Adobe software update wipes all the photos from your iPhone - and they can’t be recovered

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

An update for photo editing application Adobe Lightroom deletes all images from Apple iOS devices, the software company has confirmed.

The issue arose with Lightroom Mobile version 5.4.0, which caused photos stored locally on iPads and iPhones to vanish into thin air upon installation.

According to Adobe, the missing photos cannot be recovered, meaning some users have lost years’ worth of photos, edits and presets - and hours of hard work.

It is unclear how many users suffered this unfortunate fate, but Adobe has now released version 5.4.1, preventing any further customers falling victim to the bug.

Adobe Lightroom update

Many Lightroom users have taken to social media platforms Twitter and Reddit, either to search for a potential solution or to vent their frustrations with Adobe’s negligence.

“This is literally the worst,” tweeted one customer. “I lost 800 pictures and all my paid presets (which are worth hundreds of dollars).”

Another customer complained of having spent hours on the phone to Adobe customer services over multiple days, only for the company to inform them the issue cannot be resolved.

According to Adobe, the update glitch only affects users of Apple devices, so Android and desktop users are safe. Any images that were synchronized with the Lightroom cloud storage service prior to the update were also unaffected, across all platforms.

“Some customers who updated to Lightroom 5.4.0 on iPhone and iPad may be missing photos and/or presets. This affected customers using Lightroom Mobile without a subscription to the Adobe cloud,” reads a statement issued by the firm.

“We know that some customers have photos and presets that are not recoverable. We know how frustrating and upsetting this will be to people affected and we sincerely apologize.”

The incident serves as a timely reminder of the fallibility of software giants of Adobe’s stature. To protect against future data loss of this kind, photographers are advised to back up their assets using photo-centric cloud storage services.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.