Lightroom is an easy-to-use photo editing application. It incorporates a number of the same features you would normally find in Adobe Photoshop, but with an eye to keeping things simpler and geared towards photo editing.

How to Install Lightroom Presets (April 2018 Update)

  1. Open the Adobe Lightroom program.
  2. Go to File > Import Profiles & Presets
  3. Select the presets you’d like to install.
  4. Exit and relaunch Lightroom.
  5. Go into “Editing” mode.
  6. Click “Presets.”
  7. The presets you just imported will be under the “User Presets” menu.

Need help with the best way to install Lightroom presets? Here’s our guide for installing your presets quickly and easily!

Photoshop, being the benchmark in the industry for photo editing applications, is a among photographers for editing photos. However, the application has much wider ramifications than just post-processing still images.

Lightroom, on the other hand, is designed primarily for editing and processing photos with a view to quickly finalizing a photo without the need for elaborate editing. Lightroom incorporates many of the same features which are aimed at photographers while filtering out features that are seldom used.

It is, therefore, a lighter version of Photoshop. Having said that, there is nothing ‘light’ about this very powerful application.

Lightroom Features

For example, you get the same Camera RAW features that allow you to make quick adjustments to your images such as white balance, tonal adjustments, lens aberration corrections, exposure and a bunch of other aspects.

Obviously, with Lightroom, you can do more. Lightroom can make batch processing of your images a reality, thereby considerably cutting down the overall post-processing time required. Wedding photographers love this neat feature on Lightroom.

Another major advantage of using Adobe Lightroom is you can use presets. Presets are a bundle of adjustments that are built into the template. On applying a preset, all those changes are applied to a photo in an instant. Thus, you can give your photos a specific look and feel in a ziffy.

Manual adjustments can take a long time and are one of the major reasons why people prefer not to tinker with their cameras, i.e., shoot in RAW. They prefer to take the easy way out and shoot in JPEG. But your DSLR is a powerful photographic tool and one reason for that is it can shoot in RAW, a lossless format that retains all of the original information captured by your camera sensor. This allows for a range of non-destructive editing options.

This is where Adobe Lightroom comes into the picture. This easy-to-use, yet powerful application is aimed at photographers who are looking for a quick and easy solution to edit their RAW photos and give them a professional look and feel in no time.

But with Lightroom presets come the obvious question of how to install them, and more importantly, how to find them in the first place. That is the focus of this step-by-step guide.

How to Find / Download Presets

Fear not. Presets are easy to find. All you have to do is type in “presets for Lightroom” on the Google search box and you’ll be presented with tens of thousands of options. But an even quicker and hassle-free option is to check out our free Lightroom presets collection.

To download the free presets, all you have to do is click on any link. You will be redirected to a page where you need to enter your name and email address. Click “submit” and you are done. A link to download the presets will be sent to your email. It will contain a username and a password to access our member’s area. Once you are logged in you can then download the free Lightroom presets you need and want.

You can also check out some of our premium Lightroom presets, which have some of our best professional Lightroom presets, brush presets and Photoshop actions (available for a fee).

The advantage of downloading Cole’s Classroom Lightroom presets is that they have been hand-crafted using his extensive experience as a professional photographer in the industry. It takes months, often years, to figure out the demands of the photography industry. Taking photographs is just one way to understand what is in demand. The other part is when you post-process them. This is where the magic happens. Even very average compositions transform into beautiful moments. This is what separates the average photographers from the pros.

Cole’s Classroom presets for Lightroom are just an insight into what’s in vogue in the industry so that you can make professional looking photos in no time and with very little Lightroom knowledge. The thing is, you don’t even have to be a professional photographer to take advantage of these presets. You can use them to transform your personal photos and give them a professional edge.

How to Install Presets (Pre –April 2018 Update)

How to install Lightroom Presets Using the Drag and Drop Method

Installing Lightroom Presets is very easy. Once you download the preset files (a zipped collection of files downloaded from your favorite source) on to your computer, unzip them on your Windows PC. If you are using a Mac, simply double-clicking the files will unzip them.

The next step is to launch Lightroom. Click on “edit” on PC or “Lightroom” if using Mac. This should be right next to “file” on both PC and Mac version of Adobe Lightroom.

Click on “preferences.” On the ensuing window click the “presets” tab. There should be a bunch of options here. Make sure to check only “apply auto mix when first converting to black and white” and leave everything unchecked.

Now click on the “Show Lightroom Presets Folder …”

This will pop open the folder where Lightroom is installed. Double click on the “Lightroom” folder. Now find the “develop presets” folder here. Drag and drop the presets that you unzipped at the beginning to this folder. Relaunch the application. The presets will be installed and be ready to use.

How to Install Lightroom Presets Using Right-Click Inside Lightroom

The second method of installing presets in Lightroom is to use the “develop” module inside Lightroom.

For this, follow the initial steps discussed in the previous method. But instead of importing the unzipped files into the Lightroom “develop presets” folder, repeat the following steps.

Inside Lightroom click on the “develop” module. Next, you have to create a new folder for your preset. There are three ways to create a new preset folder.

Method 1

Use the keyboard combination “Control+ Alt + N” on your PC or if you are on Mac user “Command + Option + N” to create a new folder.

Method 2

Click on the “develop” option in the top left menu, and then select “new preset folder”. Enter a name for the folder.

Method 3

The final method requires you to right-click on any preset name/folder. Make sure that you don’t right click on “presets,” as nothing will work when you do that. When the option appears select “new folder”. Enter a name for the presets folder and you’re done.

You can now go ahead and import your presets into this preset folder by selecting the “import” option.

Personally, we prefer method one, as it is the most convenient, but play around and find what works best for you.

Troubleshooting / FAQ

One of the common issues faced by users trying to install Lightroom presets is that Lightroom won’t allow them to install one. The common error is “the preset file was the wrong type of preset.” This particular error crops up for a number of reasons. One of them is that you are probably trying to install a brush preset into the “develop presets” folder.

Brush and global presets are two different things in Lightroom. You have to know the difference. The “develop presets” folder will only allow you to install global presets. These are presets which can be applied to the whole of the photo and therefore impart a “global” effect.

Brush presets are different. They are local adjustment tools which you can use to render specific effects to a smaller area. These brush presets are to be installed in the folder Lightroom > local adjustment presets.

How do you install brush presets?

Simply follow the steps mentioned under “how to install Lightroom presets.” But instead of double-clicking the “develop presets” folder, double-click the “local adjustment presets” folder.

Copy the contents of the brush presets folder into this folder. Relaunch Lightroom and now you should be able to use the brush presets you installed.

What if my presets aren’t showing up?

First, make sure that you’ve copied the downloaded presets into the correct Lightroom folder. Go into the “develop presets” folder.

Next, make sure check “store presets with this catalog” is unchecked. If it’s checked, your presets will only be seen in an individual catalog only. Finally, it’s worth noting that if you use multiple catalogs, the presets will not be available.

How to Make Your Own Presets

Once you have realized how beneficial Lightroom presets can be and have tried out a few presets, you should consider making your own preset. Congratulations! You are improving as a photographer! This is the most natural thing to think of once you have been introduced to the concept of presets in Adobe Lightroom.

Making Lightroom presets is surprisingly easy too. Just follow these steps.

Let’s says that you use a bunch of settings every time you open a photo to edit in Lightroom. These could be lens profile correction, white balance adjustment, tonal adjustment using the tone curve, sharpness adjustment so on and so forth.

You want these adjustments to be applied to a photo or a bunch of photos with just one click. You can create a preset and apply these settings to all your photos with a single click whenever you need them.

To create the preset open an image in Lightroom and go to the “develop” module. Apply the changes you want Lightroom to take care of automatically. Once you are happy your next task is to save the settings.

To create a new preset you can either click on the “+” sign on the right of “presets” in the “develop module”. This would open up a dialogue box asking you to name the preset, choose /create a new folder where the preset would be installed and then click on “create”. Your preset is created and should be available under the specific folder you selected/created. Next time,  simply click on the preset with the image opened and the changes will be applied automatically.

It is pertinent to note that even with presets, some amount of fine tuning or manual adjustment is unavoidable. Even the best of presets will not allow you to create a perfect photo just by itself. There are a number of finer adjustments that are necessary such as exposure, sharpness, iris enhancement, skin tone, just to name a few. So, it is imperative that you also know a bit about the various “sliders” in the development module and what their effects are when you slide them left or right.

Presets can be life saver regardless of your level of proficiency as a photographer. Whether you are a busy professional who is already juggling a demanding schedule or you’re an amateur photographer, Lightroom presets can help you save an incredible amount of time and create stunning photos at the same.

The simplest of things can often become tedious and monotonous. For example, you could be stuck with hundreds of RAW images from a family wedding and not know how to edit them before sharing. You could shoot thousands of images on a family trip abroad all in RAW and not know how to process them manually.

The best solution in each of these situations is to use Lightroom. Download a number of Lightroom presets to help quickly transform your RAW captures into JPEG masterpieces. All you need to get started is a camera, Lightroom and a few Cole’s Classroom Lightroom presets.