latest Lightroom Classic releases when running on Catalina:
- Canon/Fuji Tethering is broken on macOS 10.15.2, but still works on earlier versions. This also affects Canon’s software (not just Adobe) and is awaiting a fix from Apple or Canon. If you need to tether, stay on macOS 10.15.1 or earlier.
- If Lightroom says File Not Found when you try to access files that you can see from Finder, you may have accidentally declined permissions. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy tab > Files and Folders and make sure that Lightroom has permission to access the desktop and other folders, like this:
- The Nikon SDK needs updating for Catalina. Workaround – turn the camera on before invoking the Start Tethered Capture command.
- When you try to use eyedropper from the color swatch in Graduated Filter or Radial Filter, the System Recording dialog appears asking for permission. This is a one-time dialog asking you to grant access to the application. Once you allow access, you will able to pick color from that application and the dialog will not appear again. However, if you deny access, you will only be able to pick color from within Lightroom Classic.
- Some people are reporting issues sending photos to the trash/bin from within Lightroom, although again, details remain very sketchy.
- There are problems with ExFAT formatted drives. Copy the data off and reformat as HFS or APFS to use with Lightroom & Photoshop, at least for now.
- FIXED in 9.1 – Hidden volumes (such as 3x Macintosh HD) show up in the Import dialog Source panel.
- FIXED in 9.1 – Lightroom crashes when scrolling the import dialog when viewing a connected iPhone. The workaround currently is to copy the images to the local disk before import.
- FIXED in 9.1 – In the Devices section at the top of the Import dialog’s Source panel, the memory card name is blank.
- FIXED in 9.1 – If you select the memory card/camera in the Devices section at the top of the Source panel, there are no thumbnail previews. The solution is to click the disclosure triangle next to the card at the bottom of the Source panel and navigate to the folder containing the photo. The exact folder name will vary depending on the camera manufacturer, and some cards don’t show these extra DCIM folders.
- FIXED in 9.1 – In the Import dialog, the Add and Move options are disabled for some external drives.
Adobe does not support earlier versions of Classic on Catalina and recommends either staying with your existing operating system or updating to 9.0. Due to the number of Import dialog bugs, we’d recommend delaying your Catalina upgrade, at least until Apple fixes some of the issues.
- We are receiving reports that the Focus Points plug-in no longer works in Catalina.
- LRMogrify/2 fails when using Export with Previous
Lens Profile Creator
- The Lens Profile Creator won’t currently work as it’s 32-bit, but Adobe is investigating updating to a 64-bit version.
Lightroom 6 (last version was 6.14)
Lightroom 6.14 itself is 64-bit, but the installer and licensing code are 32-bit. If it’s already installed, Lightroom 6.14 may continue to work, but you won’t be able to install, uninstall or reactivate it. For these reasons, Adobe does not recommend using it on Catalina and it is not supported on Catalina.
If you’re still on Lightroom 6 or earlier, you have two options: You can stay on macOS Mojave (10.14) or earlier and Lightroom will continue to work as it does at the moment. If you want to update to Catalina safely (without the worry of it not working if you need to reinstall) then it’s time to subscribe to the Photography Plan. Lightroom Classic still runs on your computer, just like Lightroom 6, but it’s just paid on subscription instead of a one-off cost. Here are the changes since Lightroom 6.
These appear to run on Catalina, however like Lightroom 6, it is not possible to reinstall or uninstall them. It is not recommended to upgrade to Catalina if you intend to stay on one of these older versions. Please note these versions are no longer supported by Adobe.
In our testing, Lightroom 1 will not run on Catalina.
Other Adobe Applications
There are also some known issues for Photoshop. For the latest official information see this statement by Adobe.
How easy is it to upgrade to Lightroom Classic from Lightroom 6 or earlier?
If you’ve decided to upgrade from an old Lightroom version to Lightroom Classic, it’s very straightforward. Here’s how:
- Sign up for the subscription from Adobe.
- Install the Creative Cloud app, which lives in the system tray (Windows) / menubar (Mac) and manages your app installation and updates.
- Click to install Lightroom Classic.
- Lightroom asks for permission to upgrade your catalog format, just like older upgrades (e.g. LR5 > LR6). You say yes, and you’re up and running!
- Don’t forget to update your desktop or taskbar/dock shortcut so you don’t keep opening your old Lightroom version. You might want to zip up/compress your old LR6 catalog, or move it to your backup drive so you don’t accidentally open it.
Wacom have now released a driver that supports Catalina (6.3.37) replacing the previous one that had been developed with a beta version of Catalina.
There are no reports of issues with the Contour Shuttle drivers.
Other peripherals to check
- Printer drivers
- Scanner drivers
- Backup software compatibility (for example Chronosync has just been updated with version 4.9.5 and is compatible as at October 10th)
As we gather more feedback we’ll continue to update this blog.
For extensive information on Lightroom Classic, see Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.
If you have the Photography Plan, then as well as Classic you have access to the Lightroom cloud ecosystem including the mobile apps and web interface. For more information on these apps, see Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro.
Note: purchase of these books includes the first year’s Classic or cloud-based Premium Membership (depending on the book purchased), giving access to download the latest eBook (each time Adobe updates the software), email assistance for the applicable Lightroom version if you hit a problem, and other bonuses.
We also have a special bundle offer for the two books. This includes Premium Membership for the first year as described above for the whole Lightroom family!