This “Preview Extraction” plugin for Lightroom allows you to extract JPG preview images
from a Lightroom catalog's image cache. This might be of use if you have lost the original master images, or
don't have them at hand.
This plugin works in Lightroom 6/CC (and older versions as far back as
The same download works for both Windows and Mac. See the box to the upper right for the download link (in orange) and installation instructions.
After installing, select the thumgnails for the images whose preview you want to extract,
then invoke via
File > Plugin Extras > Extract Preview Images.
I have no need for this myself, but I wrote it because I thought
someone, somewhere, at some time, might find themselves in a pinch having
lost their original image files, and might want to extract what they could
from Lightroom's image cache.
I hope you never need this plugin.
Marc Rochkind's has a still-available but unsupported LRViewer tool that might also be handy.
This plugin is free. I hope it helps.
(Gifts, if you want to send them, are appreciatively accepted
Update Log via RSS
Images with virtual copies could have not been all extracted properly; now append the virtual-copy "Copy Name" (if any) to the name of the extracted file.
Added an option to maintain the folder hierarchy as seen in Lightroom.
Upgraded to the embedded copy of ExifTool to version 10.00.
Try to avoid yet another place where Lightroom gets hung because it can't handle certain kinds of dialogs at the same time.
Wasn't handling the no-previews-available case well.
In the POODLE-vunerability dialog, display a raw URL of a page on my site that discusses the issue, so that folks can be independently sure that the dialog is indeed from me and not malware.
Now stuffs GPS data into extracted copies.
Now extracts Smart-Preview DNGs if they exist (Lr5+)
On some systems could fail to re-extract when applied to a set of photos twice in a row.
Gave the UI some general love.
Windows Only: Add a one-time check for the POODLE security vulnerability, and alert the user if it exists.
Previous updates broke support on Lightroom 2
Fixed an issue with Creative-Cloud revalidation.
Lr5.5 and later Creative-Cloud installs can now revalidate themselves if needed.
Now supports Lr5.5+ Creative-Cloud Installs.
Sigh, introduced an error for some folks with the rebuild the other day.
Fixed a bug in the "smoother revalidation" stuff recently added.
Upgraded to the embedded copy of ExifTool to version 9.53.
Make the revalidation process smoother, especially for folks using Lr5.4 and later.
Metadata might not get re-injected into recovered images on Windows.
Some filenames were getting two dots before the filename extension.
Apparently, a recent change broke things on Lr2, which some folks apparently still use.
Fixed a bug that showed up on Windows
Show scrollbar while extracting.
Upgraded to the embedded copy of ExifTool to version 9.09.
With some behind-the-scenes help from Adobe, resurrected this plugin from the dead for Lr4.
Still works in Lr2, but it does not (and can not, so please don't ask) work in Lr3.
If you want to recover previews from an Lr3 catalog,
upgrade the catalog to Lr4 and in theory you can then use this plugin to extract the previews.
Made the revalidation process much simpler, doing away with the silly need for a revalidation file.
Discovered a bug in my plugin build system that caused horribly difficult-to-track-down errors in one plugin,
so am pushing out rebuilt versions of all plugins just in case.
Discovered a nasty build bug; pushing a new version in case it affects this plugin.
Yikes, a typo broke some operations for some Windows users. Fixed.
Completely changed how the one-click upgrade applies the newly-downloaded zip file, in the hopes that
it'll work for more people. Rather than unzipping over the old copy, it now unzips to a temporary
folder, then moves the old folder out of the way and the new folder into place. Prior versions' folders
are now maintained (with the version number in the folder) in case you want to revert a version; you
may want to clear them out from time to time. Of course, it won't take affect until you try to upgrade
after having upgraded to or beyond this version.
Wholesale changes that attempt to honor the user's locale settings for numeric display (e.g. Europeans
writing 3,14156 for pi). I've probably missed some spots, so let me know if you find some.
This plugin does not work at all in Lightroom 3 Beta, so this update has it at least mention
that if you try to load it there.
Note that this plugin doesn't work in LR3. Sorry! (UPDATE: it does now, in later versions)
Enhanced the one-click upgrade stuff quite a bit, now
detecting ahead of time when it will fail because the plugin is installed where Lightroom
can't write (if Lightroom can't write to it, it can't update itself). I
also added a progress bar, and now download in smaller chunks to avoid 'out
of memory' errors on the larger plugins. Do remember that this new functionality becomes
available after you upgrade to or past this version, when you then upgrade with it.
Fixed a "loadstring" error some users got.
Added a link in the Plugin Manager to the plugin's update-log RSS feed.
Tweaked how the plugin tries to update itself during the one-click upgrade process, to
hopefully get things working for those few Windows users that have never had it work. Crossing
fingers. We'll see.
Added scroll-one-line arrows to the top and bottom of the scrollbars, to allow fine-grained
control of scrolling very long lists. (I've been programming for almost 30 years, but this
is the first time I've ever built a graphical scrolling system from scratch, so I may
be a bit slow on the uptake at times 🙂 )
Also, I'm sorry to report that the thumbnail orientation stuff added in the previous
version doesn't actually work on Macs. Dunno why yet. Sorry.
Fixed a plugin crash if you tried to have it extract to a folder that doesn't exist.
Also, if extraction can't be started (because you haven't told it where to extract to),
it not actually tells you why it can't be started.
Discovered and worked around a LR bug that sometimes caused the "Size in Lightroom" to
report a value with the width and height swapped.
Removed the plugin expiration. This kind of plugin will likely gather dust on someone's
drive until one day they suddenly need it, so it'd suck if it didn't work then.
Upgrade the scrollbar stuff to something that actually
looks and works like a real scrollbar.
The thumbnail is now displayed in portrait mode if the image in Lightroom is in portrait mode,
landscape if in landscape. There's no way for the plugin to know whether the rotation is proper
(that is, it may appear upside down, for example), but you can now click on the thumbnail to
rotate it. In case you've flipped the image in Lightroom since the preview was made, you can
right-click on the thumbnail to flip it horizontally. These flips and rotations are just
in the display of the thumbnail; the extracted preview on disk remains as it was extracted.
Small housekeeping update for the new locales supported by Lightroom 2.3.
The "in Lightroom" size reported was pre-crop. It now reports the post-crop size,
to better match up with preview-size expectations.