Lightroom For Mac Catalina

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If you work with Lightroom and Photoshop, think twice before upgrading to macOS 10.15 Catalina. While Apple’s new operating system comes with some stunning features, there’s no progress without sacrifice. For designers who work with Adobe products, the sacrifice can be too big.

Oct 07, 2019  Lightroom Classic still runs on your computer, just like Lightroom 6, but it’s just paid on subscription instead of a one-off cost. Here are the changes since Lightroom 6. Lightroom 2-5. These appear to run on Catalina, however like Lightroom 6, it is not possible to reinstall or uninstall them. Adobe has released a list of known compatibility issues with MacOS Catalina for Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Apple pushes out updates with the expectation that they will find out what’s not working as users update. We prefer to wait on these major updates for exactly that reason. Do not update to MacOS Catalina.

The company has recently warned there are “known compatibility issues” with Photoshop 20.0.6 and Lightroom 2.4.1 running on Catalina, while older versions of both apps will stop working on macOS 10.15 altogether.

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What’s wrong with Catalina compatibility

The thing is, Catalina kills lots of Mac software. This is due to Apple ending support for 32-bit applications and urging developers to switch to 64 bits. With 64-bit app architecture, your Mac is supposed to get faster and more powerful. Yet, not every app developer is ready to take a step.

Since the first days of Catalina release, there have been many complaints about apps not working on the new system. DJs say they can’t use popular music software like Traktor and Rekordbox because macOS is no longer supporting apps that rely on iTunes syncing features. Oh, and iTunes is dead on Catalina, too. Now you’ll have to access your music, podcasts, and movies via three different apps.

Apart from Adobe and music software incompatibility, macOS 10.15 brings along some major issues with iCloud file download, iPad not connecting to Mac, and apps freezing. You can find the full list of Catalina problems and fixes here.

Known Photoshop issues on macOS Catalina

Mac os x development for ios developers 1. The main reason why Adobe apps don’t work on macOS 10.15 is many of them entail 32-bit components. Photoshop 19.x and earlier versions are entirely out of Catalina space — so if you use them, you’ll have to say no to the new macOS.

With Photoshop 20.0.6, things are a bit easier. Yet, we have to warn you about the known Photoshop macOS Catalina issues you may encounter:

  • File naming problems. You may notice that Photoshop doesn’t change file extension when you’re changing file format in the Save As dialog, or doesn’t change file name if you try to save a copy. This will lead to the program not being able to open your file. The only solution is editing the extension and file name manually.

  • Unable to download Photoshop plugins. If you try to install plugins after upgrading to Catalina, do expect that many of them are unnotarized — and so Photoshop won’t be able to open them. We recommend to ensure you have notarized plugins in advance. If you’ve already upgraded and you need your old plugins, check out some workarounds on Adobe’s website.

  • Video rendering process not completed. Access Security & Privacy > Privacy tab and enable full disk access for Photoshop. This should fix the problem.

Apart from it, Photoshop 2019 might misbehave in many other cases — when you try to launch Droplets, use ExtendScript Toolkit, or set color picker to Apple. So we totally recommend you test Photoshop 20.0.6 on a partition before completely switching to Catalina.

Known Lightroom issues on macOS Catalina

Once you got Lightroom update — it should be 2.4.1 or later — you can try using the program on macOS Catalina. Adobe doesn’t promise a flawless experience, though. Here are the known compatibility issues:

  • Lens Profile Creator not working on Catalina. Adobe says they are working on adding the 64-bit version soon.

  • Unable to migrate Apple Photos to Lightroom Desktop. If you select File > Migrate From > Apple Photos, you’ll see a message saying the migration was unsuccessful. Adobe hasn’t come up with a fix just yet, but they are aware of the problem and looking for solutions.

Another Catalina pitfall waiting for Lightroom Classic users is that they will have issues with Nikon cameras. When you start the tethering process, you’ll see an error saying Lightroom can’t detect your camera.

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Back to safety: Get an Adobe app alternative

Catalina-related Adobe updates might be arriving soon. But no one can say for sure if they will work for you. Right now, it’s clearly too risky to clean install macOS Catalina if you use Photoshop and Lightroom for important tasks. This means you have two options — hold off upgrading to Catalina or find compatible alternatives.

One of the good tools you can try is Luminar Flex, Skylum’s collection of photography plugins that you can add to any photo editor — including Apple Photos. The app comes with rich filters, layers, blending modes, and even tailored workspaces that help you enhance photos.

If you want a solid photo and video editor in one pack, you can go with CameraBag Pro. It’s less complex than Adobe’s programs, yet very powerful in terms of what it can do:

  • Batch-edit your images and videos — from cropping to creating custom presets for all your media files.

  • Instantly remove dead pixels in images and experiment with color grading in videos.

  • Work with simple retouching tiles to change exposure, contrast, light, hue, tone, etc.

  • Get a package of 200+ professional filters.

Both CameraBag Pro and Luminar Flex are available via Setapp subscription.

If Photoshop and Lightroom are your only companions throughout the design journey — and you have no intention to switch — Adobe recommends to give it a test drive first. While the company hasn’t ensured Photoshop and Lightroom compliance just yet, they won’t be taking any responsibility for the programs misbehaving on Catalina. So it’s your decision to make.

Which versions of Lightroom Classic are compatible with macOS Catalina?

Lightroom Classic 9.x and Lightroom Classic 8.4.1 work with macOS 10.15 (Catalina) but have these known compatibility issues. You may want to remain on your current version of macOS until these issues have been resolved.

Adobe strongly recommends that customers do their own testing on a non-production partition to ensure that new operating systems work with their current hardware and drivers (printing, and so forth).

If you do encounter issues not already documented here, feel free to report them on our feedback site.

Are legacy or perpetual versions of Lightroom Classic compatible with macOS Catalina?

No, older versions of Lightroom Classic were neither designed nor tested to work on macOS Catalina. They are not supported in any way for use on macOS Catalina.

Adobe does not recommend that customers using old versions of Lightroom Classic upgrade to macOS Catalina.

Older versions use 32-bit licensing components and installers. Therefore, they cannot be installed and activated after upgrading to macOS Catalina. Although upgrading to macOS Catalina with an older version already installed on your computer may allow the app to function in some capacity, you will not be able to reinstall or activate the app after the macOS upgrade.

Before upgrading to macOS Catalina, you may uninstall the older versions as the uninstaller will not work after upgrading. If you have already upgraded to macOS Catalina, you can use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to uninstall older versions.

Adobe has discovered the compatibility issues listed below with running Lightroom Classic 8.4.1 or later with macOS 10.15 (Catalina).

Lightroom is not able to detect Nikon cameras when the camera is turned ON after invoking the Start Tether Capture command.

First, make sure the camera is turned ON. Then, select File > Tethered Capture > Start Tether Capture.

We are working with Nikon to correct this problem.

Tethering does not work with Canon cameras on the latest update (10.15.2) of macOS Catalina.

Update to macOS Catalina 10.15.3 to resolve this issue.

The Lens Profile Creator is currently 32-bit, but we are investigating updating it to be a 64-bit utility.

Screen Recording dialog appears while trying to pick a color using eyedropper.

When you try to use eyedropper from the color swatch in Graduated Filter or Radial Filter, the System Recording dialog appears to ask for permission.


This is a one-time dialog asking you to grant access to the application. Once you allow access, you will able to pick color from that application and the dialog will not appear again. However, if you deny access, you will only be able to pick color from within Lightroom Classic.