Lightroom offers a free mobile app for Android, iPad, and iPhone devices. However, the desktop version is paid and starts at $9.99/month. New users can try Lightroom free for 7 days using the free trial version.
During the free trial, you will be available to use all the features that you would get access to with paid plans.
The Lightroom cost is actually pretty reasonable for what it provides. Read on while we guide you through it.
Table of Contents
Is Adobe Lightroom Free?
Lightroom mobile app is free to use, while Lightroom Classic and Cloud versions for desktop are paid and start at $9.99 per month. There is also a 7-day free trial of Lightroom available.
When buying Lightroom, you have 2 payment options – pay out in one lump sum, or pay each month. However, the subscription is annual and you will be obligated to pay until the end of your yearly contract. At the same time, the Creative Cloud All Apps plan allows you to pay monthly without an annual contract.
> Read our full guide on Lightroom pricing plans
Lightroom for Desktop (PC & Mac)
If you are a photography enthusiast or professional, you probably will need the desktop version of Lightroom. However, it’s important to note that Lightroom for desktop is not free. It is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which requires a subscription. The cheapest Lightroom (1 TB) plan starts at $9.99.
Lightroom for Mobile
Lightroom Mobile is the mobile version of Lightroom and is available for both iOS and Android devices. It allows you to quickly edit, organize, and share your photos on the go.
Lightroom Mobile offers a user-friendly interface and syncs seamlessly with the desktop version, making it a convenient option for photographers who want to edit their photos on their mobile devices.
Free Version Features
The free version of Lightroom Mobile provides basic editing features and functionality to enhance your photos. It includes tools like cropping, exposure adjustment, color correction, and selective editing. You can also create and sync collections, apply presets, and share your edited photos directly from the app.
While the free version has its limitations, it still offers a decent set of features for casual photographers and beginners.
Premium Version Features
With a premium subscription, you gain access to additional features like selective editing with the Healing Brush and Linear and Radial Gradient tools. You also get the ability to sync and edit raw files, advanced organizational tools, and access to Adobe Sensei AI-powered features such as auto-tagging and search.
Lightroom Free Trial
Lightroom offers a 7-day free trial which we recommend giving a try if you are seriously thinking about the photo editing software.
This is a great way to test out Lightroom and see if it meets your needs without having to spend any money. Lightroom is the industry standard for quick image editing and organizing, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try.
Note: Be sure to use the trial when you’ll be most apt to try out all the features. After having the Lightroom free trial for seven days, you cannot install the trial again, regardless of how many days you actually used it.
How to get Lightroom free trial for 7 days?
Signing up for Lightroom free trial is easy. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the official Adobe Lightroom product page and select Start free trial.
- Create a new Adobe account or log in if you already have one. Then select the plan you would like to try free trial of.
- Continue and provide your billing details. You won’t be billed until your trial ends. However, make sure to review the free trial terms. If you don’t plan to use Lightroom anymore after a free trial, don’t forget to cancel it.
- After you subscribe for a free trial, click Get started.
- Now you will be guided through the Lightroom installation process. You can install it using the Creative Cloud app or download the installer. I personally always use the Creative Cloud app.
Once installed, you can open Lightroom through Creative Cloud app, Start menu or find the icon on your desktop.
How to Cancel Lightroom’s Free Trial
Canceling Lightroom’s subscription is as easy as signing up for it. But to make it clear, we have provided you with a guide below:
- Access your Adobe account page.
- Go to the Adobe Plan section and select Manage Plan.
- Now, select Cancel your plan.
- Select a reason for cancellation. Then, click Continue and finish the cancellation process until the end.
- Finally, confirm the cancellation of Lightroom free trial.
If you didn’t manage to end your free trial or have any problems with this process, you can contact Adobe support for help.
Is it Worth Paying for Lightroom?
Deciding whether Lightroom is worth paying for depends on your photography needs and level of commitment. If photography is a serious hobby or part of your profession, investing in Lightroom can significantly enhance your workflow and provide you with advanced editing capabilities.
Lightroom’s non-destructive editing, robust cataloging system, and seamless integration between devices are valuable features for serious photographers.
Plus, if you make money from photography, the software will probably pay you off after your first (hopefully) order.
If you still have doubts, we provided the pros and cons of paying for Lightroom a few sections below.
Which Plan Should You Choose?
When choosing a Lightroom plan, consider your specific requirements and budget. Here are some main options you can choose from:
- If you primarily use a desktop or laptop for editing and want access to Lightroom’s full range of features, the Lightroom 1TB plan is the best option. It includes Lightroom for desktop, Lightroom Mobile Premium, and Adobe Photoshop.
- But if you also intend to use Photoshop, you may want to go with the Photography 20 GB ($9.99/month) or Photography 1 TB plan ($19.99/month). You will get access to Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Photoshop Express.
- If you want to get access to all apps made by Adobe, go for the Creative Cloud All Apps (100 GB) plan ($54.99/month).
What About Students, Teachers & Universities?
Adobe offers special discounted pricing for students, teachers, and universities through their Creative Cloud for Education plans. With education discount students and teachers can save 63% when subscribing to Creative Cloud All Apps plan.
For Schools and Universities, the pricing starts at $34.99 per user for all Creative Cloud apps, or $14.99 per user for single app. For shared devices or large student departments, there are different pricing that you may want to explore on Adobe’s official website before purchasing.
The plans that provide access to Lightroom, along with other Adobe creative software, are at a significantly reduced price. If you’re a student or an educator, it’s worth exploring these options to make Lightroom more affordable.
Pros and Cons of Paying For Lightroom
6 Tips for Those Who Are Starting with Lightroom
Lightroom is one of the best photo organizing and editing software money can buy. But if you’re just getting started, here are some tips:
- Take advantage of Lightroom’s free trial. During those 7 days, you will be able to see all software capabilities and make the decision if it’s for you. Also, you can try the fundamental features using the free version of the Lightroom mobile app.
- If you use or plan to use Photoshop, get the Photography Plan. With this bundle, you will be paying the same price you would pay for a Lightroom-only plan, you would just be getting less storage. However, with this bundle, you would be getting Lightroom Classic too, which is not cloud-based and allows you to store your photos on your local hard drive.
- Take advantage of Lightroom’s powerful organizational tools to keep your photo library in order. Utilize keywords, tags, flags, and star ratings to categorize and sort your images for easy retrieval. This feature is especially useful for those who have loads of photos.
- Utilize presets. In Lightroom, presets are going to be your best friend – they will save tons of time and make the editing process easier. Experiment with different presets to find the ones that align with your creative vision and save you the most time.
- Sync across devices. If you use Lightroom Mobile, take advantage of the sync feature to seamlessly transfer your edits and collections between your desktop and mobile devices. This allows you to continue working on your photos wherever you go.
- Learn from tutorials and communities. Lightroom has a vast online community of photographers and resources. Take advantage of tutorials, forums, and online communities to expand your knowledge, learn new editing techniques, and stay up to date with the latest features and trends.
If photography is a serious passion or part of your profession, investing in Lightroom can greatly enhance your editing capabilities and streamline your workflow. Consider your needs, budget, and level of commitment before deciding on a Lightroom plan.
If you’re just starting out or prefer simple editing on mobile devices, the free version of Lightroom Mobile offers a decent set of features.
However, if you require a desktop version, advanced editing tools, and seamless integration across devices, subscribing to Lightroom-only or Photography Plan is recommended for the best experience.
Yes, you will have to choose Adobe plan and enter your credit card details. But don’t worry, you won’t be charged until 7 days have passed, so remember to cancel if you don’t want to continue using Lightroom once the trial is finished.
Yes, you can use the free version of Lightroom mobile app forever. The app is available for iOS and Android users.
Your free trial of Lightroom begins when you sign up for a plan and lasts for 7 days. The trial will automatically turn into a paid membership after seven days unless you cancel before it ends.
Canceling a Lightroom free trial is easy. You just need to follow these simple steps:
- Sign in to your Adobe account.
- Head to Manage Plans sections.
- Select Cancel your plan.
- Continue ending your free trial and you’re all done.