After updating to Lightroom version 5.4 on iOS and iPadOS, numerous users found that photos and editing presets that had not yet been synced to the cloud were missing. Worse yet, Adobe has confirmed that affected users and Adobe itself will be unable to retrieve the missing data.

After reports of lost photos spread around the web on places such as our own forums, Reddit and Adobe's own forums, Adobe representative Rikk Flohr published a response on the afternoon of August 18. It reads:

'We are aware that some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and presets that were not synced to the Lightroom cloud.

A new version of Lightroom mobile (5.4.1) for iOS and iPad OS has now been released that prevents this issue from affecting additional customers.

Installing version 5.4.1 will not restore missing photos or presets for customers affected by the problem introduced in 5.4.0.

We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We sincerely apologize to any customers who have been affected by this issue.

If you are affected by this issue, please refer to the information in this forum thread.'

Adobe has not issued any additional comments about the incident, nor has it disclosed an estimate of how many users were affected by the issue ahead of the release of Lightroom 5.4.1. When we contacted Adobe this morning, a representative said they have no further statements at this time.

In a thread originally started by Lightroom user Mohamad Alif Eqnur on Adobe's forums, numerous users chimed in with their own experiences of lost photos, including multiple users who shared that they had lost purchased presets.

Affected customers are understandably very upset, especially given that Adobe's fix only acts to prevent the issue from happening to additional customers, rather than offering users a solution to restore missing photos and presets.

When issues like this occur, and if it can happen to a giant in the industry like Adobe it can happen to any company, it stands as a reminder that it's critical to have multiple backups of your images. Further, it's a good idea to save edits of your photos as sidecar files, so even if a catalog becomes corrupted, you will retain your edit data. These sidecar files can even be read by Adobe Bridge.