Adobe Lightroom Error – There Was An Error Working With The Photo

In Photography by Jerad Hill7 Comments

Today I received an error in Lightroom that read, “There Was An Error Working With The Photo.” That was all it told me. Upon inspection, it seemed to only affect that group of photos. A quick search in Google offered me a couple of fixes that I tried with no luck. I knew that the photos were ok because I was able to open them in Adobe Photoshop without a problem.

The solutions online, which did not work, suggested that I trash Lightroom preview files and even Lightroom Preferences files. When this didn’t work, I tried something much more simple and less evasive, I moved the files.

The files I was having issues with were stored on a local NAS (Network Attached Storage) server I have on site. It’s a Synology DS1813+, amazing piece of equipment and well worth the money it cost to set up. I currently have it configured with 24TB of storage. Once I have delivered image files to my client, I move them to the NAS to free up available memory on my iMac or MacBook Pro. Moving the files off of the NAS did one simple thing, it forced Lightroom to look for those files and resync them. Since I knew the files were working fine on their own, I moved the folder of images to my desktop. Once I knew the files were copied over, I deleted the copy off of the NAS. Once they were deleted, Lightroom noticed they were no longer available so each image had the little flag icon in the corner of them letting me know that the images were now offline.

From the Folders Library, I right clicked on the image set that I just deleted, chose “Update Folder Location” and then selected the folder of images on my desktop. Lightroom updated the location and no more error.

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That's it, keep reading!

Sometimes it’s a simple fix, other times it’s not. Luckily for me, all it took was moving the files to a new location which forced Lightroom to resync the folder. Because I had imported the images into Adobe DNG format, all of the cropping and adjusting I did to the images stayed.

Hope this helps you should you come across a similar problem. Try this before you trash preferences or Lightroom preview files.


  1. Thank you Jerad you are awesome for sharing all your helpful insights, and this one I’m going to try right now as I have this same issue with Lightroom end of file issues. I also am wondering if it is a Nikon issue with the D800 I am using…? I mostly use my D3X but it’s been 100% no errors with lightroom. The D800 is the one with the issues when loaded.
    Anyway thank you.

    1. Hey Chrystina,

      I think you can rule out that it’s an issue with the D800 in particular; I just had the same issue for a batch of photos that I shot with my Canon 5D Mark III, so it seems to be localized to Lightroom.

  2. Hello. Great info and thank you for sharing and posting it online. I was wondering if you know why I am getting an error message with Lightroom 5 that states, errors working with menus need to close Lightroom. You have the option of closing lightroom or continuing on. When choosing continuing and I tried to export photos that I selected, I got the same error, but that time I had to close Lightroom. The first error was when I was trying to flag the photo as a reject. I was able to continue on and flag it. I didn’t see the error again until I went to export. Once I backup the catalog and close Lightroom, I then reopen lightroom and all is fine again. I have had this happen on more than one occasion with LR 5. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  3. Wow, thanks! I was about to lose it. I read ‘The files I was having issues with were stored on a local NAS (Network Attached Storage) server I have on site.’ and figured out quickly what I needed to do:

    Eject my external drive, close LR, and start these over again. It worked! Thanks for the concise post. Helped what might have been a huge headache.

    Thanks for sharing this helpful info!

  4. Same problem here: Lightroom 6.1.1 / Mac OS X working with a photo on a Synology NAS. It’s unfortunate that the error message still isn’t more specific. Or is there a log file somewhere to be studied?

  5. You’re a bloody champion! I had no idea how to fix the ‘error’ and once I moved them and re-synced them it was all good. So simple – yet I wasted a tonne of time trying other people’s methods to no avail. Thank-you!!

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