30 Replies Latest reply on Apr 17, 2018 11:52 AM by JMGant

    LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"

    Level 1
      As of this evening, Lightroom has stopped working. At various times including startup (2x) I get a message saying "?:0: attempt to index a nil value". Then when the program is loaded, it appears to have an empty catalog.

      At first I thought the problem might be a corrupted catalog file. However, if I hold down ALT at launch and specify another catalog, or if I create a new one, I get the same results.

      Within the program, I see the message again when I switch modules to DEVELOP, or SLIDESHOW but not when I switch to WEB or PRINT. Once I've moved away from the LIBRARY module, any attempt to move back to it results in the message and staying on the same module I was on.

      I am running Windows XP Pro SP2. There is 2gb RAM on the system and 24gb free disk space on C.

      I tried UNINSTALLING the program then re-installing with the 2.1 update, but that made no difference.

      Something that may be related: I installed the MS .NET 3.5 framework in between the last time I used LR successfully and the first time I saw it fail. I don't know if there is a conflict there... everything else I've tried seems fine and I've got a BUNCH of software installed.
        • 1. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
          Level 1
          The .NET framework shouldn't be a factor. I suspected your catalog at first, too, but your note that multiple catalogs exhibit this makes me suspicious of something in your preferences.

          What I'd suggest trying:
          1. Launch LR. Go to Edit > Preferences > Presets tab > click "Show Lightroom Presets Folder"
          2. In Win Explorer, rename the "Lightroom" presets folder to "Lightroom-x"
          3. Quit and relaunch LR. It will ask you to manually find your catalog.
          4. See if the problem went away.

          If that fixes the problem, I'd appreciate getting a copy of your problematic presets folder (most likely the prefs file) at jkmoch at adobe dot com.

          If it doesn't fix the problem, you'll probably want to get rid of the new Lightroom presets folder that was recreated when you launched at step 3, and restore the old -x one. Then we'll have to look at your catalogs.
          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
            Level 1
            Julie, that did the trick!

            I'll email you a ZIP file with the old presets folder right away.

            Thanks very much!
            • 3. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
              jpsnuffy@gmail.com Level 1

              Had the same thing happen to me, but I thought it had something to do with the size of my catalog. I was creating a new catalog with LR3B and it was creating 1:1 previews when it hung at 34%. I have 340GB+ pictures that I wanted in one catalog (don't know if that is best practices or not, just what I have been doing). I had to kill the program (end task) and when I reopened it I got this same error as the previous gentleman: "?:0:attempt to index a nill value"


              I did what you recommended above and it fixed the issue, but upon restarting LR3B it didn't ask me for the location of the catalog. All my pictures are there, but my Develop Presets and possibly other things are not, oh well.


              If you want my Prefs folder let me know.



              • 4. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                Gary=Rowe Level 1

                I get this message randomly as I delete unused keywords - when I try a second time they ususally delete Ok ... but it is annoying!


                I just ignore it, but when my wife gets stuff like this she doesn't know what to do - and usually then I get the grief for telling her to use shoddy s/w :-(



                • 5. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                  Jeannine.c Level 1

                  While uploading images to smugmug for a wedding I just did I got this message.  It really freaked me out so I just started backing up all my stuff.  Here is my concern, is it in one of my presets that I used to edit my images?  Is there a way to figure out which preset it is.  I have only 347 images left and I could look for the presets left that are on those photos.  Maybe I could then just delete that preset instead of all my wonderful presets?  I haven't had any issues but an error message when my computer is trying to finish the last 347 images of 1580 already uploaded.  LR still seems to be working just fine.  So I went in and exported all the images to a folder on my desk top because I don't have a current back-up....lessoned learned and cross your fingers for me.


                  Any explanations or advise would be so amazing...thank you ahead of time.

                  • 6. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                    jpsnuffy@gmail.com Level 1


                         If you follow the advice of the previous poster Julie Kmoch and then gradualy add presets back in one at a time you might be able to find the one that is causing the issue. I may be guessing, but I believe the issue has something to do with either an incompatible Preset setting (eg a older preset in newer version of LR) or a corrupt Preset.


                    Say you bought LR2 and imported a bunch of Presets from the internet, cuz 'Hey these effects are cool and I don't have to recreate the wheel', and then you upgraded to LR3 (not a clean install) and now one of the Presets that calls a certain slider setting or value that is different in LR3 doesn't work anymore. This might be why it throws the error, but again I am just speculating.


                    Location of LR Preset folder in Windows Vista/ Windows 7

                    C:/Users/<YourUserName>/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom/Develop Presets


                    If you do not see the folder AppData, you may need to change the settings in Windows Explorer to 'Show Hidden Files and Folders'. To do that in Windows Vista/ Windows 7, open a Windows Explorer window, Click on Organize, then Foler and Search Options. Then click on the View tab and select the option button next to Show hidden files, folders and drives.


                    Hope this helps a bit,



                    • 7. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                      nhfoto Level 1

                      Help! I tried this and now my catalog has reverted to a previous time where thousands of images are not showing up...I renamed the preferences folder. it didn`t work so i changed it back and now I appear to have lost thousands of images from the catalog..any ideas anyone??

                      • 8. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                        sportshots Level 1

                        I just received the same message when I tried to upload to one of my SmugMug pages. I was able to upload the same images to my other SmugMug page with no problems. Any suggestions? everything else works fine

                        • 9. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                          johnrellis Most Valuable Participant

                          Make sure you have the most recent version of the plugin. Go to File > Plug-in Manager, select the Smugmug plugin, and then scroll the right column to the Status pane, where you can see the version number. The most recent version is 3.0.9: How do I install or update the Lightroom plugin? | SmugMug

                          • 10. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                            sportshots Level 1

                            I have the most recent, but it says 'installed may not work'

                            But I'm uploading to my other page, they both use the same plugin right.

                            • 11. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                              AbrahamFriedman Level 1

                              I got this error when I created a collection using the Facebook plugin. When I created the collection I had a dash in the name. After deleting the collection and recreating it without a dash everything was fine. It seems that special characters can sometimes trip app Lightroom.

                              • 12. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                kfc41447913 Level 1

                                I got the same error ("attempt to index a nil value") when I tried to preview or play under "Slideshow". In fact, I tried to create a video clip by using "Export Video Slideshow", but it hung until I stopped the action. I guess they may be of the same cause.


                                Both features (preview/play slideshow and export video slideshow) were working fine last August under Window 7 and previous LR version(6.6 - I guess). Now, I have Window 10, and LR version is 6.10.1.


                                I have tried to remove preference files, preset files and remove/re-install LR (version 6) with update to 6.10.1. None of these work.

                                • 13. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                  WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                                  Nobody (in my search of forums) seems to have an answer to this cryptic error message. But here are some comments-


                                  Have you checked that every photo in the slide-show is 'available'?  ie. Have you checked to see that none are 'missing'. In the library (or collection) grid view, missing photos show the exclamation mark on the thumbnail border [!]


                                  Do you have a background image option checked, but again a 'missing' image?


                                  If you are using a music track, Is the music file suitable and available?


                                  (A different appearance of the error has been seen in the Export dialog when the field for "Post Processing : After Export: " is empty. It needs to show "Do Nothing" to prevent the error.)

                                  So maybe in your slideshow set-up options (overlays, etc)  there is something not available or workable with the slide-show.

                                  • 14. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                    kfc41447913 Level 1

                                    I cut down the number of slides from 200 to 6 and ensure no abnormal sign from each of the pictures (jpg files).


                                    To simplify the case, all options in the right column for slideshow are disable, no overlay, no music, no border...


                                    However, the same error message (attempt to index a nil value) still occurs. The same message for both version 6.0 and 6.10.1.


                                    Is there anything I can try to find any clue?

                                    • 15. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                      WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                                      This thread has some other suggestions-

                                      An internal error has occurred: ?:0: attempt to index a nil value


                                      Have you tried the procedure of creating a "New" catalog and then importing the "Old" catalog into the "New".?

                                      Note: This is NOT importing images- it is "Import from another Catalog".


                                      Some earlier versions of Lr  (are you sure you have 6.10.1 ? ) would not accept "Portrait" format images, only "Landscape" images would work.

                                      If you have very large original files, could you export them to a smaller pixel dimension (eg. 1920x1080) with the "Add to this catalog" option, add these re-sized images, then see if these re-sized files work in the slide-show.

                                      • 16. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                        kfc41447913 Level 1

                                        I am using only 6 pictures for debugging purpose, and they are all landscape images, no portrait. My photos are not big, but they were exported to much smaller size (1080x720 pixel, only 65K).


                                        These 6 small size photos were imported to a new catalog. The same error message shows up again when click on "preview" under slideshow.


                                        One thing needed to mention: once the error shows up, the preview and play button (under slideshow) were grey out and unable to click again, until close and re-open LR.

                                        • 17. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                          kfc41447913 Level 1

                                          I also tried to redo as the link suggested: creating"new" catalog and importing the "old" catalog into the "new" one. The same error message shows up.

                                          • 18. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                            WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                                            Now beyond my "pay grade" sorry. As a user with limited slide-show experience I can only offer suggestions-


                                            Also seen in forum posts-

                                            're-imported' my images to the 'Library'  this time it worked. 


                                            I contacted LR's helpdesk. The problem does not occur with a newly created admin user. It seems the original user account has a glitch.

                                            Maybe time to contact Adobe support and see if they can login to your computer and get it going.  Hint: Backup your catalog and presets first!

                                            • 19. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                              johng85125277 Level 1

                                              Same problem for me too, has been since version 6.2 or 3 now on 6.10 win 7 etc.

                                              • 20. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                                                Hi Johng

                                                What "Same Problem"?

                                                It might help if you could add some more details- Like -When do you see the error message? (quote it exactly) When you start Lr, or in a Slideshow, etc.

                                                Some screen-clips also help us (other users) provide possible answers.

                                                Do you have any 'missing' photos in your library?

                                                Have you tried resetting the Preferences file?

                                                • 21. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                  johng85125277 Level 1

                                                  Hi Wobert and thanks for the reply, this has been a problem for some time and i really don't use slideshow very often, but when i want it and it doesn't work its a real PITA. If i try to run anything in slideshow it crashes with an error message. Everything else in LR works perfectly normally

                                                  Thanks again

                                                  • 22. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                    kfc41447913 Level 1

                                                    Here is some experience I just had.


                                                    Having the "attempt to index a nil value" error that bordered for some time and unable to resolve it by trying every suggestion from the forum, I installed LR in my brother computer which worked perfectly.


                                                    Back to my own computer in window 10, I created a new admin user (not work for guest user) and login LR. It works fine. Error message no longer shows up, slideshow command works smoothly.


                                                    Re-install LR in the same admin user won't resolve the issue, but create a new admin user does.


                                                    Hope it works for you.

                                                    1 person found this helpful
                                                    • 23. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                      johng85125277 Level 1

                                                      Thanks KFC that definitely works, now i just need to work out how to migrate everything across to the new profile. :-)

                                                      Sorry i cannot see where to mark it as correct?

                                                      • 24. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                        WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                                                        Thanks to KFC for something that works. Let's hope it might answer every occurrence of the error message.

                                                        JOHNG- it might help others if you follow up this post with your future actions to "migrate to new profile".


                                                        (The OP in this thread could mark this as a correct answer, or a staffer will come along eventually to do same.)

                                                        And it would be nice if Adobe could give more info on this cryptic error message.!

                                                        • 25. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                          Froat Level 1

                                                          Go to your publishing service's website. Chances are it has populated a placeholder gallery for your images. Delete the empty gallery on the website. You should be able to republish. Just worked for me.

                                                          • 26. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                            niit99713980 Level 1

                                                            This happened when I tried to export the all the images in my edited catalog to a folder on my hard drive. It turns out that there was a photo which I had previously deleted, but whose thumbnail somehow remained in the list at the bottom of the app. After deselecting that phantom thumbnail, I was able to export just fine.

                                                            • 27. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                              ptsmantua Level 1

                                                              This appears to be a clear bug in LR interface to FB.


                                                              When I push to FB, I for example am trying to create a group of photos in FB.

                                                              If I drag and drop onto the LR publish service, it does accept the 24 photo to pub to FB.

                                                              But it only published 1 or 2 before this error pops up in LR.

                                                              If I repeat the process and select all of the photo that have not been pub'd to FB, LR runs Publish with the end result  of 1 or 2 more are added to the FB gallery, then the error recurs.

                                                              Keep reducing the number of LR photos to push - get one or two to push across into FB correctly B4 error.


                                                              LR (At) support (dot) com - please reply to ptsmantua (at) GMAIL (dot) com

                                                              • 28. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                                ptsmantua Level 1

                                                                We can team viewer or your fav controls to gather intel u need and detemine

                                                                what intel I need to solve

                                                                • 29. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                                  JMGant Level 1

                                                                  Hey Julie, I know this is an old thread, but it popped up while searching for a solution. I tried what you suggested and then later restored my preset folder. Everything seems to be good now, but for some reason, my identity place and module fonts have all changed back to default. Can anyone let me know where those are stored and how to restore them to how I had them previously?

                                                                  • 30. Re: LR Error "attempt to index a nil value"
                                                                    JMGant Level 1

                                                                    I also just realized that one of my publishing service apps (Pass Plus) is now missing? Ugh, trying to correct this caused more of a pain than it was worth.