3 Efficient Ways to Recover Deleted Files from Lightroom

Learn how to recover deleted files from Lightroom with three methods after figuring out what is Adobe Lightroom Classic catalog.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I restore my Lightroom data?


I accidentally deleted photos from Lightroom. Unfortunately, I deleted it from the disk and haven’t had a copy of these photos on my computer. Can you recover deleted photos from Lightroom? Any help will be appreciated.  

Renamed Lightroom Classic CC, Abode Lightroom (Abode Photoshop Lightroom) is a creative image organization and manipulation software released by Abode Inc.

Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Apple TV users can use it to view, organize, edit, save, import, or share a large number of digital images.


If you’ve employed Lightroom Classic CC to edit your photos, which suggests these photos mean a lot to you. Thus, what can you do to recover deleted files from Lightroom after accidental deletion?

What is Adobe Lightroom Classic catalog?

Before starting the deleted photo recovery in Windows, you need to figure out what is Adobe Lightroom Classic catalog.

The catalog is a database that tracks the location and information of your photos. When you’re editing, rating, and adding keywords to the photos in Lightroom Classic, the catalog also saves these changes. The file themselves are not affected.

You’ll get an automatically empty catalog file when you first launch Lightroom Classic. To work with this default and empty catalog, you need to import the original photos to it.

Please choose Edit > Preferences > General > to check your Default Catalog.

Go to the following default path to check your Lightroom Classic catalogs.

For Windows: \Users\Username\Pictures\Lightroom

MacOS: /Users/Username/Pictures/Lightroom

Please note the Lightroom Classic application is not the storage location of your photos. You can open a file in Windows File Explorer or Finder to figure out its saved path.

How to recover deleted photos from Lightroom?

Are you wondering how to recover deleted photos in Lightroom? Two deletion options mean there are two solutions. Please check them out below.

If you’ve clicked the “Remove from Lightroom” option, this action will also wipe out your selected photos and all of the edit histories for those image files. Under the guidance of solution 1, you can restore pictures from valuable Adobe Lightroom catalog backups.


Likewise, the “Delete from Disk” option can move your selected photos to Explorer’s Recycle Bin or Finder’s Trash. Let’s take Windows PC as an example.

In this case, open your Recycle Bin on your PC, and select the files you want to retrieve. Then “Restore” them.

Recover deleted files from Lightroom catalog backups

Lightroom Classic allows you to make regular catalog backups. However, the backups made with Lightroom Classic only include the catalog file. Thus, you’re supposed to back up your edited photos and anything exported from Lightroom Classic on your own.

If you need, please follow these steps to schedule catalog backups automatically:

Go to Edit > Catalog Settings (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings. Then choose a backup option from the Back Up Catalog pop-up menu.


These steps describe how to recover deleted photos from Lightroom.

Step 1. Locate and unzip the backup file. Then click “File” > “Open Catalog.”

Step 2. Find the location of the backed-up catalog file.

Step 3. Select the backed up lrcat and lrcat-data files and click the “Open” button.

Step 4. You can replace the original catalog with the copied backed-up catalog if you need it. 

Alternative: Recover the deleted/lost photos using photo recovery software

If you have selected the “Delete from Disk” option, what can you do to recover deleted files from Lightroom without backups?

This tutorial introduces another more convenient way to recover the deleted/lost photos using professional data recovery software like MyRecover.

This excellent photo recovery software for Windows is good at recovering deleted/lost Photos, Word, Excel, PPT, Audio, Videos, Emails, Compressed files, etc.

Please have a closer look at other highlights.

Besides HDD, you can use it to recover the deleted/lost files from portable devices such as SSD, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.   
Judge the recovered images’ content based on the original path and filenames.  
Get the original format for the deleted and lost data.
 Search your desired photo files by typing their filenames in the search bar, or wait patiently to view all the deleted files and other lost files on your computers after running Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically.  
Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, and Windows Server.

So don’t hesitate to download MyRecover now!

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run it on your PC. Hover the mouse over the drive and click Scan to scan.


Step 2. Please search files or wait patiently. After running Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically, the tool will display all the deleted files and other missing files.


Step 3. Click the Deleted files folder, and select the photos files you want to restore. Then click “Recover x files” and save them in a new location.


If you need, you can also go to the Other missing files folder.

Wrapping up

This article shares efficient solutions with you to recover deleted files from Lightroom. Please select a suitable method to solve your matters.

More importantly, you’d better get into the good habit of making backups regularly to prevent data loss. For example, Windows features or the free backup software, AOMEI Backupper is a good helper for you.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.