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What's the Difference Between Lightroom 6 vs. Lightroom CC 2015?

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Compare Your Options: The Differences Between Lightroom 6 vs. CC


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79 thoughts on “What's the Difference Between Lightroom 6 vs. Lightroom CC 2015?”

  1. Please Help!
    I am a photographer with 3 computers and 3 mobile devices. All mobile devices are logged in with one adobe ID. I have one Lightroom catalog/library on an external hard drive that I plug in to each computer when I use it. In order to get a 3rd copy of adobe Lightroom, I have to sign up for a 2nd adobe ID. If I do this, when I plug the hard drive into the computer using the 2nd adobe ID, my LR Mobile photos won’t be imported because they use the 1st Adobe ID. Are you aware of a workflow that would allow me to do this seamlessly. I don’t want to have to log in any of the mobile devices under the 2nd Adobe ID.

    I would be happy to PAY for an additional license and called adobe to find out if that was possible but it is not. 2 only per adobe ID. SO SHORTSIGHTED on adobe’s part. I can’t believe no one had the forethought to consider that photographers may have more than one computer to work from. E.g. I have a small travel laptop, a desktop and a larger laptop that I work with at home. I also have two iphones (one work and one personal) and an ipad.

    I have considered constantly having to deactivate one computer and then reactivating when I switch to that computer since I use the external drive for my catalog. Is that the only option?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. Subscribed to the CC Photography Plan about 4 weeks ago. Still trying to install my products, takes hours (as in 18 to 24) to download and then after finally getting to the install and launch step, the launch of either LR or PS fails with a message that I have a damaged or corrupted Adobe Application Manager and to download a new version. Been trying to get a working copy of Adobe Application Manager for weeks now, been working with customer support to resolve this, still no resolution, still don’t have my products running. Be VERY wary of CC.

    • Hey Paul, you don’t need the Adobe Application Manager at all, nor do you need the Creative Cloud Desktop App to download and install your programs…

      Sorry if you hadn’t heard that before, but you came to the right place.

      Just use these instead:

      Adobe CC 2015 Direct Download Links for Windows & Mac

      You’ll find the direct links to the latest releases of both Photoshop and Lightroom given there. Just download the installers and away you go.

      Try to use a fast/robust (and wired instead of wireless) Internet connection if you can; that will also help.

    • Yes, that’s right Max. Lightroom CC 2015.1 (the subscription release with ongoing updates) will have all the new features as soon as they are available – whereas the standalone version (Lightroom 6.1) will not. As described in the article above, LR6 will still receive non-feature updates such as bug fixes and new camera/lens support.

      So there would be two ways you can get the new Dehaze/Defog feature (as well as Local White and Black Adjustment Sliders, which was also added in CC 2015.1):

      1. Buy Lightroom CC instead of Lightroom 6. The $9.99 Photography Plan includes the latest release of Lightroom CC plus also comes with Photoshop CC.


      2. Wait until Lightroom 7 comes out, presumably next year at the same time that Lightroom CC 2016 ships… A Lightroom 7 upgrade would be expected to roll up all new features that have been added to Lightroom CC in the meantime. When would LR7 be released? We can make no guarantees on what Adobe will do exactly, but June 2016 would be a reasonable guesstimate.

  3. Hi I am new to Mac having changed from Windows. I take a lot of photos and want a way to manage my file system better than in the Photos program that now comes with an iMac. I want to be able to import photos into files by date name from a variety of sources – camera, external hard drive etc. I want to be able to work on these photos and then also be able to back them up to my external hard drive as well as keeping them on the iMac hard drive. I want to be in full control of my file system.

    Will Lightroom 5 or 6 enable me to do this please? I didn’t like the Photos program because it always opens up with masses of photos, making a very confusing screen. I want to be able to see my files / folders in a sensible order – rather like I suppose I was able to in Windows. I also don’t want to pay a subscription, I would rather pay a stand alone fee. Will Lightroom give me the control I want, please, and which is better Lightroom 5 or 6?

  4. I bought LR 6. Can I upgrade to CC? Will I keep all my backups that iI now have with an upgrade? Will I lose anything?

    • Hello Ed, you can definitely update from Lightroom 6 to CC… You won’t lose anything at all; you’ll only gain things because Lightroom CC adds more to Lightroom 6, while the core program and formats are the same.

  5. I went through a trial and decided to buy the perpetual license of Lightroom 6. I was happy with the new features but I could live without continued functional upgrades. In fact, I did not even want functional upgrades. When I got my license, I was surprised to see that there were functions in my trial product that was not in the product I licensed. I did not like HDR – not competitive and did not try panorama, but bought the product based on the dehaze function which I liked. How do I get my money back? Deceptive marketing. Now I have a product that continuously says my trial period is over staring at me in the face. What this looks like to me is a deliberate effort to hide the fact that CC 2015 is different from version 6. It is NOT a new functionality issue, it is a release issue. At the start version LR 6 and CC 2015 should be exactly the same in functionality (it may have but I sure don’t think so), not changing one month later upgrading CC with additional functionality and then using it to draw in subscribers who do not want to rent the software. I want a product that I can choose functionality, not have it blown down my throat.

  6. Hi All

    Due to O/S issues I had to restore my W7 Pro back to a date before my LR6 installation. So the desktop link went though I have the program installed on a different partition to the OS partition – the program is still there but clearly something has been lost in the common files and or the registry, as when I try to launch it I get a dialogue telling me the Application Manager is missing or damaged. I used the URL in the dialogue box and looked for the app manager but all I get is the CC version being offered

    So please can someone advise me as the best & proper way to get my LR6 ‘corrected’… an overlay install perhaps??? But will this or any such reinstallation keep my backups and catalogue intact and indeed will the reinstall ‘find’ them upon launch?

    Many thanks in advance

    PS – My continued Googling where there are links back to Adobe only open and refer to CC with no mention (looks like they stripped out all perpetual license help and support pages???) of how to resolve this issue with LR6.

    • Welcome Laurence, uninstalling or reinstalling the Lightroom program will not delete or remove your existing LR catalogs or preference files – so you should be able to go ahead and do whatever is necessary with your system to restore it to working order…

      If that doesn’t work, then using the Adobe Cleaner Tool (and then rebooting) may also be helpful to completely erase the application.

      Nevertheless, you should still feel free to make copies of your existing catalogs and backups before proceeding – if you want to be extra safe and sure… It’s always a good idea anyway to protect your data.

      More questions like these are answered in the Adobe Lightroom Catalog FAQ, if there’s anything you’d like to know how to do.

      Hope that does the trick for you.

  7. I was using the free LR trial and decided to buy it outright rather than the subscription. Now, every time I click on anything, a blue screen with an x pops up and it says loading. What is that? It’s very hard to see the changes I’m making. Is there something I can click to turn that off?

    • Hey Terry, it sounds like you need to update to the latest version of Lightroom 6 available, which is LR 6.1.1 at this writing… Several key bug fixes have been made.

      See our downloadable product updates (direct links for Windows or Mac) if you cannot easily find it under Updates on your Help menu.

  8. I am trying to install the LR6 Standalone, using a silent install. I have tried Adobe’s instructions, for LR2 & Above, but that does not work for LR6. Do you know the commands I would need to feed the installer, to allow this to happen?? (I am trying to deploy it to a classroom, & would like to do this remotely, which requires a silent install)

  9. I purchased LR6 and discovered that it has not the functionality of combing the Radial Filter with the Brush Tool as advertised in the promotional videos for LR CC this is a huge disappointment. Will this be rectified?

    • Hi Patrick, do you mean the Local White and Black Adjustment Sliders for the Gradient Filter, Radial Filter and Local adjustment brush?

      Those were some features added to Lightroom CC 2015.1 (the same time as Dehaze) in June, a couple months after the Lightroom 6 release.

      So those features were not included in Lightroom 6, which is licensed the old-fashioned way and not with ongoing upgrades included – but we presume they would be included in the next major standalone LR release, e.g. Lightroom 7, if and when that happens.

  10. I have LR 5. I want LR 6 mainly for the Dehaze Filter that has come out. Will there be an update, say LR 6.1 that will have it, or will it be provided somehow? If not, I might as well wait until LR 7 comes out or Not buy anything from Adobe… what kind of marketing strategy is that as I do not want the CC $10 month version? Why not just add the improvement to version 6 ?????? I bet there are thousands like me out there waiting for it.

    I have switched to a Mac as my old IBM computer which has LR 5 on it is useless, is there a way I can transfer the software product to another computer if I do not get the LR 6 version upgrade?

    • Yes Roy, you should be able to move Lightroom from one computer to another – see:

      How to Transfer Your Adobe Programs Between Two Systems

      Regarding the rest of your comment, the option of the Lightroom CC subscription is new, but Lightroom 6 works the same – and similarly to how it has in the past, whereby standalone releases do not receive new feature upgrades until the next major product cycle. That’s why Adobe doesn’t make Dehaze available to non-subscribers.

      This article explains it more as to why Adobe can’t do that that, even if they wanted to:

      Why Creative Cloud (CC) Gets Free Upgrades but Adobe CS6 Doesn’t

      So summing up, if Adobe continues as it has in the past, then it would be the traditional Lightroom 7 perpetual release (whenever that happens) that will fold in all the recently-developed features such as Dehaze, etc. – and LR7 would then be a paid upgrade from LR6.

  11. Hi
    I am looking at upgrading LR5 to either LR6 or CC. My question is both myself and my daughter, live in different location. We want the ability to edit images in our system on two separate computers. Is it possible to do this as a desktop in 2 locations with CC.

  12. I am looking at getting new digital photo editing software. I have used Photoshop Elements for my PC, but have recently got an Apple Macbook Air and need to get something new. I was looking at the Lightroom software but I am confused as to what to do – do I go with the stand alone or do I do the online thing? What would benefit me the best? And what do I need to do to install it on my computer. Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.

    • Hello Kathy, as you can hopefully see from the article above, Lightroom CC does not run online but rather on your desktop, just like Lightroom 6… However it does give you new mobile and web workflows to work with your photos, that LR6 does not.

      Whether you choose the standalone Lightroom version or the CC Photography Plan (which also includes Photoshop CC) depends on what you would like to do with your software.

      Your safest bet may just be to download and run the free trials and see what suits you best. You can find all of the CC 2015 direct links here, just follow the instructions on that page to get started. Or you can use the CC Desktop App to download and manage your programs instead.

      And if you choose Lightroom 6 instead of Lightroom CC, you can easily convert that software over to the standalone release running on your system without reinstalling it.

      Hope that helps answer your questions. If you have anything further, then just post back!

  13. So this indicates that “the new Dehaze function as well as Local B&W Adjustment Sliders” are in Lightroom CC but not Lightroom 6, is that correct?

    Thank you.

  14. Where are all these “new features” that everyone is talking about in LR6? If anything. it seems like a lot of them have been removed leaving me with less capability than I had in LR4.

  15. Hi there!
    I wonder if I can download Lightroom 5/6/CC Quick Start Guide (73 Pages) although I have Lightroom 6 standalone, not the CC version?
    Could you give me an answer, please?
    Many Thanks

  16. Hi, I have lightroom 6 and camera raw 9… I am trying to import files taken with a Sony ILCE-7RM2 that creates .arw files. I have tried the option of selecting to ‘Copy as DNG’ on import, but it does not work saying that ‘The files are not recognised by the raw support in Lightroom’. Where am I going wrong? Thanks

    • Hey Jack, are you running the latest release of Lightroom? (currently 6.3) Check under the Help menu > System Info.

      Also make sure you are using the latest release of the DNG Converter utility (currently 9.3).

      The version of Adobe Camera Raw that you’re using won’t matter to Lightroom or the DNG Converter, as they actually don’t use a plug-in (but Photoshop does).

      Try copying the files first to a folder on your hard drive (without using Lightroom). Do they import, then?

  17. I am a hobby photographer in China, I do not speak Chinese, and want to use your CC products. I can not find any launch plan for CC in China, and can not use the Chinese Adobe website as it is not available in English. Also the Adobe help desk in China does not work in English.

    I’m embedded here with wife and kids, so have no non-Chinese payment methods apart from PayPal.

    I do not want to buy a bootleg copy of your products, but feel that I am being backed into a corner due to the inability to be able to communicate with your company.

    A contact from your company to help me understand what options are available to me would be appreciated.


    • Hi Chris – you’re wise to avoid pirated Adobe software, as it’s hugely risky (particularly in China).

      You should be able to use PayPal to buy Adobe products anywhere, provided the address for your PayPal (and for your Adobe ID) is your home (non-Chinese) address.

      If not, then you can just create a new account (for either) with your international address and that should work.

      And once you have purchased a CC subscription, then you should be able to use it successfully no matter where in the world that you live or travel – even in countries where Creative Cloud is not yet offered or sold by Adobe.

      This Adobe Forum discussion may also be useful:

      Will the Creative Cloud Apps Work If I Travel and Live/Work in Asia?

      Apologies for the delay in response over the holidays. Hope that helps!

  18. My biggest concern with the CC-Version is, that the mobile and online apps are useless. The mobile app takes ages to load the editing tools or to import new images. It is a bit faster if you use DNG but with RW2 you must have an online connection and it will take about 20-30 seconds for EVERY photo switch to load the editing tools even with a fast connection and a very fast device. Overall the performance is pretty bad. But the worst thing about both of these tools is, that the JPEG export doesn’t save the metadata with all the camera and lens information and the maximum size of those pictures is only 2048×1536 -> only half the size of my RW2 file. In addition the JPEGs aren’t in best quality. Unfortunately Lightroom 6 doesn’t receive feature updates like dehaze therefore I switched to Corel.

    • Hello Stefan, you may be misunderstanding how Lightroom Mobile and Lightroom Web work.

      Please see the Lightroom Mobile FAQ:

      “Lightroom for mobile syncs original JPEG, PNG, and video files captured by your mobile device camera in the Creative Cloud. Lightroom desktop creates and syncs images to the cloud in the form of Smart Previews. Smart Previews are smaller versions of your original files, roughly 1.5 or 2 MB in size, that retain all the flexibility of a raw file. Changes made to smart previews automatically sync with your originals. The original files remain on your desktop and are not stored, synced, or used by Lightroom for mobile. As such, Lightroom for mobile should not be used as a backup service.”


      Does Lightroom for mobile store my original image files online?

  19. Will Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 5 in their standalone version continue to be upgraded with RAW capabilities for new cameras being release in the future?

    Also, in the CC versions, is it possible to import actions and Google’s Nick Collections now in my standalone versions as plug-ins?


    • Greetings Roberto, thanks for your question. No, old versions of Adobe software are no longer updated with new cameras or lens profiles…

      The solution that Adobe offers in these cases is to use the DNG Converter utility – this will provide ongoing camera compatibility for previous versions of all Photoshop & Lightroom products.

      What does that mean? Well, you can use the free Adobe DNG Converter Tool for support of any recent camera in older programs like yours. You will need to convert your raw files to DNG, and then Photoshop or Lightroom can then import those DNG files instead.

      The other solution is to go with Photoshop & Lightroom CC instead, and then that camera support will be integrated right inside the programs themselves and you don’t have to do anything additional.

      As for your other questions, your best bet is just to download the free CC trials and see if they do what it is you wish to accomplish.

      Hope that helps!

  20. Hi, with the ongoing position of LR 6 and CC, my question relates to what may happen should Adobe discontinue LR 6 or any later version of the stand alone versions.
    The main question is can I use the Lightroom catalogue with any other photo software ie DXO etc?
    I do not want to join a subscription version and therefore may have a catalogue of images I cannot use.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  21. I have the Adobe photography package subscription, with 2015.3 and Camera Raw 9.3 being the versions displayed in Lightroom’s ‘about’ page.

    According to my understanding of the descriptions above, I think I am right in believing that I have therefore effectively got the latest version of LR6, along with all the cloud capabilities of LR CC. However, while Adobe list LR 6.4 as being tether-compatible with my new Nikon D7200, when I connect it up – I see ‘No camera detected’.

    Can you tell me if CC 2015.3 uses LR 6.4 as the core product or do I still have a wait ahead of me? I was so excited to get both the D7200 and Adobe Photography plan, under the apparent misapprehension that I would finally have the ability to tether one to the other – now I am feeling somewhat deflated…

    Hpefully, I am just doing something wrong, and you can point me in the right direction

  22. @ProDesignTools
    Many thanks for the clarification. Yes – I found that for some reason, my subscription was not receiving updates automatically. It upgraded to 2015.4 once I prodded it a bit, but still would not tether until I deleted my preferences folder. Ho hum – but I would rather have tethering than a bunch of preferences which I assume I can put in again anyway :-)


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