Lightroom 6 Compatibility with Mac OS CatalinaApple plans to introduce its new Mac operating system, OS Catalina, in late September. While Adobe is working to make the latest version of Lightroom Classic compatible with Catalina, there are serious issues with using old versions of Lightroom that will not be fixed. Namely, if you install OS Catalina, you will no longer be able to uninstall, reinstall, or activate old versions of Lightroom, since the installers for these are 32-bit applications, and Catalina only supports 64-bit applications. (These issues also apply to old versions of Photoshop.)

While you should initially be able to use Lightroom 5, 6 and CC 2015 on Catalina if you have installed that version of Lightroom prior to updating to Catalina, if you then encounter an issue with Lightroom that requires uninstalling and reinstalling the software to resolve it, or if your hard drive fails and recovering requires reinstalling software, you won’t be able to.

In addition, you may encounter video playback issues with older versions of Lightroom, and it’s possible that other issues will be identified once Catalina is out and users put older versions of Lightroom to the test.

Therefore, if you want to continue to safely use your old version of Lightroom, DO NOT UPGRADE TO Mac OS CATALINA when it becomes available.

If you decide to ignore this advice and upgrade to Catalina anyway, before you do so, if you have Lightroom 6 be sure to update it to 6.14, and if you have CC 2015, to 2015.14 (by installing the Lightroom 6 version available on this Adobe Lightroom Downloads page, as you’ll no longer be able to on Catalina.

Finally, if you purchase a new computer that runs Catalina, you won’t be able to install old versions of Lightroom on it – at that point you’ll either need to subscribe to one of Adobe’s subscription plans or move on to a competitor.

Here’s a statement from Jeff Tranberry of Adobe on these compatibility issues.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Adobe’s Photography Plan so that you can use the latest Lightroom Classic (which is the newer version of Lightroom 6 available by subscription only), here’s where you’d subscribe, and here is my video tutorial on how to do the upgrade. If you’re struggling with Lightroom and/or you value having all your photos automatically available to you everywhere, this might also be the time to consider switching to the simplified cloud-based Lightroom application. Next month I plan to hold a free webinar, “Which Should I Use, Lightroom Classic or the Cloud-Based Lightroom?” – to hear about the details when they are available, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below!