How to View, Create, and Delete Photo Versions in Lightroom
How to View, Create, and Delete Photo Versions in Lightroom
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How to View, Create, and Delete Photo Versions in Lightroom

How to View, Create, and Delete Photo Versions in Lightroom

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Get a better understanding of your Lightroom editing processes with photo versions—a tool you can use in Lightroom Classic and CC. Today, we’ll show you how to view, create, and delete photo versions in both versions of the app. After reading this guide, you’ll have more control over trying new things with your images and also determining whether you should make further changes.


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How to View Previous Versions of a Photo in Lightroom Classic

It’s very easy to compare Lightroom edits to the original image in Lightroom Classic. But what can you do if you only want to view the photo up to a certain editing point?

In these scenarios, the History tab will provide what you’re looking for. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. In Lightroom Classic, go to the Develop tab.
  2. Expand the History section, which you’ll find on the left-hand side.
    The History Section in Adobe Lightroom Classic

  3. Scroll down and sift through the different edits you’ve made. If you want to return your edit to a specific point, click on that version and the changes you feel are necessary.

How to View Previous Versions of a Photo in Lightroom CC

In Lightroom CC, the process is slightly different for viewing photo versions. Follow these instructions to achieve your desired result:

  1. Open Lightroom CC and select the photo you want to edit.
  2. When you’ve chosen the picture you want to look at, go to the toolbar on the right. At the bottom, you’ll see a clock icon; click on this. Alternatively, press Shift + V on your computer keyboard.
    The Versions Tab in Adobe Lightroom

  3. Here, you’ll see two tabs: Named and Auto. In Named, you’ll see all versions that you’ve created. And in Auto, you’ll see each of your edits—it works the same as the History tab in Lightroom Classic.
    The Auto Versions Section in Adobe Lightroom

Besides photo versions, Lightroom Classic and CC have lots of other differences. You can learn about the most important of these in our Lightroom Classic vs. CC comparison.

How to Create New Versions of a Photo in Lightroom

Creating new versions of a photo in Lightroom is beneficial for several reasons. For example, you can focus on editing without needing to worry about how you’ll go back if you move some sliders in a way that you don’t want. On top of that, you’ll be able to view the editing process more closely and enhance your learning curve.

Creating new versions of a photo will depend on the version of Lightroom that you use. So, we’ll break the instructions down into two separate sections.

Lightroom Classic

The tab to create a new photo version in Lightroom has a different name from CC, but the process is very similar. Below are the steps to follow:

  1. Select the Develop tab in Lightroom.
  2. On the left-hand side, tap the + icon next to Snapshots.
    The Snapshots Tab in Lightroom Classic

  3. Enter the name for your snapshot in the text box.
    Naming a Newly-Created Snapshot in Adobe Lightroom

  4. Tap Create when you’re happy with everything.

Be very careful when deleting snapshots. If you remove too many, you could potentially also accidentally delete most (if not all) of your edits.

Lightroom CC

To create new photo versions in Lightroom CC, you’ve got two options. The first is to make further edits to your picture (e.g., moving a slider). However, you can also make new versions with customized names. Here’s how to do the latter:

  1. Go to the photo you’re editing and select the Versions tab (Shift + V or the clock icon on the right).
  2. Choose Named and select Create Version.
    New Photo Version in Lightroom CC

  3. Enter the name for your new photo version.
  4. When you’re happy with everything, tap the blue Create button. You’ll see the new version appear in the Named section.

How to Delete Versions of a Photo in Lightroom

The process to delete photo versions in Lightroom is quite similar in Lightroom Classic and CC, with a few subtle differences. Again, we’ll break the steps down into different sections so that you can follow along.

Lightroom Classic

  1. Go to Develop > Snapshots.
  2. Tap the backspace key on your keyboard. Alternatively, select control + trackpad (Mac) or right-click on the snapshot to delete (Windows).
  3. Select Delete when the list of options appears. Then, confirm your decision.
    Delete a Snapshot in Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom CC

In Lightroom CC, follow these steps instead.

  1. Go to the Versions tab.
  2. Click on the three dots icon and tap Delete. Alternatively, hit the backspace key on your computer.
    Delete a Photo Version in Lightroom CC

  3. Confirm your decision to delete the photo version.
    The Delete window for a Photo Version on Lightroom CC

Organize Your Lightroom Editing Workflow Better With Photo Versions

Using photo versions is an effective way to ensure that you don’t delete too many of your edits when you need to revert. In that sense, it works similarly to Layers in Photoshop. Whether you’re using Lightroom Classic or CC, it’s very easy to view, create, and delete photo versions.

Next time you’re editing a picture in Lightroom, why not consider using photo versions with the tips we’ve given you today?

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