In my Lightroom 4.1, few days ago, I've screwed 800 of my photographs by selecting them and misusing the Auto-Sync functionality of the Develop module. The affected photos were developed before and after this unfortunate operation.

I've applied the following steps to all my photographs by using auto-sync and I would like to cut them out:

  • Exposure +0.12
  • Exposure +0.12
  • Exposure +0.12 //Yep. three times
  • Exposure +0.07
  • Crop Rectangle

As there are valid edits before (and sometimes after) these operations at many photos, resetting the develop settings would not help too much. Unfortunately, I do not have any usable backup of the catalog from the time before these change.

Please do you have any experience with such selective undo? I could imagine that Exposure could be easily compensated and I do not care about the junk in history but what about the Crop Rectangle. Is it possible to compensate it somehow to keep the elder Crops?

Do you have any experience with hand-editing the Lightroom database (SQLite format)? Lightroom does not show when the change has been performed in the History list but I assume it has been done over a short period of time. Could be this somehow used to revert the changes?

2 Answers 2


Could you revert your catalog to one of the earlier backups and reapply the changes that you want to keep?


There is a way to edit the SQL database and remove a number of the last changes from all the images in a specific collection.

I'm not sure where it was that I found the instructions but it has definitely worked for me in the past, with no problems caused. Try looking for it here.

The instructions I have used were the ones where you are told to move all affected images to a quick collection named something like ScrewAutoSync or something similar.

Either way, backup your catalog before you mess with it.

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