Lightroom won’t import ANYTHING
Before the last workshops in Berlin and London, I needed to buy a new laptop, download Lightroom 6, and pray to the photo-gods that all would be well abroad. Half way through the Berlin Workshop there was a problem. Lightroom would not see any images when I tried to import. I could bring up the import window, see my SD card, external drive and pictures on my computer, but EVERYTHING was grayed out. Oh dear god what do I do?
If you have the same problem as I did, the issue is that you:
- Click the Import button
- The Import screen comes up
- All of your files, drives, or SD cards are grayed out and zero images show up in the center panel
- You start hyperventilating
I did what you are supposed to do in that situation. I rolled up on the floor and commenced crying. : ) Just kidding…David Farkas and I searched the Net first because many Lightroom glitches are known and documented online. Chances are someone else has already been through the problem and published the answer. This is one of the upsides of the Internet. There are entire communities of people who would like to help you avoid the problems they encountered. But what happens when the problem you are having is not coming up online? If you have ever called Adobe Support, you already know that a third colonoscopy, a trip to the DMV, or a 12 hour flight next to a screaming baby sounds like more fun than calling Adobe.
Stepping outside for a second to clear my head, I noticed that the meeting room next to ours read “Welcome Adobe.” As luck would have it, there was an Adobe meeting next door to the workshop. Now, Adobe is a huge company, I thought, “What are the odds that this is the Lightroom team?” When a guy in a tan sport coat walked towards the room, I asked him, “You don’t happen to do anything with Lightroom do you?”
He said,”Depends, what’s the issue?”
Standing next to me was the head of the Adobe Creative Suite. There is not a better guy in all of Adobe I could have bumped into. We showed him the problem, asked if he had seen it before, and with the BEST customer service response I’ve ever heard, he said,”Why don’t you give us the computer and we will work on it.” Talk about hands on quality control. He took the computer into the other room and went to work.
NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE
They had not seen the issue I was having before and they tried a number of fixes, more than I can list here. They fired a few emails back to the team on the West Coast of the US, so we needed to wait overnight. Fortunately we were all staying at the same hotel, so we could reconnect over breakfast. In the morning, they had an answer and a list of instructions to follow.
After re-installing Lightroom and a few other attempts did not fix the issue, they recommended we try the following:
- Press and hold the Shift+Option keys when double-clicking on the Lightroom application icon to launch it.
- Lightroom will show you a dialog asking whether you want to “Start Normally” or “Reset Preferences”. Click “Reset Preferences” to start Lightroom with a clean user preferences.
- Launch Lightroom CC 2015.
- Go to Menu Lightroom>Preferences to bring up the user preference dialog.
- Go to the Presets tab, under Location, click on “Show Lightroom Preset Folder…” button.
- In the Mac OSX Finder, rename the highlighted “Lightroom” Lightroom preset folder to “Lightroom.original”.
- Relaunch Lightroom.
Smile, because all is well with the world and Lightroom works again.
Hopefully you do not encounter this issue, but if you do, I hope this article helps or that you bump into Adobe like I did. And if you are in NYC I look forward to seeing you at my seminar on Saturday “How to make a photo series.”