Synchronize Lightroom metadata with Camera Raw and Adobe Bridge

By default, Lightroom metadata is saved to the catalog file. For Camera Raw, Photoshop, and Adobe Bridge to view changes to Lightroom metadata, including Develop module adjustment settings, metadata changes must be saved to XMP in Lightroom. When you save metadata to a raw file, the changes are saved in an XMP sidecar file. With other file types, the metadata is saved in the file itself.

Note: Keyword hierarchies created in any of these applications are preserved, and no data is lost, even though they might not appear in one or more of the applications. Versions earlier than Camera Raw 4.1 may not recognize some of the Develop module adjustments made in Lightroom.

Automatically save metadata changes to photos in Lightroom

The easiest way to make sure that Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw see metadata changes made in Lightroom is to automatically save those changes as you work.

  1. Choose Edit > Catalog Settings (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings (Mac OS).
  2. In the Metadata tab, select Automatically Write Changes Into XMP.

View unsaved metadata

Lightroom displays three types of icons in the Grid view of the Library module to identify unsaved metadata:

Metadata File Needs To Be Updated 
Indicates unsaved metadata changes made to the photo in Lightroom.

Metadata Was Changed Externally 
Indicates metadata changes made to the photo in an external application and not applied in Lightroom.

Error Saving Metadata 
Indicates an error saving metadata in Lightroom. This icon appears when the same metadata for a photo has been changed both in Lightroom and externally.

Display these icons using the Grid view options.

  1. In the Library module, choose View > View Options.
  2. Click the Grid View tab in the Library View Options dialog box.
  3. Select the Unsaved Metadata option in the Cell Icons area.
    Note: You can also look in the Metadata Status field in the Metadata panel to see if metadata needs to be updated.

Resolve metadata conflicts between Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw

 To synchronize metadata in the Lightroom catalog, do one of the following in the Grid view of the Library module:
  • Click the Metadata Was Changed Externally icon  or the Error Saving Metadata icon  on a thumbnail. To apply the metadata from Camera Raw or Adobe Bridge, choose Import Settings From Disk. To disregard changes from Camera Raw or Adobe Bridge and apply catalog metadata to the photo, choose Overwrite Settings.

  • Select a thumbnail with a Metadata Was Changed Externally icon  or an Error Saving Metadata icon  and choose Metadata > Read Metadata From File. Click Read to overwrite catalog settings and apply the changes made in Bridge or Camera Raw.