How to install Lightroom presets and brushes

  • Communicating with Color and Light Lightroom workshop with Caroline Jensen

How to install Lightroom presets and brushes

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.

How to install Lightroom 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.

preset panel in Lightroom by Caroline Jensen

Lightroom preset installing instructions by Caroline Jensen

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

how to install Lightroom presets tutorial by Caroline Jensen

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.

choosing presets to import into Lightroom by Caroline Jensen

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.

How to install Lightroom 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 brushes in Lightroom by Caroline Jensen

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

finding the preferences panel in Lightroom by Caroline Jensen

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.

storing presets in Lightroom by Caroline Jensen

About the Author:

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, colorful landscapes and food photography. Her gear includes her Sony a7s II, 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.. Visit Caroline Jensen online.


  1. Monica Jun 09 2014 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    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 - Reply

      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 - Reply

    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 - Reply

      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 - Reply

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

  3. Missy Jun 14 2014 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    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 - Reply

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

  5. Rachel Mc Jul 21 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Thank you, Caroline! The screenshots are very helpful.

Leave A Comment


Follow this blog

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

Email address