Photo Recovery

Solved: Photoshop Not Saving Back to Lightroom

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    Summary: Are the changes done in Photoshop not appearing back in Lightroom? This post shares 4 ways that can fix Photoshop not saving back to Lightroom.

     ‘I installed Lightroom Classic and Photoshop on a new MacBook Pro, copying over my old catalog. But now Lightroom Classic is not cataloging my edited photos from Photoshop CC 2018. How to fix the issue?’

    ‘Usually, when I work on a picture in Photoshop that was originally in Lightroom, I’m able to save the copy back into Lightroom. But, now, Lightroom is not importing changes done in Photoshop.’

    Adobe has designed Photoshop and Lightroom to work together. You can use the editing features of Photoshop and import the changes in Lightroom and vice versa.

    When you finish editing a picture in Photoshop and save it, within a few minutes, a TIFF with the Photoshop changes is visible in the Lightroom Library. In Lightroom, you can further make adjustments using its editing tools.

    However, there’s a frequent complaint that Lightroom doesn’t import the changes done in Photoshop.

    As of now, Adobe has not ascertained any specific reason for the glitch. But mentioned some solutions in community forums that worked for a few users.

    If you are facing the challenge in importing changes from Photoshop to Lightroom and inversely, here are the 4 ways that proved to be successful in fixing the issue:

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    Methods to fix Photoshop not saving back to Lightroom

    Method 1: Do not use ‘Save As’

    Lightroom refuses to import the changes even if there’s a slight difference in the file name. So when you want to move a photo that you worked upon in Photoshop back to Lightroom, always choose File > Save. Do not select ‘Save As’ option in Photoshop.

    Now go back to Lightroom. Your edited photo will be visible in Photoshop in the Lightroom Library.

    Method 2: Close Photoshop to import photo changes

    If the above method doesn’t help, try this hack. Instead of ‘Save’ in Photoshop, close the application after finishing the work on your photo.

    Before closing, Photoshop would ask if you want to save the changes. Click ‘Yes’.

    This may import the photo into Lightroom.

    Method 3: Reset Preferences in Lightroom

    When Photoshop edits do not show in Lightroom, try resetting the Preferences file.

    Steps to reset Preferences in Lightroom:
    1. While opening Lightroom or Lightroom Classic, hold down the Shift + Alt keys on Windows PC. On Mac, use Shift + Option keys.
    2. The Reset Lightroom Preferences dialog box appears. Choose Reset Preferences.
    Preferences in Lightroom -photoshop not saving back to lightroom
    Figure: Preferences dialog box in Lightroom

    Method 4: Uninstall and reinstall Photoshop and Lightroom

    Uninstalling and then reinstalling the apps most of the time fix the problem of Photoshop not saving back to Lightroom Classic CC.

    You can begin with uninstalling and reinstalling Photoshop, followed by Lightroom. Use the Creative Cloud Desktop App for the purpose. Also, it’s recommended to run theAdobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool. The cleaner tool removes installation records for Creative Cloud applications that may have corrupted.

    Make sure you backup your Catalog and Photo files to a secure location using the Backup feature in Photoshop and Lightroom.

    Follow the below order when planning uninstall/ reinstall of Photoshop and Lightroom:

    1. Backup your Catalog and Photo files to a secure location.
    2. Uninstall Photoshop and Lightroom using the Creative Cloud Desktop app.
    3. Download and run the Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool.
    4. Restart your PC or Mac.
    5. Install Photoshop and Lightroom using the Creative Cloud Desktop app.
    Steps to uninstall Photoshop/ Lightroom:
    1. Open Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop app.
    2. Go to Photoshop version/ Lightroom CC.
    3. Click on the down-arrow and select Manage > Uninstall
     Lightroom CC in Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop App
    Figure: Lightroom CC in Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop App
    Step to reinstall Photoshop/ Lightroom:
    1. Go to the Creative Cloud Desktop app.
    2. Scroll to Photoshop <version>/ Lightroom. Click Install.
    Install Photoshop CC in Creative Cloud Desktop app
    Figure: Install Photoshop CC in Creative Cloud Desktop app


    Lightroom and Photoshop allow you to utilize the strengths of both the apps. But the inability to import the changes from Photoshop to Lightroom can be a big hindrance.

    Try the above-given methods to fix Lightroom not showing edits of Photoshop.

    If you know of any other method that can fix the problem, do share it with our readers in the comment box below.

    Also Read: Does Editing JPGs in Lightroom Reduce Image Quality?

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    About The Author

    Nishat Paiker linkdin

    Nishat Paiker is an expert technical writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. She has deep knowledge about data recovery and loves to explore new technology and DIY tools. Nishat has keen interest in photography. You will often find her giving photography tips and hacks.


    1. Tried different stuff to get this to work. For me it was having to close my photoshop, then all the attempts imported immediately. So effectively just closing the current session of photoshop should do it.

    2. Hi Nishat, I am Matthias. Since a few weeks I have a problem when I send photos from Lightroom to Photoshop for editing. Although in the preferences it is set to send as TIFF to Photoshop, no TIFF is created, it opens the DNG in Photoshop. After saving I then have to sync the folder to have the photo back in Lightroom. Whether TIFF or PSD is set makes no difference and Adobe could not help me.
      Even completely reinstalling Crative Cloud, Lightroom and Photoshop doesn’t change anything.
      Do I have more luck with you?

      Thank you very much and greetings from Zurich


      1. Hi Matthias,
        While exporting from Lightroom, Pick an option in the “Edit Photo” box. Choose from “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments,” “Edit a Copy” or “Edit Original.” This dialog box appears if you are exporting a TIFF, PSD, or JPEG file. By default, DNG or camera raw files open directly in Photoshop.

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