Well, the latest Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop updates have been out for a few days now and I’ve received hundreds of questions on them. I do have several videos on the Lightroom updates, as well as the Photoshop updates. But not everyone has the time to watch all of the videos. So I gathered some of the most common ones and created a massive FAQ list here. Hopefully it helps you with a question you may have had.

Also, please watch the video on this page after you read through this if you have specific “update” questions. It shows how to get the latest updates through the Creative Cloud updater.

One more thing… my new Lightroom Masking and Brush Deep Dive has been a MASSIVE hit. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you visit the page.

Now… on the the FAQ…

I try to open the latest version of Photoshop but I don’t see the new features?

Okay, so Photoshop may or may not remove the older version depending on your settings in your Creative Cloud updater. If it does not, and you have a link or shortcut to Photoshop, then you are most likely opening the old version. Look in the top title bar and the new version should read “Photoshop 2022”. Camera Raw should read “Camera Raw 14”. If they don’t, then you are using the older version and should look at the video I mention above, or contact Adobe. Please do not post a comment here as me or anyone else can’t help you get your latest versions.

Lightroom is a little different. When you install the new version it actually replaces the older version so you won’t have to uninstall anything.

Should I uninstall older versions?

Yes it is safe to uninstall older versions. You can do this through the Creative Cloud updater.

What is the correct version of Photoshop and why are older versions there?

The correct new version of Photoshop is version 23 (named Photoshop 2022). If you see Photoshop V22.0…something.. then that is the older version of Photoshop. Since not everyone updates or is able to update, you may see an older version in your CC updater. There is no need to update this version if you can install V23. You don’t need to update this first, to install the newer version.

When in doubt… always install the biggest number 🙂 That is the current version.

Is it safe to delete older Lightroom Catalogs once I’ve installed the new version?

Yes, you can delete old catalogs after the upgrade. Just be sure you delete ones you know you have upgraded and don’t need anymore? How do you know? Open them and check… there’s no magic bullet.

I don’t see the new masking stuff on older photos I’ve processed in Lightroom?

If you edit an older photo in Lightroom Classic or ACR and you go to the Masking tools and don’t see all of the same adjustment sliders that I have, it means you’re using an older “Process Version”. Just to to the Calibration panel and you’ll see Process Version as one of the options. Make sure that one reads the highest number possible (Should be Process Version 5). I’m not going to explain exact what process version is, but it’s a good (and very boring topic) Google search topic if you want to learn more.

If I see a Lightroom video on the new masking changes, how does it apply to Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)?

While the interface is slightly different, the changes and settings are exactly the same. If you see a LR video you should easily be able to make the leap to how to do these things in Adobe Camera Raw.

Are all of these new changes on the mobile and iPad versions?

Yes, these changes are also on the mobile versions of Lightroom (cloud version). The only thing that’s not there is the “Intersect” feature.

Camera Raw makes it really hard to see Brush presets and their names? Is this normal?

On Windows it seems the area that displays these things is very small. There is no fix for this.

Why is it so hard to install Brush and Gradient Presets in Lightroom and Camera Raw?

I wish I knew! Trust me, as a content creator I dislike it as much or more than you. It keeps my customer support team extremely busy :-/

One suggestion is to rename the presets. It may help, but the field is still really small.

Can I now replace a sky in Lightroom?

No. The Select Sky option selects the sky so you can make an adjustment to it. The adjustments we can make to it are the same as they’ve always been (brighter, darker, change color, etc…). You cannot replace a sky in LR and will still need Photoshop for this.

It seems like Lightroom is trying to be Photoshop with all of these Layer enhancements. Is this true?

I disagree. I don’t think it’s trying to be Photoshop at all. While we call these masking changes and the settings they create “Layers”, it’s not a layer like we have in Photoshop where you can add images, text, etc… The layer concept in the Masks panel is just there to help you manage multiple adjustments. Before this we had these little gray dots on the image and they were often hard to see. In a way, they were layers, but just a poor visual implementation of them. Now we have a panel for local adjustments (AKA Masks) and honestly, this just brings Lightroom Classic closer to the other raw editors out there (Capture One, ON1, etc…).

Will my plug-ins still work with the new versions?

I only use Topaz plug-ins at this point and they work fine. But you should always check and if you have questions the best thing to do is visit the plug-in website and contact them if you have questions.

What operating system do I need for these new updates?

It’s always best to check with Adobe. (Click Here for Link) You can always fine system requirements on their site or by Googling “Photoshop version 23 system requirements”. Of course if you want to know for other programs you can do the same.

Is it safe to upgrade to the latest Mac or Windows OS?

I can’t answer that for you. Adobe’s system specs will tell you what version is supported. But of course there are many other programs that you use and you’ll have to make that call on your own. I haven’t personally updated (for no other reason that I’ve been busy) so I can’t speak to it but I hear from other people that the updates are fine. Your mileage may vary.

My Creative Cloud Updater says I can’t install these new versions?

Check the previous question above. Sometimes newer versions are not able to be installed on older operating systems.

What will happen to my presets in these new versions?

All of your presets in Lightroom and Photoshop should be carried over. If they are not, you can always go to where ever you got the presets from, re-download them and install them in the new version.

Will these new features be available in the legacy perpetual versions of Lightroom or Photoshop?

No. They are no longer supported by Adobe, and you will not receive future updates to those versions again. Not in this release and not in any future release.

How do I install brush presets in Lightroom or Camera Raw?

If you have my presets they come with install instructions. If you have some one else’s then please visit their site and look for installation instructions for whatever you purchased from them.

I’m thinking of getting a new computer. Do you have recommendations?

First off, I am the least techie person out there when it comes to computers. I turn them on and off and that’s about all I know. I have zero idea what a core is, and I don’t even know how to spell RAM 😉 But from searching around and some research, I wrote an article that talks a little about what certain parts of the computer can help photo editing.

Also, I did order a new MacBook Pro with the new M1 max chips and all that. My existing MacBook Pro is over 5 years old and I’m looking to have something powerful enough to replace my iMac too, so I only have one computer. I have no idea if this setup is good, bad, fast, too much, or too little. I haven’t even gotten it yet. But here’s the specs if you’re interested. I figured go big or go home 🙂

It looks like Lightroom is copying Capture One or Luminar or whoever?

Ugh… I really dislike these questions. Does this mean that we should go back to the first camera that had a LCD on the back and then be upset at all of the other cameras that came after it?

Stop with the whole “this software is copying this software”. Every company in the world (if they’re successful at least) sees what competitors do, evaluates if it’s a good fit for their customers, and implements those features if they are – so they don’t lose customers to competitors.

First off, I don’t use Capture One or Luminar and I don’t want to. Not because I have anything against them. It’s because I don’t want to spend my time switching software back and forth and changing my workflow. I know from being in this industry that the grass is not greener. Every company is going to say they are the best out there – it’s called Marketing 🙂

I like Lightroom and Photoshop and I’m happy there. So I don’t personally care (and I don’t think you should) what features C1 or Luminar, or ON1 or whatever other software you want to mention has. That’s not meant in a harsh way either. I just don’t care because I don’t use their software.

Think of it this way, I have an Apple iPhone. I don’t care or follow what Google does with their photos because I’m happy and not looking to switch. I also drive a Jeep. I don’t care what Nissan does with their cars because I don’t own one and am not in the market for a new car.

So… yes, the layer-like feature in LR Classic is similar to what Capture one had. But one could argue that Capture One tool the layer-like feature from Photoshop which had it 30 years ago right? In short… who cares? 🙂


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