I use Lightroom Classic with a master catalog approach (compared to multi-catalog) for my work. I don't store any of the RAW files on my local HD - everything is on multiple HD (2 HD, 2 large USB keys, and a NAS)


  1. Is there a way to sync to Adobe's cloud only the Smart Preview of the catalog of a specific folder and/or drive? So far If I do Export Folder as Catalog it will attempt to copy the RAW files also.
  2. Currently the sync is on "waiting for connection". In preference the folder is set to nothing. I don't want it to sync with my RAW (large catalog)

My goal: I only want a subset so I can work on it across multiple platform via the smart preview and come back to the host master catalog to do the export of the RAW. Ideally I would like to edit on my iPad via Lr Mobile strictly via smart preview or subset w/e - then export on host only


1 Answer 1


Lightroom Classic CC is already behaving that way. A few important things to note:

  • You can only ever set up one catalogue to sync with Lightroom CC
  • It won't sync the full catalogue, you need to specify collections which you want to sync
  • The synced smart previews don't count towards the cloud storage usage, only full-resolution images do
  • If you import anything to a Lightroom CC (e. g. on your mobile device, or another laptop), Lightroom Classic will download the full-resolution to the folder you specify in preferences
  • If any RAW files are on an external drive, you need to connect that drive to generate smart previews if they don't exist yet
  • Any collection you create in Lightroom CC will also be created in Lightroom Classic, within a collection set called "From Lr Mobile"
  • Collection Sets are not synchronized between CC and Classic, only the collections themselves are, but you can move the synchronized collections around in both applications without breaking the sync, so you can manually replicate the structure

See also the Adobe Documentation, the Feature Request and another forum question to synchronize more than Smart Previews.

Your goal should "just work" if you set up your catalogue like the documentation states.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the bullet points - question though: is there a way to make the iPad create a collection and upload that to the sync? \$\endgroup\$
    – azngunit81
    Jun 25, 2019 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I extended my answer with more info about collections. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vertigo
    Jun 25, 2019 at 21:13

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