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What’s in a Name – Clearing Up the Confusion Over Lightroom Application Names

Are you confused over Lightroom names? In case you haven’t heard, Adobe last week changed the name of the Lightroom program we have been using for 10 years, and gave the “Lightroom” name to a new-cloud based application. Here’s an explanation of all the application names that you will see in your Creative Cloud application and elsewhere:

Lightroom Classic CC

A newly released version of the Lightroom program we have been using for 10 years, with Library, Develop, Map, Slideshow, Book, Web and Print modules. The new version is technically called “Version 7.0”, but Adobe plans to downplay version numbers going forward. In my articles I refer to it as Lightroom Classic or Lightroom Classic 7. This is only available as part of a CC subscription.

Lightroom CC (2015)

The previous subscription version of our 10 year-old Lightroom program, released in 2015 and updated through 2015.13.

Lightroom 6

The previous non-subscription version of our 10-year-old Lightroom program. There is no non-subscription version corresponding to the new Lightroom Classic, and there will be no more non-subscription versions.

Lightroom CC

The brand new cloud-based solution that is easier to use, but light on features. Sometimes “Lightroom CC” will be used to refer to the application that resides on your computer, but technically the “Lightroom CC” name more broadly refers to all clients in the Lightroom CC ecosystem, consisting of mobile, web and desktop. When clarity is needed, the following are the official names of the clients:

Lightroom CC Desktop – the application that resides on your computer

Lightroom CC iOS – the Lightroom mobile application for iPads and iPhones. This is the same Lightroom mobile app you have been using, just renamed.

Lightroom CC Android – the Lightroom mobile application for Android devices. This is the same Lightroom mobile app you have been using, just renamed.

Lightroom CC Web –, where after signing in you can import, edit and share your photos using a web browser.

It’s a shame we have to expend so much time trying to clear up confusion over these naming decisions by Adobe – it certainly would have been easier if they had given the new cloud-based baby a unique name, such as Lightroom Cloud – but they didn’t.

Related Content:

Visit my What’s New resource page for all my articles and videos covering the Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, mobile and web releases. This includes articles on which version you should buy, how to upgrade, and how to use new features.

2017-11-08T11:17:18+00:00October 26th, 2017|6 Comments


  1. Ron Abbott October 27, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Hi Laura

    I thought I did everything right when upgrading from my lightroom CC to lightroom classic, l quit lightroom as instructed and changed the name of my catalog and tried to open it. but, when I tried to open it, I get the message “main lightroom Classic catalog cannot be opened because it is too new to be used by this version of lightroom”. Then the message also says would you like to select a different catalog. Can you help me with this Ron

    • Laura Shoe October 27, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      This catalog is already upgraded to Classic, Ron. It sounds like you aren’t in Classic though, you’re in CC 2015. Open “Lightroom Classic CC” and then go to File>Open..

  2. John Woodman October 27, 2017 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I don’t understand whether Lightroom Mobile continues in existence. The app is on my phone – can I still use it with my existing LR CC2015 on my desktop? And will it work if I move onto LR Classic? Obviously I wouldn’t expect it to be developed any further – that is where the new Lightroom CC fits in – but it would be helpful to retain the functionality that I have. Thanks, Laura, for your valiant efforts to help us understand what Adobe are doing.

    • Laura Shoe October 27, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Hi John,

      It works just as before. Watch my webinar recording.

    • ProDesignTools November 8, 2017 at 7:39 am - Reply

      Just to further clarify: the Lightroom Mobile app definitely will continue its existence, as well as be developed further by Adobe… It is the incarnation of Lightroom on mobile phones. The new “Lightroom CC” runs on the *desktop* (only). But in terms of UI, they look very much alike, and this was a goal by the company.

      • Laura Shoe November 8, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

        Thank you for visiting and commenting, ProDesignTools. When you say that “Lightroom CC” runs on the desktop only, IMO that’s a bit confusing, because the Lightroom mobile app is also named Lightroom CC.

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