How to Fix “Lightroom Needs to Do Some Housekeeping”

Usually, when you open your Adobe Lightroom application and see the notification that it “needs to do some housekeeping” all you have to do is wait a few minutes while its progress bar fills, and the software undergoes any updates or changes it needs. However, some Lightroom users have noticed an error with this notification that freezes the progress bar in place and/or leaves the application in a housekeeping limbo that prevents them from using it indefinitely.

In this article, we will walk you through a detailed guide on how to fix the “Lightroom needs to do some housekeeping” error. As you read, you’ll learn some quick fixes might get back into Lightroom within minutes, as well as more time-consuming methods, such as cleaning your Lightroom messes, that you might need to try when all else fails.

Restart The Lightroom Application And Your Device

Once you notice that the dreaded housekeeping notification doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, you’ll want to start troubleshooting with the easiest and least influential possibilities first, and then work your way down the list.

Hopefully, the reason why your Lightroom application is stuck in housekeeping mode is because a simple error occurred somewhere in the process and all the program needs is a little push. Signing out and then closing out of Lightroom completely before reopening it and signing back in might be the quick fix you need.

This is probably one of the first things anyone will try when this issue occurs, so if you’ve already restarted Lightroom and are faced with the same issue, you might find that closing down the application and then restarting, or even shutting down and rebooting your device, might help.

Oftentimes, the process of restarting your application or device will trigger the housekeeping process to terminate and then start anew, which might remove an error that caused the problem.  

Check Your Adobe and Device Software

In an ideal world, a simple restart or reboot of your device was all you needed, and you haven’t even needed to get to this point. Unfortunately, it is all too common for technical issues such as this to require more trial and error until a resolution is found.

The next step here to try and end the housekeeping process in your Lightroom application would be to check related software.

Another reason why the housekeeping error might occur is from outdated software that is either preventing the process from completing or lacks certain fixes and improvements it needs.

To determine if your Lightroom application needs to be updated, open the “Help” menu and select the “Updates” option. If you can’t reach this on your device that is stuck in housekeeping, you could try updating the application on a separate device using the same account.

Alternatively, you could update the software by signing into your account on the Creative Cloud application and selecting your Lightroom subscription.

If you’ve determined that your Creative Cloud and Lightroom software are up to date, you’ll want to check your device’s software next for any simple updates or even a significant software upgrade if you’re using an older version.

Check Your Device’s Available RAM

Arguably the last method you can try that will have minimal to no effect on your device and Lightroom application is to check your device’s available RAM.

Lightroom might remain in housekeeping mode if it started this process without recognizing that your device did not have sufficient RAM space for it to complete the process. This is most commonly the case if it is trying to update the software.

Looking at Lightroom’s system requirements, you’ll notice that 8 GB of RAM is the minimum. However, since the application’s requirements can vary significantly depending on the size and number of images it houses, Adobe recommends systems dedicate at least 16 GB of RAM to the program.

If you check your device’s RAM and notice that it is full or close to it, then you might want to look through your other applications, folders, etc. and quickly eliminate anything you don’t need and can bear to lose. This will help free up space that Lightroom might need to complete the housekeeping process.

Check For The Folder Error

An odd error that sometimes occurs and prevents Lightroom from completing and closing this housekeeping process can be found in one of your device’s folders.

Removing it has helped more than one person resolve this issue, but be warned that while this might free Lightroom, it will likely result in the loss of any photos or editing work you had in progress before this notification appeared that wasn’t properly saved.

To find and remove this folder error, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Ensure Lightroom is closed
  2. Open the “Finder” window
  3. Select “Go”
  4. Open the “Go to Folder” option
  5. Type and enter “ ~/pictures ”
  6. Locate the bundle labeled “Lightroom Library.lrlibrary”
  7. Right click or control click the bundle
  8. Select the “Show Package Contents” option
  9. Locate the folder inside that appears out of place and solely consist of a long sting of numbers and letters (ex. d1a4f88d2b534c7d91022136fd182532)
  10. Open the folder found in the previous step
  11. Delete all files named “Managed Catalog. [anything]” and “Previews.db”
  12. Launch Lightroom

While this is an uncommon error to come across, it’s listed on the Adobe website under “Known issues in Lightroom” so it is worth a shot before progressing to the next method, which is much more influential and tedious.

Uninstall and Reinstall Lightroom

It’s no one’s favorite solution, but sometimes the best way to solve this issue is with a clean start by completely uninstalling and reinstalling Lightroom.

To manually uninstall Lightroom on a Windows device, simply select the “Start” button, open the “Control Panel” and then select the “Programs and Features” option. Under programs, you’ll Find Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Click on it select the “Uninstall” option. For the most thorough uninstallation, you’ll also want to delete any preferences, catalog, and Lightroom files associated with the application.

To manually uninstall Lightroom on mac device, go to the “Finder” and open the “Applications” folder. Locate the Lightroom application inside and drag it to the Trash. Again, you’ll want to delete relevant files for a complete uninstallation.

Once you’ve done this, sign into the Adobe Create Cloud application to reinstall Lightroom and determining if the housekeeping issue is finally fixed.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, by the end of this guide, your Lightroom application should be back to normal. If it isn’t, you’ll want to reach out to Adobe for help. A piece of advice that we’ll leave you with is that the housekeeping notification will often appear when your Lightroom files need to be cleaned up and organized. So after you resolve this problem, you might want to quickly check how messy your Lightroom is and manually perform any necessary housekeeping it might need.