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Photoshop and Lightroom users should wait before updating to macOS Catalina

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Adobe is recommending that Photoshop and Lightroom Classic users hold off on updating their computers to macOS Catalina, Apple’s latest desktop operating system software, until all the “known compatibility issues” have been resolved. Support documents published yesterday in conjunction with Catalina’s release highlight various issues related to broken plug-ins and incompatibility with 32-bit applications.

In particular, customers using older / legacy versions of Lightroom Classic or Photoshop (which use 32-bit licensing components and installers) definitely shouldn’t upgrade, as Adobe says they’re “not supported in any way for use on macOS Catalina.”


Photoshop has an issue where changing the file format doesn’t change the file extension in the name field. Adobe recommends editing the name extension manually for now.

Lightroom Classic has two issues: the tethering feature is unable to detect and capture from Nikon cameras, and the Lens Profile Creator is broken. Photoshop has several issues:

  • Changing the file format doesn’t change the file extension when you’re saving an image
  • Plug-ins downloaded from the web or installed by drag-and-drop can’t be found
  • 32-bit droplets created with older versions of Photoshop won’t work
  • The ExtendScript Toolkit and the Lens Profile Creator won’t run

The support documents offer more details and some workarounds for the issues.

The macOS Catalina update has been causing problems for various software that’s not yet equipped to handle the transition (like DJ software that relied on iTunes). It’s generally good practice to wait before downloading the first version of a new operating system, and this time it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious.


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