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 Develop Module, then find the presets panel on left side of screen.
  3. Click the + icon in upper right of presets panel and select “import presets”
  4. Find the preset files on your computer & select the presets you’d like to install (either .lrtemplate or .xmp files work here)
  5. Click import
  6. Exit and relaunch Lightroom.
  7. Go into “Develop Module”.
  8. Click “Presets” Panel on left side of screen
  9. The presets you just imported will be under the “User Presets” menu.
  10. If you want to change the name from User Presets to something else, just right click and select “rename”.

There are Actually 3 Different Ways to Import & Install Lightroom Presets – Here’s a Video Showing All 3 Methods!

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 popular 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.

Lightroom can be considered 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 presets in 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 since they typically have a wide variety of wedding photos to sort through after an event.

Another major advantage of using Adobe Lightroom is you can use presets. Presets are a bundle of adjustments that are built into the template. When 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 jiffy.

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 images 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.


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. Try the Lightroom presets folder instead.

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 the 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 say 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, reduce color to black and white, 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 or 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 enhancements, and skin tones, just to name a few. 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. Without the right wedding lightroom presets, you could be stuck with hundreds of RAW files 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.