How to Install Lightroom Presets (2023)

Lightroom presets are powerful tools that can drastically speed up your editing process. Whether you want to quickly set a baseline edit or easily replicate the signature look of your favorite film stock, presets give you a head start on your Lightroom edit. The install process, however, can be tricky, particularly if you’re not used to working with your systems folders. In this guide to installing Lightroom presets, I’ll walk you through how to install Lightroom presets, as well as discuss some of the important differences between preset types available in Lightroom.

Table of Contents

What’s a Preset?

Adobe Lightroom offers a variety of configurable presets (more on the different types later). When most people refer to a Lightroom preset, however, they’re talking about a preset for use in the Develop module. These Develop module presets can be basic – changing something as simple as the sharpening levels in your image, for example – as well as complex. Some presets can turn a regular shot into a contrasty B/W, Kodachrome replica, or even an infrared film-style shot.

(Video) Installing Presets in Lightroom Classic CC 2019 2020 [ How To Tutorial for XMP & LR Template Files ]

There are two main areas where Lightroom Develop presets can be applied. The first is the obvious “Presets” panel on the left-hand tab, where you can choose among presets you’ve created. The second is the “Profile” option in the Basic Panel on the right-hand side of your screen, as shown below.

The typical difference is that a preset applied through the Presets panel will move the sliders in your develop panels (it may shift your color temperature, contrast, or saturation, for instance). A preset applied through the Profile box, however, will change the look of your image without affecting the sliders. You can adjust the intensity of the Profile you’ve selected using the “Amount” slider directly below it.Some presets that you download need to be applied in the Profile box, while others must be applied in the Presets panel instead.

File Types

Most Lightroom presets that you download will come as an .xmp file or as an .LRtemplate file. Depending on how you download them, they may come zipped into a folder. If so, unzip the folder in your downloads and make sure you can navigate to the individual preset files. They’ll be named after the preset effects they apply, and will end in .xmp or .LRtemplate.

Installing Via the Presets Panel

For either type of preset, it’s possible to install them by opening Lightroom Classic, navigating to the Develop module, and finding the Presets tab in the left-hand panel. If the left-hand panel is collapsed, just click the small arrow to expand it. (If you do that and Presets isn’t one of the options – but you do see other tabs like Snapshots, History, or Collections – right click on any of the other tabs and re-enable the Presets option.)

(Video) Lightroom Presets - How to Install and Use Them

From here, you’ll see a plus sign. Click on that, then select Import Preset. Next, navigate to where on your hard drive you stored or unzipped the preset files. Click to select individual presets, or drag to select multiple, then hit import. After a few seconds, they should appear in your presets panel.

Installing Via System Folders

Some presets that apply via profiles, like the ReallyNiceImages (RNI) All Films pack, are installed differently. For these, you’ll need to consult the instructions that come with your presets. Some include an executable or other automatic installer, while some install differently on one OS compared to another. For example, RNI’s can install via a .pkg on MacOS, but have to be manually placed in an AppData folder on Windows. As a reference, I’ll walk you through the install process for RNI’s profiles on Windows:

(Video) Easily Install Lightroom Presets 2020

  1. Before installing, RNI advises that you disable the “Store presets with this catalog option” in the Preferences>Presets menu, as this prevents Lightroom from picking up the newly installed presets.
  2. Open Explorer and copy the folder containing the presets.
  3. Navigate to C:\ Users \ <YourUsername> \ AppData \ Roaming \ Adobe \ CameraRaw \ Settings and paste the presets folder into that folder. (The AppData folder may be hidden, so this will require you to enable showing Hidden Items via View>Hidden Items in Explorer.)
  4. Once the presets have been copied over, restart Lightroom, and you should see your new presets in the profiles panel in Lightroom.

For MacOS, the intended install process is a lot simpler: run the .pkg installer they included, which should install all components to the required locations.

That specific process is created by ReallyNiceImages, and things may be different if your presets/profiles were developed by another company, but the general idea is usually the same. Either way, your preset pack should include specific instructions.

My general advice is always to create a backup of your preset files in another location. Whether it’s an update problem, or something else, it’s nice to have an easy source to reinstall your presets from, without having to worry about redownloading them.

Other Types of Presets

The process above is all it takes to install a basic Lightroom preset, and I hope you found it useful. But Lightroom also allows you to install more complex types of presets that may be more complicated to install than the steps below. One such example is an ISO-Adaptive Preset.


An ISO-Adaptive preset is a special type of preset that’s a more recent introduction to Lightroom. An ISO-Adaptive preset lets you set different values to be applied based on the ISO of the image. This makes it particularly useful for setting up a “smart” sharpening or noise reduction setting and is perfect for use as a default import preset. I’ll be covering a deeper dive into how I set up my ISO adaptive presets in an upcoming article, as it requires a bit more work.

Beyond that, there are also Import Presets. These apply to all your photos upon importing into Lightroom, and they include both post-processing and metadata changes. For example, you can use an Import Preset to change the noise reduction/sharpness settings of all the images you import (since Lightroom’s defaults are otherwise pretty heavy-handed). Or, you can apply a preset to the photo’s metadata. If you want to change the metadata of your images upon import – like adding your name to the description of each photo – you can choose to create and apply a metadata preset.

Brush or Masking presets also exist. The masking tool within the Develop module lets you save your settings to a preset. If you’ve created a complicated set of settings for your brush or mask, you can save those as a preset and reapply them in the future.

Lastly, export presets let you save a default set of export settings for repeated use, letting you configure things like the watermark, file settings, and file naming options with just one click. See here our guide for exporting photos properly from Lightroom.

(Video) Make your photos POP with ONE CLICK using LIGHTROOM PRESETS!


Lightroom lets you set up a wide range of presets for frequently-performed tasks, but no preset type is more popular than the Develop preset. While the process can seem like a bit of a mess, thanks to the many years and different styles of preset Lightroom have come to support, the actual install process isn’t that hard.

Furthermore, making use of the presets is incredibly easy, and can save you a lot of time – or even let you replicate a complicated look – with minimal effort. To take your editing process to the next level, you can even create and use presets of your own, saving you a ton of time in various processes across Lightroom. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about creating, installing, or using Lightroom presets.


How do I mass add presets in Lightroom? ›

To quickly select multiple images, you can Ctrl+click on each photo. Or you can click the first one, hold 'Shift' and click on the last one. In the 'Quick Develop' panel, select a 'Saved Preset' in the drop-down menu. Lightroom will update all photos with the selected preset.

How do I manually install Lightroom presets? ›

Installation Guide for Lightroom Mobile on Android devices

Go down to the Botton of the toolbar and press the Presets tab to the right. Press the three dots icon and select Import Presets. Now you have to navigate to the folder where you downloaded the ZIP file and import it.

How do I reduce memory usage in Lightroom? ›

Optimize your hardware and OS
  1. Update to the most recent version of Lightroom Classic. ...
  2. Exceed minimum system requirements. ...
  3. Run Lightroom Classic on machines with 12 GB of RAM or more. ...
  4. Use a fast hard drive. ...
  5. Make sure that you have a large enough hard drive and enough free space. ...
  6. Update the graphics driver.
26 Oct 2022

Can you apply a preset to multiple photos at once? ›

You can also apply a preset to multiple photos in Lightroom via the Develop module. This is a time-saver if you have just a few images in a series you want to have the exact same settings.

How do I add settings to all photos in Lightroom? ›

To paste the copied Develop settings to multiple photos, select the photos in the Grid view or the Filmstrip of the Library module and choose Photo > Develop Settings > Paste Settings.

Why won't my Lightroom presets import? ›

For Lightroom Classic CC 8.1 and later, please check your Lightroom preferences (Top menu bar > Preferences > Presets > Visibility). If you see the option "Show Partially Compatible Develop Presets" unchecked, please check it for your presets to appear.

How do I import a preset File? ›

Import presets
  1. Open the Presets panel by clicking the Presets icon at the bottom of the Edit panel. ...
  2. In your Finder (MacOS) or Explorer window (Windows), navigate to the preset files that you want to import. ...
  3. Click the Import button in your Finder or Explorer window.
4 Nov 2019

How do I install preset packs? ›

Lightroom Classic OLD Install Method: Open Lightroom Classic and click on the small “+” at the top of the Presets Panel. Choose “Import Presets” from the opens that open. Navigate to the ZIPPED preset file you downloaded. The presets will automatically install!

How many GB of RAM do I need for Lightroom? ›

How much RAM does Lightroom need? While the exact amount of RAM you need is going to depend on the size and number of images you will be working with, we generally recommend a minimum of 16GB for all our systems. For most users, 32GB of RAM should be enough for the majority of workflows.

Can Lightroom use 64GB RAM? ›

Just don't go overboard—even if your processor can support it, 128GB or RAM may not run Lightroom any faster than 32GB or 64GB unless you're really overloading your system elsewhere (*cough* Google Chrome *cough*).

Is 4gb RAM enough for Lightroom? ›

At the bare minimum, Lightroom requires 4 GB of RAM to run, but of course, this may not be enough in practical terms when it comes to day-to-day needs.

How do I apply a preset to all? ›

To apply the preset to all the selected photos, press the Sync button. A pop-up box will appear where you can fine-tune the settings you want to be applied. Once you're happy with the selections, click Synchronize to apply the settings to all your photos.

Which photo format is best quality? ›

Along with RAW, TIFF files are among the highest quality graphic formats available. If you're printing photos—especially at enormous sizes—use this format. You are making a high-quality scan. Using TIFF to scan your documents, photos and artwork will ensure that you have the best original file to work off of.

Do presets work on all photos? ›

Batch Editing with Lightroom Presets

The preset may not apply perfectly to every single one of the 200 photos. However, having to do minor exposure adjustments on some of the photos rather than editing all 200 photos individually is potentially going to save you several hours.

How do I stack Lightroom presets? ›

Here's how to do it:
  1. Click on your desired image in your Lightroom Mobile library to open in "Edit" Mode:
  2. Open your "Presets" tab from the bottom toolbar and select your desired collection:
  3. Apply a General Preset and check to apply:
  4. Open your "Presets" tab again, apply your desired Tool Preset, and check to apply.

Can I have 2 Lightroom catalogs? ›

For typical Lightroom use, you should NOT be using multiple catalogs. Using multiple catalogs can slow down your workflow, hinder your ability to organize your photos, increase the chances for file corruption, and gives you no actual benefits.

How do I get free Lightroom presets? ›

How to Install Presets in the Free Lightroom Mobile App
  1. Step 1: Unzip the Files. ...
  2. Step 2: Save the Presets. ...
  3. Step 3: Install and Open the Lightroom Mobile CC App. ...
  4. Step 4: Add the DNG/Preset Files to Lightroom Mobile. ...
  5. Step 5: Create Lightroom Presets from the DNG Files.
16 Mar 2022

How many catalogs should I have in Lightroom? ›

I highly advise you to keep just one catalog too, and utilize Lightroom Collections to keep your personal and professional images separated. A common error that many new Lightroom users make is to create multiple Lightroom catalogs, often times a new one every time they import.

Do you need Lightroom premium to use presets? ›

The only thing you need is a FREE Lightroom CC Mobile Application, which is available for iOS and Android devices. Access, edit, organize, and share photos on your iPad, iPhone, or Android device and edit your photos using our mobile presets on the go.

Can't import XMP preset to Lightroom? ›

Importing XMP presets in Adobe Lightroom CC

Open up Lightroom and navigate to the Develop page. On the left sidebar find the Presets tab. Once located click the + icon then select Import Preset. Use the new window that pops up to navigate on your computer's C Drive to the preset file you want, and simply click Import.

Where are Lightroom presets stored? ›

In Lightroom, make sure you're in the Develop Module. On the left hand side of the screen, click “Presets,” so the preset section is expanded. Right click (Windows) or Option click (Mac) on any specific preset you see listed. Choose “Show in Explorer.” This will open up the file location where that preset is stored.

How do I add presets to Lightroom folder? ›

Go to Lightroom Classic > Preferences. In the Lightroom folder, you'll see the Develop Presets folder. Drag a new folder containing Lightroom presets into the Develop Presets folder. Restart Lightroom and the new folders and presets will appear in the Presets panel.

How do you add presets to photos? ›

With a photo selected, click the Edit icon. Then click Presets at the bottom of the column of editing panels to open the Presets panel. Click a category title in the Presets panel to access the presets in that category. To preview how a preset will look on the selected photo, hover over the preset without clicking.

Where can I download free presets? ›

We love a good preset.
Give them a look below.
  • Hootsuite. Hootsuite Credit: hootsuite. ...
  • The Luxe Lens. The Luxe Lens Credit: the luxe lens. ...
  • SpeckyBoy. ...
  • On1. ...
  • Photonify. ...
  • PhotoTraces. ...
  • PhotoBlog. ...
  • PresetLove.
6 Nov 2021

How do I add a preset to an entire album? ›

How To Apply a Lightroom preset to all your images
  1. In Development mode, choose a preset you want to apply.
  2. Then select all the images that you want to apply the preset on.
  3. Click on Sync and press Synchronization.
  4. After all that, your preset will appear on all of your selected images at once.
24 Jan 2017

How much does Lightroom presets cost? ›

Dark & Dramatic Lightroom Presets ($35) Signature Lightroom Presets ($35) Landscape Essentials: 20 Lightroom Presets ($39) Forest Landscapes Lightroom Presets ($35)

How do I increase RAM in Lightroom? ›

Choose Lightroom Classic > Preferences (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences (Windows). Click the File Handling tab. In the Camera Raw Cache Settings area, experiment with a Maximum Size of 10.0 GB or more.

Is 16GB RAM enough for photo editing? ›

We recommend 16GB RAM if you are running the latest Creative Cloud applications i.e. Photoshop and Lightroom Classic.” RAM is the second most important hardware, as it increases the number of tasks the CPU can handle at the same time. Simply opening Lightroom or Photoshop uses around 1 GB RAM each.

Why does Lightroom say not enough memory? ›

This means your computer doesn't have enough memory. It has nothing to do with library size. It may have something to do with the size of each file (in pixels, not megabytes) that you are exporting.

Is 32GB RAM worth it for photo editing? ›

Therefore ideally, you'd have just a little bit more than the maximum amount of RAM you'd need. As we'll find out, this number starts to top out around 32gb of RAM for most photography editing situations. After a certain point, extra RAM will no longer give you extra performance.

Which laptop is best for Lightroom? ›

The Asus ProArt Studiobook is the best laptop for photo editing if you want a Windows laptop. The computer is made for creative professionals. It has the power to run big design programs like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro. Lightroom and Luminar Neo are a piece of cake for this laptop.

Can I get more than 1TB on Lightroom? ›

How do I add storage to my plan? Upgrade a 20GB plan to 1TB or boost your total storage to 2TB, 5TB, or 10TB, starting at US$9.99/mo per terabyte. To purchase more storage, call 800-915-9451.

Is 64GB enough for editing? ›

Most video editors won't need to use 64GB RAM. If you plan to edit 8K files or work with motion graphics, then 64GB might be useful for your needs. But this might cost you more than it's worth.

Do I need 16GB RAM for Lightroom? ›

Photoshop and Lightroom are both resource intensive programs. They require a lot of RAM to run smoothly, especially when working with large files or doing complex tasks. So, if you're planning on doing any serious photo editing with either of these programs, you'll need more than 16GB RAM.

How much RAM do you need to run Lightroom and Photoshop? ›

ProcessorIntel® or AMD processor with 64-bit support; 2 GHz or faster processor
Operating systemWindows 10 (64 bit) version 20H2 or later
RAM8 GB16 GB or more
Hard disk space10 GB of available hard-disk space; additional free space is required during installation and sync
4 more rows
18 Oct 2022

How do you add a preset to multiple photos in Lightroom CC? ›

Click on one of the images, and hold down shift, and click on another additional photo to create a “selection range” of photos that you want to apply the preset to. Once you have selected all of the photos you want to apply the preset to, click “sync” on the lower righthand side of the software.

How do you make a perfect preset? ›

The present perfect of any verb is composed of two elements : the appropriate form of the auxiliary verb to have (present tense), plus the past participle of the main verb. The past participle of a regular verb is base+ed, e.g. played, arrived, looked.

Is a PNG or JPEG better quality? ›

The biggest advantage of PNG over JPEG is that the compression is lossless, meaning there is no loss in quality each time it is opened and saved again. PNG also handles detailed, high-contrast images well.

Which file format do professional photographers prefer? ›

TIFF. TIFF stands for Tagged Image File Format, and it is known as the most used file format by photographers and designers. Images stored as TIFF files are best for post-processing, because they are not compressed at all. With TIFF files, you can create all kinds of digital images.

What is the highest resolution image ever? ›

The Highest Resolution Photo of Artwork Ever Taken

At 717 billion pixels, the museum says that the distance between two pixels in the photo is just five micrometers (0.005 millimeters), which means the size of one pixel is smaller than a human red blood cell.

Do professional photographers use Lightroom presets? ›

Professional photographers use presets because, in the hands of a skilled editor, they are always better and easier than manual editing. If you feel unsure about how to get started, check out this Lightroom editing course to learn more about Lightroom skills, like using presets.

Do real photographers use presets? ›

The majority of professional photographers use photo editing presets to help limit the time spent editing photos. Many photographers will create their own photo editing presets based on their personal style. However, it's also common to buy presets from other people since it saves the time of creating the presets.

Are presets better than filters? ›

Presets and actions provide much more advanced editing changes and control versus filters. They are also more individualized, which makes them more adaptable to the unique features of photos.

Can I apply a preset to multiple photos in Lightroom? ›

1 – How to apply a preset to multiple photos in Lightroom Classic
  1. Step 1: import all images to the library tab. ...
  2. Step 2: Select all images. ...
  3. Step 3: Apply a preset from the quick develop panel.
6 Jun 2021

How do I add multiple presets to Lightroom mobile? ›

Here's how to do it:
  1. Click on your desired image in your Lightroom Mobile library to open in "Edit" Mode:
  2. Open your "Presets" tab from the bottom toolbar and select your desired collection:
  3. Apply a General Preset and check to apply:
  4. Open your "Presets" tab again, apply your desired Tool Preset, and check to apply.

How many Lightroom catalogs should I have? ›

I highly advise you to keep just one catalog too, and utilize Lightroom Collections to keep your personal and professional images separated. A common error that many new Lightroom users make is to create multiple Lightroom catalogs, often times a new one every time they import.

How do you get free presets on the Lightroom app? ›

How to Install Presets in the Free Lightroom Mobile App
  1. Step 1: Unzip the Files. ...
  2. Step 2: Save the Presets. ...
  3. Step 3: Install and Open the Lightroom Mobile CC App. ...
  4. Step 4: Add the DNG/Preset Files to Lightroom Mobile. ...
  5. Step 5: Create Lightroom Presets from the DNG Files.
16 Mar 2022

Can you transfer Lightroom presets to mobile? ›

To get presets to your mobile device, you need to import them into the Lightroom Desktop App. Once imported, they sync automatically to the cloud and then to the Lightroom mobile app. In the Lightroom Desktop application, click File > Import Profiles & Presets.

What does batch file transfer mean? ›

You can use batch files to transfer several files between your PC and the mainframe host. A batch file consists of two main components: a batch list, and send or receive commands. The batch list groups send and receive commands that you can run from your batch file.

What is DNG in Lightroom? ›

DNG stands for Digital Negative Image. DNG is an open-source, royalty-free, highly compatible, and continuously improving raw image format that was built for editing photos — especially with Adobe software. Learn more about DNG files.

Can I use the same Lightroom catalog on two computers? ›

Work with Lightroom on multiple computers

Use Lightroom with the same photos on more than one computer. Add, edit or organize photos in Lightroom on one computer, and those changes will sync through the Cloud to Lightroom on an additional computer.


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