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Troubleshooting

For minor problems, such as a missing panel, go to Problems.

If Lightroom misbehaves, try the following, in order.

General Solutions

1 - Check for Updates

1) Go to Help > Check for Updates.

2 - Restart

1) Close Lightroom.

2) In the Back Up Catalog window, make sure the two functions below are selected.

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Two Selections

3) Click Backup.

4) If that doesn't help, shut down your computer, restart it, and open Lightroom.

3 - Turn Off Anti-virus Software

If you're using a Windows computer, the anti-virus software may create a problem with Lightroom.

Try disabling your anti-virus software.

If this solves the problem, exclude the Lightroom folder located in My Pictures or Pictures from the anti-virus software.

You may also have to exclude the folder containing the photograph files that are in Lightroom.

4 - Test a New Catalog

1) Go to File > New Catalog.

2) Import a few photographs into the new catalog, and test various functions.

3) If the new catalog functions properly, then the problem is a corrupted catalog.

Do the following.

1) Close Lightroom.

2) Go to My Pictures or Pictures > Lightroom, and rename Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat.

For example, rename it as Lightroom 3 Catalog_bad.lrcat.

3) Go to where your backup of the catalog is located, select it, and copy it (Ctrl + c).

By default, the backup of your Lightroom catalog is located at My Pictures or Pictures > Lightroom > Backups.

You may have changed the default so that you're backing up to an external hard drive.

4) Go to My Pictures or Pictures > Lightroom, and paste it (Ctrl + v).

5) Double click the file to open Lightroom.

5 - Rename the Presets Folder

A preset may have become corrupted.

Or, did you recently create, or download, a preset?

If so, the new preset may be causing the problem.

1) Close Lightroom.

2) Locate the Presets folder.

The folder is either in the default location, or it is stored with the Lightroom catalog if you selected that option.

Go to Change a Preset Preference.

3) Rename the Presets folder.

For example, append _qwerty to its name.

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Append _qwerty

4) Restart Lightroom.

If the problem is now solved, do the following.

1) Close Lightroom.

2) Go to the location of the Presets_qwerty folder.

3) Lightroom probably created a new Presets folder.

Make sure it's empty and delete it.

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New Develop Presets Folder

4) Rename Presets_qwerty back to Presets.

5) Delete the new preset.

6) Open Lightroom.

6 - Rename the Preferences File

The preferences file may create problems with Lightroom.

You'll rename the old preferences file to delete it—and will create a new preferences file.

Record Your Preferences

Because you'll have to redo your preferences, you may want to record what they are.

Go to the two locations below and jot down your preferences.

Location #1

Go to Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences (Mac).

Or, press Ctrl + ,.

Location #2

Go to Edit > Catalog Settings (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings (Mac).

Or, press Ctrl + Alt + ,.

Record Your Catalog Location

Lightroom may forget the name and location of your catalog.

Jot down the name and location of your catalog before you reset your preferences.

Go to Edit > Catalog Settings > General (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings > General (Mac).

Your catalog name and location are listed in the Information section.

If you click the Show button, you'll go to go to the catalog folder in Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).

If Lightroom does forget your catalog's location—after resetting the preferences file—open the above folder and double click the catalog file.

Rename the Preferences File

1) Close Lightroom.

2) Navigate to the preferences file.

Windows 7 & 10

If you can't find the folders below on your Windows computer, go to Hidden Files & Folders.

Go to: C: > Users > username > AppData > Roaming > Adobe > Lightroom > Preferences > Lightroom 6 Preferences.agprefs

Mac

The Library file, below, is hidden.

To access to the Library file, press Option and choose Go > Library in the Finder.

Go to: Users > username > Library > Preferences > com.adobe.Lightroom6.plist

3) Rename the preferences file.

For example, append _old to its name.

4) Restart Lightroom.

Lightroom might ask you to upgrade your catalog.

Do not choose Upgrade.

Instead, click Choose a Different Catalog.

If the problem is now solved, delete the renamed preferences file, if you wish.

If the problem isn't solved, do the following.

1) Close Lightroom.

2) Delete the new preferences file.

3) Rename the old preferences file back to its original name.

Specific Solutions

1 - Lightroom Won't Open after Crash

Lightroom creates a "lock" file when it opens.

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Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat.lock

When the program closes, the lock file is deleted.

If Lightroom, or your computer crash, the lock file may still be present, preventing Lightroom from opening.

If Lightroom or your computer crashed, and Lightroom won't open, do the following to check for the lock file.

1) Go to My Pictures or Pictures > Lightroom.

2) Delete Lightroom 3 Catalog.lrcat.lock.

Make sure you delete the lock file, not your catalog!

2 - Raw Files

If you're using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, make sure you're using the latest version of the Adobe Raw Converter that's compatible with your version of Photoshop/Photoshop Elements.

Go to Adobe Updates.

3 - Printing

Your print driver may have become corrupted, or may be out-of-date.

Go to the website of your printer manufacturer and download the print driver or an updated version.

None of the Above Worked

If Lightroom is still acting out, go to Resources.