In the realm of photo editing, the ability to view and navigate through your edit history in Lightroom CC is paramount. It allows photographers and editors to trace back their steps, understand their editing journey, and make necessary revisions.

Adobe’s Lightroom CC offers a robust system in this regard, ensuring that users have a clear and accessible record of their editing process.

Understanding Lightroom CC History Feature

When it comes to historical features, many draw comparisons between Photoshop and Lightroom. While both are products of Adobe, their history functionalities have distinct differences.

One of the standout features of Lightroom is that its history doesn’t vanish once you close the software. This persistent history ensures that users can always revisit their edits, even in future sessions.

For those familiar with the Lightroom interface, the History panel is conveniently located on the left side of the Develop module. This strategic placement ensures easy access and visibility.

History in Lightroom CC

How to Access And Edit History in Lightroom CC

Accessing and utilizing how to edit History in Lightroom CC is a straightforward process:

  • Step 1: Open Lightroom CC and navigate to the Develop module.
  • Step 2: On the left-hand side, locate and click on the History panel.
  • Step 3: Here, you’ll see a list of edits made to the active image. These edits are listed from the oldest (bottom) to the newest (top).
  • Step 4: Each history entry provides detailed information:
    • The specific sliders that were adjusted.
    • The final value of that slider after the adjustment.
    • The amount of change made during that particular edit.

To revert to a previous edit:

  • Simply click on the desired history entry. This will take the image back to that specific point in the editing process. It’s worth noting that unless you make further changes, clicking on an earlier history state won’t erase the subsequent edits.
  • This feature ensures flexibility and freedom in the editing process, as highlighted by discussions on the Lightroom Queen Forums.

Advanced Tips for Using Lightroom’s History

Navigating through Lightroom’s History can be a breeze, but some advanced tips can elevate your editing experience:

Source: PiXimperfect

Deleting History:

  • How to Delete: To remove the history for a selected image, simply click on the History panel, and then click the ‘X’ or Clear All button located at the top right corner.
  • What it Means: It’s crucial to understand that deleting the history does not remove the actual edits made to the image. It merely clears the history log, leaving the image in its current edited state.

Setting the ‘Before’ Image:

  • Using the Backslash Key: By pressing the backslash key (\), users can quickly compare the current version of the image with its original state.
  • Setting a Different ‘Before’ Version: If you wish to compare the current edit with an earlier edit, right-click on the desired history step and select Copy History Step Settings to Before.
  • Drag and Drop: Another handy feature is the ability to drag and drop history steps onto the ‘Before’ image, setting it as the new comparison point.

Creating a Virtual Copy:

  • Understanding Virtual Copies: A virtual copy is a duplicate of the image that shares the same raw file but has its own set of edits and metadata.
  • How to Create: To create a virtual copy using the History panel, right-click on the desired history step and select Create Virtual Copy. This action creates a new image starting from the selected history point, allowing for alternative editing paths.


Does Lightroom CC have the same history feature as the classic version?

While both versions have a history feature, there are nuances in their functionalities. The Lightroom Queen Forums offers a detailed discussion on this topic.

Can I lose my edit history in Lightroom CC?

No, one of the standout features of Lightroom CC is that the edit history remains intact even after closing the software, ensuring users can always revisit their edits.

Is there a way to compare edits side by side in Lightroom CC?

Yes, Lightroom CC offers a ‘Before’ and ‘After’ comparison feature, allowing users to view side-by-side comparisons of their edits, enhancing the editing experience.


Navigating through Lightroom CC’s History feature can seem intricate at first, but with the right knowledge and techniques, it becomes an invaluable tool for every photographer and editor.

Whether you’re retracing your steps, comparing edits, or exploring alternative editing paths with virtual copies, the history feature ensures flexibility and precision in your editing process. As with any tool, the key lies in understanding its full potential and applying it effectively. 

With the insights provided in this guide, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of photo editing history in Lightroom CC. Remember, every edit tells a story, and with Lightroom’s history, you’ll never lose track of that narrative. Happy editing, and may your creative visions come to life effortlessly!

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