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////Exporting Images to CD/DVD

Exporting Images to CD/DVD

Hint:  click on the title of this post above to see the post larger!

You can export images directly to CD or DVD using Lightroom.  The feature is a little bit hidden:

  • In the Library module, select your images to export.
  • Click on the Export button
  • At the top, you see the following:
The Default: Export to Disk

The Default: Export to Disk

  • Click on the drop down arrow next to Files on Disk, and change it to Files on CD/DVD.
Export to CD/DVD

Export to CD/DVD

  • If you want to keep a copy of the exported files on your hard drive, select and specify a specific folder or the same folder as the original photo.  Otherwise if you want them to only go to the CD/DVD, choose Temporary Folder.

Lightroom will write the exported files to the permanent or temporary folder, and then launch and run the CD/DVD burning process.  If your images don’t fit on one disk, you will be prompted to put in additional disks.

Unfortunately this process doesn’t work with the 64 bit version of Windows — the 3rd party burning software the Adobe is using doesn’t support it.  In this case, choose Files On Disk, write to a folder, and then launch your CD/DVD burning software and specify this folder to burn.

2017-07-09T14:45:27+00:00 October 2nd, 2009|24 Comments


  1. Theodore Leo Rossman, Jr April 28, 2013 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Does lightroom come on a disc? My darkroom computer is not on line.

    • Laura Shoe April 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      You can buy a download version, Theodore — definitely through, and I believe through Amazon as well.

  2. Swan November 2, 2013 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Hi Laura, I was wondering if you’d be able to help me out. What I can’t figure out is how to burn images to a DVD in the order I want them. It seems that when I burn the images, the software always reverts back to the original order. I’ve tried moving them to a collection and organizing them there and burning the collection, but that doesn’t seem to work. Is there an easy way to do this? Or even a complicated way that works will do. Thank you.


    • Laura Shoe November 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm - Reply

      Hi Swan,

      Your operating system sorts your files by filename, so you’ll need to rename your exported copies that you are burning to DVD. In the Export dialog, in the File Naming section, check “rename to”, choose Custom Name – Sequence, and enter some custom text. Your files will be renamed whatever-text-001, whatever-text-002, etc. This will preserve your order.

  3. Sig Helga December 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura,
    Once I’ve started to burn images to a DVD/CD using Lightroom 4, how can I see which images have already been burned and which haven’t?
    Obviously one can open the disk and see which pictures have been burned – but, I’m wondering if there’s an easier way?


    • Laura Shoe January 4, 2014 at 11:25 am - Reply

      Hi Sig,

      Exports show up in the History panel in the Develop module — I don’t know that it will specify that it was an export to DVD, however.

  4. Tom Vollick November 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm - Reply


    I really hope you can help me. I shot a recording session, the lighting was abysmal. I ended up shooting @ 6400, not really a problem with todays LR and PS. I shot about 550 images – all need correcting. I decided to use LR’s “Synchronize” it worked perfectly. My 2 questions are : Can I burn a DVD from LR WITH the changes ? and -I screwed up I know – After I was done, I went to bridge – I didn’t know I could do this in LR, and renamed and renumbered them. Now LR can’t find them.

    How do I retrieve the the images I adjusted and burn them in LR. I don’t want to do them all over again in either LR, or PS.

    Sorry if I rambled. I am just frustrated I can’t figure this out myself.

    Thanks for your time.


    • Laura Shoe November 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Hi Tom,

      You can export copies (JPEG, TIFF or DNG) with the changes directly to DVD. In the export dialog, choose Export to CD/DVD at the top.

      Do you see your editing work in Bridge? If so, you were writing it XMP. If this is the case, I would just import the renamed files into Lightroom, and LR will see that work.

      If note, I would try to rename the files in Bridge back to the original names. If you can’t do this, do you have a backup or are they still on the memory card? If so, copy them back into where the originals were, so that Lightroom can see them again. Otherwise for each photo you will have to click on the little exclamation point in the top right of the thumbnail in grid view in Lightroom, choose Locate file, and select the renamed file that corresponds to the original one.

      • Tom vVollick November 3, 2014 at 2:26 pm - Reply


        Thanks for the reply. I usually never develop in LR, I always use PS. But, this time there were just too many to do. I really don’t know a good or proper procedure to develop that many images at once. I usually just slug along in PS.

        I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t know what XMP is, and no. the edits do not show up in bridge, so I guess I wasn’t using XMP, is that the proper way ? How do you do that ? Do you have a CD I should get ?

        I still have the images on the memory cards. If I re-import them will I have to do all the adjustments again ?

        I have tried the exclamation point to rename, however the same file name appears anyway.

        Also, – a minor point – I use two monitors, Every other image on the Large monitor is very pixelated, this is usually not the case. Have I set something unknowingly ?

        I guess the lesson learned is to rename and renumber FIRST and then import. Again, I really don’t want to do them all over for a second time. But I will if that is the only way.

        I just started using LR a while ago. I have always used Bridge before. I wanted to use the Synchronize in LR, because I don’t think there is that option in PS. I know image processor will convert batch file formats, I am not sure about adjustments.

        Again, THANK YOU very much much for your help.


        • Laura Shoe November 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm - Reply

          Hi Tom,

          Don’t worry about XMP at this point – it usually is not critical. Don’t give up on Lightroom! Next time, rename your files from within Lightroom (Library>Rename Photos) and all will be well.

          At this point, using Finder or Windows Explorer, copy your photos from the memory card into the folder that Lightroom is expecting them to be in (it shows in the Folders panel – if you’re not clear where on your hard drive it is, right-click on it and choose Show in Finder/Explorer). Because they are named according to what Lightroom expects, the exclamation points should then disappear and all should be fine. You can then export copies (File>Export) to send to your client.

          Next, I would highly recommend purchasing my Fundamentals & Beyond video series – once you learn Lightroom, you’ll love it, and you’ll save a ton of time!

          • Tom Vollick November 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm


            Thanks for the reply. I will try to re-import them. And, I will purchase your video series.


          • Laura Shoe November 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

            Clarification – don’t use Lightroom to reimport them, Tom – just put them in the folder LR expects them to be in.

          • Tom Vollick November 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm


            OK, just bought your video series. But, just to dazzle you with my apparent ignorance or lack of comprehension once again.

            I am not completely sure of what you mean by ” Tom – just put them in the folder LR expects them to be in.

            There is only one folder with the images “Tales of Darkness” where do I get them from ? Do you mean to re-import them from the memory cards into the folder they are already in ? And, if I do that won’t I have to then re-do all the adjustments all over again.

            I obviosly haven’t viewed your series yet.

            Sorry to be a pest.

            Thanks vollick

          • Laura Shoe November 3, 2014 at 7:43 pm

            Explaining the whole catalog concept and the implications is more than I can do here, but in a nutshell, information about these photos has already been added to Lightroom’s catalog (you already imported them) – and Lightroom is storing editing work for these photos in its catalog. Therefore you don’t need to do an “import” in Lightroom. Note that Lightroom doesn’t own a copy of your photos – it looks out to where you decide to store them on your hard drive, and it is counting on you to never move, rename, or delete them using another program, because it can’t see that happen.

            Lightroom is looking for these files in the Total Darkness folder, with their original filenames – but in fact out on your hard drive they are not there anymore (because they have been renamed). The exclamation points on the thumbnails are telling you that they aren’t there anymore.

            If you go to Finder on Mac or Windows Explorer/My Computer on PC and you drag the photos from your memory card into the Total Darkness folder, then Lightroom will be able to re-establish its connection to them and you won’t lose your work.

            To understand this better, in my series, watch the Introduction to Lightroom video, the importing videos, and the File & Folder Management video to understand how to manage things going forward; also watch the Export video for your Export question.

  5. stephanie November 20, 2014 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Hello Laura! I hope you can help me.. I just downloaded lightoorm 5, I have already imported and developed my images. I am just wanting to burn some on a disk. I have even moved the photos on a certain file on lightroom, but when I got to export I starts to burn and it says it can not complete it. I am new to lightroom but I looked everywhere trying to figure this out. I have A mac. shlould I be using a certain type of disk? Im just really confused right now, any help will be appreciated! Thank you!

    • Laura Shoe December 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Stephanie,

      I apologize for the delay – the end of November was crazy here. You have probably resolved this, but if not, try posting in, as I don’t know why you would be getting that error.

  6. Tina November 26, 2014 at 8:19 am - Reply

    I am also trying to burn files in new order. I hit rename and renamed all the files but after burning and reinserting the disc they are still all out of order? Any suggestions?

    • Laura Shoe December 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Tina,

      Mac Finder or Windows Explorer will show you files in any order you want it to – make sure you are sorting by file name. In Lightroom when you are renaming, use a naming template such as “Custom Name Sequence” that will give you custom-text-001, custom-text-002, sequencing, so that sorting by file name will preserve your order.

  7. Kim February 9, 2015 at 6:45 am - Reply

    Please help. I’m trying to export my images to cd/DVD and when I burn the disc only one picture burns. What am I doing wrong?

    • Laura Shoe February 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Make sure you have them all selected, Kim. If this isn’t the issue, since I don’t know what the problem is, I’d recommend posting on

  8. Kim September 10, 2015 at 9:59 am - Reply

    i am trying to burn pics to dvd at the highest quality for printing-what settings do i need to have for that-what format?

    • Laura Shoe September 14, 2015 at 10:59 am - Reply

      Kim, for the largest size and maximum quality, you would uncheck Resize to Fit, and choose the TIFF format (8 bit is fine). However, TIFF files are very large (in megabytes). If file size is a concern, you will get just about the same quality selecting JPEG, with 100% quality.

  9. jill January 20, 2016 at 7:04 am - Reply

    I exported pictures on a cd from lightrrom I’m unable to open and view the pictures Do you know why

    • Laura Shoe January 26, 2016 at 10:25 am - Reply

      I’m not sure, Jill. If you exported raw files rather than JPEGs, it’s possible that your operating system can’t preview them.

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