A Spotter’s Guide to LightRoom

Andy    December 13, 2021

At one of our recent meetings I was chatting to a member about LightRoom, and our conversation was going nowhere fast. After a few minutes I realised the problem was lat I was talking about LightRoom Classic Client, whereas he was talking about LightRoom on the web.

A while ago Adobe renamed all of the different versions of LightRoom, and chose names for each which make it virtually impossible to know which one you’re talking about, so here’s a quick guide to help you recognise which one you’re using.

LightRoom Classic Client

This is the original LightRoom, and needs to be installed and run on your computer.

Lightroom Classic
Lightroom Classic Client

When you’re using LightRoom Classic Client;

  • Look out for the different modules Library, Develop and so on across the top of the screen.
  • Look for the icons showing “Lrc” for LightRoom Classic
  • Look for Right mouse opening a menu when you click on the image

With LightRoom Classic Client your images are stored on your local hard drive by default.


This is the next “generation” of LightRoom. Again the application is installed on your computer.


When you’re using LightRoom;

  • The modules are no longer available.
  • Look for the icons showing “Lr” for LightRoom
  • Right mouse does nothing
  • LightRoom has less functionality than LightRoom Classic Client.

With LightRoom your images are stored on the web. You get some storage by default, however if you want more you need to increase your subscription.

LightRoom (on the Web)

You can also run LightRoom as website. Here nothing is installed on your computer and you can access your files from anywhere. LighRoom (on the web) is (as far as I can tell) identical to LightRoom.

Lightroom Web
LightRoom Web

When you’re using LightRoom (on the web);

  • LightRoom runs in your browser (Edge seems to work well) so taking no space on your hard drive, but requiring a data connection

LightRoom (on mobile)

You can also access LightRoom via an app on your phone.

Lightroom Mobile
Lightroom Mobile

Again LightRoom on mobile offers many of the same features as LightRoom and LightRoom On the web.

The benefit of all of the LightRoom aqpplications is that they synch with each other any you can always access your images (assuming you have an internet connection).