Why is Lightroom no longer free?

There are two versions of Lightroom for desktop and mobile. Unfortunately, the two desktop versions of Lightroom are not available for free. Here's why.

In 2007, Adobe released the initial version of Lightroom, an app to organize and edit photos, which later became part of the Creative Cloud subscription family.

Over the years, the mobile and desktop versions of Lightroom represented a practical tool that could allow photographers of all levels to manipulate their photos with non-destructive editing that allows you to edit a picture without permanently altering the original file.

However, starting from version 6.14, the company stopped supporting the standalone version of Lightroom.

So, why is Lightroom no longer free? Keep reading to learn more about this software solution.

There are currently two versions of Lightroom for desktop and another mobile version. Unfortunately, the two desktop versions of Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC, are currently not available for free.

Lightroom Classic was the first version of Lightroom released by Adobe and acted as a library for all your photos with simple editing tools that allow for non-destructive editing. Lightroom CC is the cloud-based version that can also be run on your desktop, but the images are stored on the cloud and have a better and cleaner interface.

With the subscription, the company is able to update Lightroom more often and include more editing tools and features to cater to the needs of all photographers. The subscription also limits access to the cloud, allowing paying users to have enough space for their work.

Lightroom Subscription

In the past, users were able to buy Lightroom once and use it for free forever. Yet Adobe finally decided to charge users $9.99 per month or $119.88 per year to get 1TB of storage to store and edit different pictures. Adobe also offers a Photography Plan that users can buy to use Lightroom and Photoshop.

You can download Lightroom to two different devices with a single license and subscription. However, Adobe prevents users from running two installs of Lightroom at the same time.

Unfortunately, students won’t be able to get Lightroom for free. However, there’s a discounted price for Adobe Creative Cloud that teachers and students can buy. With this plan, users can download about 20 apps, including Lightroom.

Is There a Free Equivalent to Lightroom?

The mobile version of Lightroom that you can download to your smartphone is still free, so you can easily start organizing and editing your photos. The app is available on the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iPhone users.

However, this version has limited abilities, and eventually, you’ll have to pay for the full version. Nevertheless, Lightroom Mobile is still a good editing tool for amateur users who like taking photos using their phones.

There are also apps that are like Lightroom but free, but their functionality may not be sufficient for some photographers, particularly pros.

Wrap Up

Lightroom Classic and Cloud versions are no longer free, but they offer a lot of cool features that users can access for a monthly or annual subscription. This subscription grants you two installs of Lightroom, but they can’t be used at the same time. Although Lightroom Mobile is free to download, you’ll eventually have to pay for its premium features if you want to improve your photo editing skills.

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

Leave a Comment



Enter your email to be sent
today's Welcome Gift:
19 Photography Tools

🔥 Popular NOW:

Shotkit may earn a commission on affiliate links. Learn more.