This page covers the answer to common questions that I (Jeffrey Friedl, an American software guy and hobby photographer in Kyoto) get about my plugins for Adobe Lightroom. Most days, it seems, I spend more time answering emails than I do developing new features or fixing bugs, so this page is an attempt to become a bit more efficient all around.
- I get “An error occurred while reading the schema for the plug-in. The plug-in will be disabled.” What's wrong?
- Lightroom warns me “Your catalog must be updated before it can be used with the following plug-in....” What does that mean?
- I can't install the plugin... I get various errors when I try to install it in the Plugin Manager
- I had the plugin installed before, but suddenly it's missing... where did it go?
- The “remove” button in the Plugin manager is grayed out, and I get an error when I try to upgrade.
- I get an error when upgrading the plugin via the built-in “upgrade” button.
- Why didn't you respond to my note about (insert something unrelated to my plugins, tangential, or something already answered on my site)?????
- What's the difference between your upload-to-xxxxxxx plugin and the one of the same name that comes with Lightroom?
- Do you have a plugin for uploading to (insert name here)?
- I'm running into troubles with the plugin... is there a log or something I can send that might help you diagnose the problem?
- About your LR/Mogrify plugin, could you please...
- I can't find my downloaded plugins in OSX Lion
- Do you have a plugin for G+ (Google Plus)?
- Why does the plugin sometimes fail with “The handle is in the wrong state for the requested operation”?
- When trying to authenticate my login, my browser says it doesn't know how to handle “lightroom://...” links; what's wrong?
- I keep getting “Security Error” when trying to upload.
- I keep running into networking errors (“Unexpected reply...”, “no reply...”, “timeout...”, etc.)
- I generated a transaction at PayPal (see, here's my PayPal receipt as proof)... when will you send me the registration code?
- When I try to register from within the plugin, I get a “Can't contact Jeffrey's server” error.
- The plugin says “Plugin registration button appears after Lightroom is registered with Adobe.”, but Lightroom doesn't give me a place to enter my Lightroom serial number.
- My plugin registration code doesn't work after upgrading Lightroom to the latest major release.
- I registered the plugin before, but now it's not registered... what happened?
- I get a “missing destination cookies” error when trying to publish.
- I get a “corrupt collection settings” error when trying to publish.
- The SmugMug plugin won't let me set the image Caption and other “New SmugMug” things
- Can I upload pictures to my Facebook Fan/Business/Group page?
- I get “(#10) Application does not have permission for this action” when I try to upload.
- Why are some of my Facebook albums missing in the plugin?
- Why is “Wall Photos” not listed among my albums in the plugin?
- Why do I keep getting “Error reply from Facebook: (#240) Requires a valid user is specified (either via the session or via the API parameter for specifying the user.” when I upload to Facebook?
I get “An error occurred while reading the schema for the plug-in. The plug-in will be disabled.” What's wrong?
That's the general “something went wrong” message that Lightroom gives when it has trouble loading a plugin; that message does not contain information about what went wrong, so you have to look further for the cause.
Check the upper-right and lower-right sections of the plugin manager for diagnostics.
In the lower-right section, you have to save the diagnostics to a text file, then inspect the text file to see the error messages... only the first message matters. (Anything after that is a ripple effect that doesn't help point to the root cause.)
If the diagnostics are not helpful, it could just be that your plugin install became corrupt (a file in the plugin got deleted somehow, or maybe the entire plugin was moved or deleted?), so perhaps it's easiest to simply delete all copies of the plugin from disk, replacing with the latest version from my site, perhaps re-adding the plugin via the plugin manager if the location on disk you choose for the latest download is not where it was before. In any case, all plugin data remains intact; you never loose any data by deleting the plugin and reinstalling.
Lightroom warns me “Your catalog must be updated before it can be used with the following plug-in....” What does that mean?
I think this is a really stupid “warning” to bother the user with. Just choose “Update Catalog”.
Some background: a Lightroom plugin can save data it needs to perform its work in various places and in various ways... in the Lightroom catalog, in Lightroom's preferences file, on your hard disk, etc.
Normally the plugin is left to do what it needs to do, how it needs to do it, without the user being bothered with every detail, but for some unknown reason in one specific situation, Adobe feels that Lightroom must announce the incredibly vague and uninformative “there's some kind of change” message and ask “permission” of the user (even though the user seeing the message really has no idea exactly what they're being asked permission for).
When a plugin stores information in the Lightroom catalog, the style and form of that data can change with a new version of a plugin. Depending on the details of the change, the change just happens silently in the background as a matter of the plugin's business, or, in other cases, the user is pestered with this dialog.
There's really no information by which the user can determine how to answer this dialog, except ”do you want to use the plugin?”, but that's already been answered by virtue of the user trying to install/upgrade the plugin.
I can't install the plugin... I get various errors when I try to install it in the Plugin Manager
Did you follow bad advice and actually remove some modules from your Lightroom app? Don't do that. Reinstall Lightroom and try again.
Next, check the upper-right section of the plugin manager.... are there any messages there that give a hint?
If not, then look in the lower-right section of the plugin manager... are there any diagnostics? If so, save them to a file and look at the first one (Lightroom shows the last one in the dialog, but only the first one has any meaning). If the message is about the inability to load a file of some type, you likely have a corrupt download or corrupt unzip. Simply clicking on the download link on the plugin home page works fine for the vast majority of people, but some small percentage of people get a corrupt download. (I've heard of issues with Google Chrome not always downloading properly, and of issues on 64-bit Windows 7, though most users in either case have no troubles.) Try a different browser to do the download, or a different utility to unzip the zip file.
If none of this helps, drop me a note with details, such as what the first message of the lower-right diagnostics are, that you indeed checked the upper-right section and found nothing, the versions involved (plugin and Lightroom), etc...
I had the plugin installed before, but suddenly it's missing... where did it go?
You probably deleted it from disk. Just download and reinstall again, and try not to delete it this time :-).
Part of the problem is that “installing” a plugin in Lightroom is really just letting Lightroom know where on disk the plugin resides, and Lightroom expects to find it there from then on; Lightroom doesn't make a copy for itself, or anything like that. (This applies to all Lightroom plugins, by the way, not just mine.)
So, after downloading and unzipping the plugin, but before “installing” it into Lightroom's plugin manager, make move the *.lrplugin plugin folder to where you'd like to keep it on disk. Most anywhere is fine as far as Lightroom is concerned, but it's best if it's a place that Lightroom can write to (that is, don't pick a place that requires administrator privileges to install to if you're not going to be running Lightroom as an administrator), because then the plugin can't update itself, leading to this problem.
The “remove” button in the Plugin manager is grayed out, and I get an error when I try to upgrade.
Lightroom provides for two ways to install/manage plugins.
The original way to manage plugins in Lightroom 1 was to place plugins into Lightroom's system plugin folder (mentioned on this now-obsolete page). You can still do that with modern versions of Lightroom, but plugin management — adding, removing, upgrading — must be done manually, via the file system (e.g. via Explorer or Finder). The only way to remove such a plugin is to remove it from the special plugin folder.
Since Lightroom 2, the normal way to install a Lightroom plugin is to place the plugin somewhere on your drive where you don't mind leaving it (perhaps in a “Lightroom Plugins” folder you create in your home folder), then point Lightroom at it via the plugin manager's “Add” button. Users with multiple machines often keep their plugins on a shared Dropbox folder.
I get an error when upgrading the plugin via the built-in “upgrade” button.
Yeah, it happens sometimes, sorry. I developed the built-in upgrade system myself, so it's not as widely tested or robust as if Adobe had done it, and I'm sure I have not foreseen all possible machines setups out there.
If it doesn't work for you, please just do a normal manual install, as described on my Lightroom plugin install page. Before or after downloading/unzipping/installing the new copy of the plugin, you can safely delete any old copies you have on your local disk; all plugin settings and image data remains intact.
Why didn't you respond to my note about (insert something unrelated to my plugins, tangential, or something already answered on my site)?????
Sorry, but due to some arm pain that limits my time on the computer, I've had to make a change in my priorities, and responding to emails and comments is now lower down on the list. Sorry.
What's the difference between your upload-to-xxxxxxx plugin and the one of the same name that comes with Lightroom?
The plugins that come with Lightroom are very bare bones; my plugins are more complex, but have a lot more options, and also support normal (non-Publish) export as well. If your needs are very simple, the built-in plugins may be perfect for your needs. Give them a try.
Do you have a plugin for uploading to (insert name here)?
I'm running into troubles with the plugin... is there a log or something I can send that might help you diagnose the problem?
You can send the plugin log via the “Send to Jeffrey” button in the upper-right section of the plugin manager.
Three important points to help me help you:
Do not email logs; use the submission feature. I can work with them better that way.
If you're reporting about a problem that you can reproduce, please first clear the log (via the button next to the “Send to Jeffrey” button, or by restarting Lightroom), and then do the minimum needed to reproduce the problem... the fewest actions with the fewest photos. The less activity in the log, the more likely I'll be able to zero in on the cause of the problem.
Also consider enabling “Enhanced debug logging” for the duration of the test.
Very Important: The send-log dialog offers a place to add a note to me. Please use it to describe why you're sending the log, even if you've already told me via email or a blog comment. I get a lot of logs, and I have a very hard time keeping things straight, so giving me the information I need to debug things along with the log greatly increases the chances that I will not let it slip through the cracks.
Where appropriate, full and exact names of specific files, urls, etc., help a lot.
There's also a separate, unrelated log kept by Lightroom, referenced in the lower-right section of the plugin manager. If it reports more than one diagnosis message, only the first is relevant: to access it, you have to save the messages to a file, then open the file to view. If I ask for these, please cut-n-paste them to an email or to the note box of the ”Send to Jeffrey“ dialog described above.
About your LR/Mogrify plugin, could you please...
I can't find my downloaded plugins in OSX Lion
If you had put them somewhere in your ~/Library folder tree, you'll find that OSX Lion now hides that folder. See this post for how to unhide that folder tree.
Do you have a plugin for G+ (Google Plus)?
Google has no specific API for uploading to G+ yet, so the best we can do at this point is to upload to Google's PicasaWeb (sometimes referred to by Google as “Google Photos”). David Marx at TheLightroomLab.com made a series of videos detailing how to do this with my PicasaWeb plugin
Why does the plugin sometimes fail with “The handle is in the wrong state for the requested operation”?
This is a Windows-only Lightroom bug that affects Lr4.0, Lr4.1, and Lr4.2.
I'm told that it has been fixed in Lr4.3, so please upgrade (see “Help > Check For Updates” in Lightroom).
When trying to authenticate my login, my browser says it doesn't know how to handle “lightroom://...” links; what's wrong?
It looks like Lightroom's URL handler is not properly registered with your OS. A soft reinstall (no need to remove it first) of Lightroom should handle it.
To re-install, first try “Help > Check for Updates”, because you may as well make sure you're on the most recent version while you're at it. Otherwise, perhaps visit Adobe to download the latest version of Lightroom. (The “trial version” is just the normal retail version without a serial number, which, if you already have, remains active across the reinstall.)
Creative-Cloud and Mac-App-Store users may need to reinstall differently, I don't know.
I keep getting “Security Error” when trying to upload.
Nothing in Lightroom would generate this error natively... it's a problem outside of Lightroom and the plugin. I know of three possible reasons...
The date on your computer is off. Secure networking doesn't work unless you have a reasonably accurate clock. Check carefully... I've had people complain to me that their clock was correct, when in fact it turned out to be exactly one day off, one month off, or one year off. I kid you not.
You have some kind of security app prohibiting Lightroom from using the network (in general, or to the specific site the plugin is trying to upload to). Common examples are Little Snitch and Zone Defense. You might try disabling them temporarily to check, but going forward you should be able to add a Lightroom-specific exception.
Please check carefully...I can't tell you how many times people have told me “I've disabled everything and I'm still getting the error!”, only to come back a day or a week later and say “aaah, I had forgotten about....”.
[SmugMug only] You need to install a particular SSL cert to work with SmugMug's API servers: Download the “Starfield Class 2 Certification Authority Root Certificate” from here, double-click to install, and restart Lightroom.
I keep running into networking errors (“Unexpected reply...”, “no reply...”, “timeout...”, etc.)
It's almost certainly not specifically related to the plugin or even Lightroom, so there's not much I can do but to suggest the standard things:
- Make sure you don't have some kind of security app interfering with Lightroom's networking. You may need to add exceptions with each major version of Lightroom.
- Reboot your router / computer.
- Make sure your system clock is set accurately.
- It could be your ISP or the upload destination is having “issues”, so perhaps you just need to give it time. (Many upload services have different upload endpoints between their own web-based uploads and the 3rd-party API that plugins use, so it's possible their API could be having issues while their web-based tools continue to work, and vice-versa.)
Larger uploads obviously increase the exposure to networking errors and timeouts, so consider at least testing with smaller uploads. One way to make a smaller upload is to use a lower JPEG quality setting. For example, as described here, a quality setting of 93 doesn't usually represent a perceptibly better image than a quality setting of, say, 77, but the resulting upload can be a good 4× larger(!)
Another way to reduce the upload size is to lower the pixel-size of the upload in the Image Sizing section of the Export/Publish dialog.
Also, do make sure you're using the latest version of Lightroom.
I generated a transaction at PayPal (see, here's my PayPal receipt as proof)... when will you send me the registration code?
The registration code is in the PayPal receipt (the Unique Transaction ID or the Receipt Number, as illustrated here.
When I try to register from within the plugin, I get a “Can't contact Jeffrey's server” error.
If you're reading this on my site, my machine is up and working. If you can see the “you can connect” message on my secure server, then it's up and the problem is almost certainly some security/firewall setting on your machine (Zone Defense? Little Snitch? Norton?) blocking Lightroom from connecting to my machine. Please check your settings, and perhaps add an exception to allow Lightroom to freely use the network.
If you try to connect to my secure server with your browser and get a security-warning error, check your system clock. It must be reasonably accurate for any https/ssl to work. You would be shocked at the number of people who complain to me about things not working when it turns out that their system clock is one month or one year off.
The plugin says “Plugin registration button appears after Lightroom is registered with Adobe.”, but Lightroom doesn't give me a place to enter my Lightroom serial number.
I bet you're an “RC” (“Release Candidate”) version of Lightroom. For some reason, they don't let you enter your Lightroom serial number.
It's a hassle, but the best I can think of is to downgrade temporarily to the non-RC version; for example, if you're running a Lr5.1RC, reinstall Lr5.0 from Adobe's main Lightroom site and enter your serial number into that one. Then go back and reinstall the RC, and the serial will already be there, so you can then register plugins.
My plugin registration code doesn't work after upgrading Lightroom to the latest major release.
Yeah, sorry about that. A side effect of the registration system I built is that major upgrades like Lr4 → Lr5 (but not minor upgrades like 5.0 → 5.1) cause plugins to become unregistered. As described on the registration page, you can just generate new codes with 1-cent transactions if you like. It's a hassle, I know. sorry.
I registered the plugin before, but now it's not registered... what happened?
Most reports I get of this are because of three things: a Lightroom major-version upgrade (see the previous question), confusion about which plugin was registered, and a corrupt Lightroom-preferences file.
In case of the second one, pay careful attention to messages to see which plugin is and isn't registered. My plugins tell you clearly in the Plugin Manager.
If a plugin becomes unregistered due to Lightroom preferences becoming corrupt, you can try to reregister it (use the “forgot your code?” button in the registration dialog to automatically bring up your code for the current plugin and the current Lightroom serial number), and hope it “sticks” across the next Lightroom restart, but if it doesn't, you'll have to wipe your Lightroom preferences file and so that Lightroom can rebuild it when it next launches.
For info about where to find the preferences file, see “Replacing the Lightroom Preference File” at Lightroomers.com.
After you then start Lightroom and it creates a new preferences file for you, all your photo-related data remains unchanged, but many little personal settings (such as the default catalog to work with, the widths of the panels, etc.) will have reverted to their defaults. Depending on how much you've customized things, it can be a hassle to set things back up the way you like. )-:
You'll also have to re-tell Lightroom about the plugins you had installed. Visit the plugin manager and point the “Add” button at each plugin you had installed, and if they had been registered, re-enter the registration code as described above.
I get a “corrupt collection settings” error when trying to publish.
This is the same underlying problem as the “missing destination cookies” problem above, with the same frustrations and the same potential workarounds.
The SmugMug plugin won't let me set the image Caption and other “New SmugMug” things
SmugMug has not yet updated its third-party API for their summer-2013 redesign, so there's not much I can do but wait. I hear that SmugMug's own plugin may already handle the new redesign, but their plugin's home page still documents things as of Lightroom 3 (circa a couple of years ago), so it's hard to tell.
Can I upload pictures to my Facebook Fan/Business/Group page?
Maybe. Facebook generally allows it for most people, but for some reason, they may not grant permission to the plugin to upload to some albums for some people. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason.
The albums that are listed when you log into the plugin are the ones Facebook allows, and if your Fan or other page's albums are not there, perhaps check the following FAQs.
I get “(#10) Application does not have permission for this action” when I try to upload.
You're trying to upload to an album that has wider visibility than you've given the plugin permission for. (E.g. you've said that the plugin can upload only friends-visible stuff, but you're trying to upload now to a publicly-visible album.)
To fix, you can downgrade the visibility of the album, or upgrade the permission of the app. To do the latter:
- Visit your FB privacy settings by clicking on this link (or manually by clicking on the down-triangle in the upper-right of your home Facebook page, and select “Privacy Settings” from the dropdown menu).
- On the “Apps and Websites” row, click “Edit Settings”
- On the “Apps you use” row, click “Edit Settings”
- On the “Adobe Lightroom Export Plugin” row, click “Edit”
Scroll down to “Posts on my behalf: Who can see posts this app makes for me on Facebook?” and choose “Public” or something that at least encompasses the uploads you'd like to do.
Note: if you choose something more restrictive than “Public”, albums that are “Public” or otherwise less restrictive than what you set will not be available for uploading and will not appear in Lightroom.
- Click “Close” at the bottom of the app-settings box.
Why are some of my Facebook albums missing in the plugin?
Facebook does not allow you to upload to albums whose visibility is less restrictive than this plugin app's permissions. You can include an excluded album by increasing the app permissions, or restricting the album permissions.
If you set the app permissions to “Public”, you'll be able to upload to all your albums (with the caveat noted in the next FAQ about “Wall Photos”).
Note: any changes you make in app or album privacy settings are reflected in the plugin the next time you “refresh list” next to the list of albums.
Why is “Wall Photos” not listed among my albums in the plugin?
For some reason that I have not been able to figure out, Facebook allows some people to upload to their “Wall Photos” album, and not others. Check your privacy settings as per the previous FAQ about missing albums, but otherwise, I have no idea why “Wall Photos” is listed for some but not others. FWIW, it's not listed for me.
Why do I keep getting “Error reply from Facebook: (#240) Requires a valid user is specified (either via the session or via the API parameter for specifying the user.” when I upload to Facebook?
This is an intermittent bug at Facebook, experienced by users of different apps, so there's nothing specific about Lightroom or the plugin.
UPDATE: See this comment by Oliver Winter for a reported fix.
I'm seeing “GUMBY status” and/or “RPC status” errors when I try to upload to PicasaWeb
This error started popping up toward the end of May, 2012. I have no idea what it is or why, but I've asked Google about it. Until I hear something from them, it remains a mystery.