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How to Update Adobe Photoshop Lightroom on a Mac

September 15, 2009 | | Comments 10

When a new update for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is released, it’s a breeze to get up and running with the new version. If you’re having a bit of trouble, make sure that you follow these steps for updating Lightroom on a Mac:

About Updates

In computer terms, an update is usually different than an upgrade. An update typically refers to a free, minor fix in a software program. Improvements may include bug fixes, performance enhancements, and, especially in the case of Lightroom and Camera Raw, support for more raw file types.

Using Lightroom as an example, when the software was first released, we had Lightroom version 1.0. As minor improvements were made and support for more cameras were added, we were given free updates in the form of versions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc. All the while, Adobe’s engineers were hard at work on the next “big” version of Lightroom: Lightroom 2. The jump from Lightroom 1 (or 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) wasn’t free (the upgrade cost most people around $99), but it also wasn’t minor! Lightroom 2 added some great new features (as well as camera support and bug fixes). More information on the new features released with Lightroom 2 can be found here. Check out this article for information on upgrading from Lightroom 1 to Lightroom 2.

The article you’re reading now is about installing a minor update to Lightroom. At the time this article was written, Lightroom version 2.5 had just been released, so the examples you see below illustrate the steps needed to update from version 2.4 to 2.5. The steps are very similar, however, for later releases.

Click on any of the images below to see larger versions.

How do you know when it’s time to update?

Well, you keep a close eye on TheLightroomLab.com…that’s how! But seriously, when you open Lightroom after an update has been released, you’ll be notified with a dialog box similar to the one below:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5 Update Dialog

If you know an update is available, but you don’t see the box, make sure your Preferences are set to Automatically check for updates. Click here for more information on setting your Preferences in Lightroom.

Updating

The update dialog box shown above will take you to Adobe’s download website. Download the update package from the website. After downloading, it will most likely be in your Downloads folder.

The Lightroom .dmg file in the Downloads Folder

The Lightroom .dmg file in the Downloads Folder

Double-click the .dmg file (known as a “disk image”) to start the installation process. A window should open like the one illustrated below:

The contents of the Lightroom .dmg file.

The contents of the Lightroom .dmg file.

Click on the file with the grey box icon called “Adobe Lightroom X.x.pkg.” The installer program will open.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Installer.

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Installer.

Click Continue.

Read the Software License Agreement and click Continue.

Read the Software License Agreement and click Continue.

Click Agree to continue the installation.

Click Agree to continue the installation.

Make sure your main (system) hard drive is selected and click Continue.

Make sure your main (system) hard drive is selected and click Continue.

Read the installation summary and click Continue.

Read the installation summary and click Continue.

Enter the User Name and Password for an administrator account on your Mac.

Enter the User Name and Password for an administrator account on your Mac.

The installation will run. It should take just a few minutes or less.

The installation will run. It should take just a few minutes or less.

You'll be notified when the installation is complete. Click Close.

You'll be notified when the installation is complete. Click Close.

Once the installation is complete, you may eject the Lightroom installer disk image.

Eject the Lightroom Installer Disk Image.

Eject the Lightroom Installer Disk Image.

You no longer need the installer file in your Downloads folder. Send it to the trash.

Delete the Lightroom installer file.

Delete the Lightroom installer file.

If you’d like to make sure that you’ve properly installed the most recent version, open up Lightroom and choose About Adobe Photoshop Lightroom from the Lightroom menu.

Choose About Adobe Photoshop Lightroom from the Lightroom menu.

Choose About Adobe Photoshop Lightroom from the Lightroom menu.

The current version will be shown in the box that appears.

The About Adobe Photoshop Lightroom box. Look for the version number.

The About Adobe Photoshop Lightroom box. Look for the version number.

Click on the box to make it disappear.

Updating Camera Raw

Since Adobe Photoshop Lightroom relies heavily on its interactions with Adobe Photoshop’s Camera Raw plugin, if you use the current version of Photoshop with Lightroom, you should also be sure and update your Camera Raw version. Updates to Camera Raw and Lightroom are typically released simultaneously.

If you’re not a Photoshop user, or you use previous versions of Photoshop, you do not need to complete this step.

To update the Camera Raw plugin, open Photoshop. Choose Updates from the Help menu.

To update the Camera Raw Plugin in Photoshop, choose Updates from the Help menu.

To update the Camera Raw Plugin in Photoshop, choose Updates from the Help menu.

While the Updater is running, you can go ahead and quit Photoshop. If you’ve yet to update your Camera Raw plugin (or other Adobe programs) the Updater will notify you.

Adobe Updater - Updates Available

Adobe Updater - Updates Available

If you want to see a list of the updates available, click the Show Details link in the Updater.

Available Adobe Updates

Available Adobe Updates

Check the boxes next to the updates you’d like to install and click Download and Install Updates.

Select the Updates to install and click Download and Install.

Select the Updates to install and click Download and Install.

The installer will download then install the selected updates.

Downloading selected Adobe Updates.

Downloading selected Adobe Updates.

Installing selected Adobe Updates.

Installing selected Adobe Updates.

You will be notified when the updates have been completed.

Your Adobe Updates have been completed.

Your Adobe Updates have been completed.

Now you can rest easy knowing that you have them most up-to-date Adobe software.

Questions? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Author: Scott Rouse is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), photographer, teacher, and graphic- and web-designer in Missoula, MT. His photography focuses on wildlife and adventure sports and can be viewed at ScottRousePhotography.com. His design and consulting work can be seen at ScottRouseDigital.com.