how to install lightroom presets

by Caroline Jensen

Lightroom is the perfect program to use when you want to experiment and try new things. I like to save new presets all the time, but I don’t always want them all in my Lightroom Develop module at once. I like to keep a Dropbox (or similar, synced storage program) folder of my presets and then I can install what I want, when I want, and still know that I have everything tucked away for safe keeping.

It is also handy to make new folders in the Presets panel of the Develop Module. This prevents all of your presets from becoming disorganized. Lightroom will alphabetize your presets and creating folders is the best way to keep similar presets contained together in a group.

I am going to show you how to make new preset folders and how to install presets into those folders quickly and easily. I will also show you how to install some brush presets for the Adjustment Brush.

Installing Develop Presets

First you need a folder. Go to the Develop Module and right click on any folder. Choose “New Folder” from the drop down menu and type in the name for your folder. The folder will now be available in your Lightroom Develop Preset panel.

how to install lightroom presets photo

how to install lightroom presets photo

Then, right click on that folder and select “Import”.

how to install lightroom presets photo

From there, navigate to the place where you saved your presets. Unzip them if you need to. Select all of the presets and hit okay. They will now be conveniently located in your new folder.

how to install lightroom presets photo

I like to keep all my new presets in a dropbox folder. Then I can access the presets from any computer and I can remove presets without the worry of losing them. I like my Develop module to be tidy, so if I know I will not use some presets for a while, I will just store them away in the Dropbox and re-install at a future date.

Installing Brushes

Lightroom has a few brushes that are installed by default. You may find that you want to save your own variants. I love to make Adjustment Brush presets too! Unfortunately, these are not quite as easy to install, but I will show you how.

First, save the brush presets to a folder and unzip them if necessary. Again, I like to keep mine in a Dropbox folder or similar for safekeeping. The brushes will be installed in the drop down menu that is available when the Adjustment Brush is activated. New brushes will be placed in the same area as my makeup brushes in this screenshot.

how to install lightroom presets photo

To install. Find the “Preferences” panel in Lightroom.

how to install lightroom presets photo

Choose “Presets” and click on the “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”. Click on the “Lightroom” folder and then navigate to the “Local Adjustment Presets”. You can drop and drag your brush presets into that folder. Then close and reopen Lightroom. The brush presets will be available for you to use!

Make sure that you uncheck the “Store presets with this catalog” button. It is a good idea to keep this unchecked whether you are installing Develop or Brush presets.

how to install lightroom presets photo

how to install lightroom presets photoCaroline Jensen, Minnesota
CM Mentor | CMU Instructor
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Caroline Jensen, a Sony Associate Artisan of Imagery, is a photographic artist living on the prairie. Her favorite things include cozy nights in front of her natural wood fireplace, an expansive tea collection, and read alouds with her children. Photography is her expressive outlet and features emotive black and white portraiture, unique macro work, and colorful landscapes. Her gear includes her Sony a7s, vintage lenses, and her favorite Lensbaby lenses that express her photographic voice perfectly. She has been featured in the magazines: Dreamer Journal, Sony Alpha Universe, and numerous times in Click magazine, including freelance work for Adobe. Her work has been featured in a long running gallery show at Shop 88 Fine Art in Scottsdale, AZ as well as on the packaging of the Lensbaby Sweet 50 lens. She teaches three popular workshops where she encourages creativity through both traditional and mobile photography: Shooting 301: The Art of Observation, Processing 202: Communicating with Color and Light, and Shooting 107: The Art of Mobile Photography.

Read all photography tutorials by Caroline Jensen.

Want to try out some FREE Lightroom presets?

how to install lightroom presets photo

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10 Responses to “how to install lightroom presets”

  1. Monica
    Jun 09 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Thanks for the very thorough explanation, Caroline! I’m looking for the preset sampler, but can’t seem to find how to get it. Am I missing something?

    • April Nienhuis
      Jun 09 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      Hi, Monica! To get the sampler presets, you need to insert your email at the bottom of the article and after you hit submit it will show you where and how to obtain them.

  2. Dita
    Jun 09 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    I am having the same issue. I inserted my email several times and no info on how to obtain them.

    • April Nienhuis
      Jun 09 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Did the page open to a new one for you? After you hit submit, it should go to a new page. The links to find them are in blue and the codes to use are in bold.

      • Leigh
        Jun 09 2014 at 6:07 pm #

        No new window for me and no links. Great explanation though!

  3. Missy
    Jun 14 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I am having the same trouble. I don’t see where to download the presets after entering my email.

  4. Robin
    Jun 16 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Same problem for me too. Entered email and no popup screen.

  5. Jul 21 2014 at 11:22 am #

    Thank you, Caroline! The screenshots are very helpful.

  6. Jul 27 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Thank You for this amazing post! You may also check and share my website. It’s updated everyday! :)


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