How to Install Lightroom Presets In Under 60 Seconds 1

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There are two main file types for Lightroom presets.  The one you’ll use to install will depend on your version of Lightroom.

The top row shows Lightroom presets in the “lrtemplates” file format.

The second-row shows presets in the XMP file format.

The third type is not a preset itself.  Instead, it’s a file that has been compressed with multiple files into one: a zipped file. The third row consists of a zipped file.

Wouldn’t it be nice to install Lightroom presets in 60 seconds or less? It’s possible.

Just one problem.

You first need to know what kind of Lightroom preset you have, the file type it came in, and which version of Lightroom you’re using!

Why?

  • There are 3 different file formats that can be used during installation: lrtemplate, XMP, and zipped files
  • Plus, there are 2 different kinds of Lightroom presets: Develop, and Local Adjustment (brushes).
  • And, Lightroom has 5 different ways to install presets based on the version: Lightroom Classic 4 – 7, Lightroom Classic 7+ (2017, 2018, 2019, etc.), Lightroom Classic CC Desktop + Mobile, Lightroom 4, 5, & 6.

Once you know you’re version, I’ll show you how to install Lightroom presets in under 60 seconds!

If you need help finding your version of Lightroom, post a comment below.

Oh, and you need to know the type of presets you want to install. Develop presets are the most common.

So, we’ll start with them first. Then, I’ll show you how to install Local Adjustment presets.

Ready? Let’s do it… 

How to Install Lightroom Presets In Under 60 Seconds 2

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How to Install Lightroom Presets In Under 60 Seconds 3
How to Install Lightroom Presets In Under 60 Seconds 4

How To Install Lightroom Presets for Lightroom Classic CC 2017+

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XMP File Type + Zipped

  1. First, download some free retro Lightroom presets (no email required)
  2. Open Lightroom and go to the Develop Module.
  3. Click on the “Plus” icon next to the word Presets (see image), and select “Import Presets.”
  4. Navigate to the file you downloaded, select, and click the “Import” button.
  5. Presto! You’re new, free; Lightroom Develop presets are installed.

XMP or lrtemplate File Type + Unzipped

  1. First, navigate to Lightroom’s preferences.
    On a Mac, go to your menu under “Lightroom” and select “Preferences.”
    On a PC, go to your menu under “Edit” and select “Preferences.”
  2. A new window, named Preferences, will now be visible. Click on the “Presets” tab and click on the button labeled “Show Lightroom Develop Presets.”
  3. Double click on the “Settings” folder. Copy the folder of presets you downloaded (and unzipped). Then, paste into the Settings folder.
  4. Quit and restart Lightroom. Once Lightroom restarts, you should see your new presets in the left panel. If not, check the troubleshooting guide below.

 

How To Install Lightroom Presets for Lightroom CC (Cloud Version)

For the Desktop App

  1. First, open the editing panel by clicking on the “edit” icon at the top right (step 1).
  2. Click on the “Preset” button, bottom right of the interface (step 2).
  3. In the new panel, click on the three dots and select “Import Presets.”
  4. Navigate to the file of free presets you downloaded (link above) and click the “Import” button.​​​​​​​
  5. Say “Abracadabra,” and your Lightroom presets are installed!

For the Mobile App​​​​​​​
Full instructions (no computer required) coming soon.

How To Install Lightroom Presets for Lightroom 4 – 6 (including “2016” and older)

lrtemplate File Type + Unzipped

  1. First, navigate to Lightroom’s preferences.
  2. On a Mac, go to your menu under “Lightroom” and select “Preferences.”
  3. On a PC, go to your menu under “Edit” and select “Preferences.”
  4. A new window, named Preferences, will now be visible. Click on the “Presets” tab and click on the button labeled “Show Lightroom Develop Presets.”
  5. Double click on the “Settings” folder. Copy the folder of presets you downloaded (and unzipped). Then, paste into the Settings folder.
  6. Quit and restart Lightroom. Once Lightroom restarts, you should see your new presets in the left panel. If not, check the troubleshooting guide below.

How To Install Lightroom Presets for Lightroom 4, 5, & 6

Click on the “Preset” button, bottom right of the interface.
In the new panel, click on the three dots and select “Import Presets.”
Navigate to the file of free presets you downloaded (link above) and click the “Import” button.
Abracadabra and your Lightroom presets are installed!

Lightroom Presets Installation Troubleshooting Guide​​​​​​​

  • If you do not see the presets (in the left panel) after installation try restarting Lightroom
  • If you do not see the individual list of presets, then, they have been grouped together (like a folder). To see them, click on the little triangle next to the name of the preset collection.
  • If you wish to import your presets, do not “unzip” the file you downloaded. If the file is auto unzipped after downloading: locate the folder and re-zip (right-click on it and select the “zip” option).
  • If you still can’t see your presets, and you manually copied the files into a folder, make sure you put the files into the correct folder. Then, restart Lightroom.
  • Make sure you do NOT check “Store Presets With Catalog.” This will store the Lightroom presets for your currently open catalog. Any other Lightroom catalogs will not have access to the presets you installed.
How to Install Local Adjustment Presets in Lightroom – AKA Brushes

This is our second installment for installing Lightroom presets. Why so many? Most photographers are not aware that there is more than 1 kind of Lightroom presets, and each has its own folder for installation.

Unlike the previous install instructions, for Develop presets, Local Adjustment brushes can not be imported directly in Lightroom.

Plus, you can not organize them into folders. “Boooo, Adobe Lightroom”! This is one of my pet peeves with Lightroom and can’t wait for this option to be added.
Ready to get started? Let’s do this!

1. Before installing, did your Lightroom brush presets come in a zipped file? If so, unzip first. In most cases, you can unzip a file by double-clicking on it. If that doesn’t work, you can use free “unzipping” software, like Winzip.

2. Next, navigate to Lightroom and access your Preferences.
For Mac users, go to (the menu), and select Lightroom and then select Preferences
For PC users, go to “Edit” and then choose Preferences

3. The Lightroom Preferences dialogue box should now be visible. Locate the tab at the top called “Presets” and select it.

4. Locate the button; “Show All Other Lightroom Presets” and click on it.

5. Double click on the “Lightroom” folder. Then, go into the “Local Adjustment Presets” folder.

6. Copy the preset files (not the folder itself, but the actual preset files) you downloaded and paste into the “Local Adjustment Presets” folder.

7. One final step to complete the install… quit and restart Lightroom. Done!

Congratulations! You’ve now successfully installed your Lightroom brushes. But do you see them? If you’re looking in the left panel, you’re in the wrong place. Here’s how to find your Brush presets…

Select your Adjustment Brush tool (in the right panel).
Click on the word to the right of “Effect.”
You should now see a menu of brushes. Some are free brushes provided by Adobe (at the top). You’re newly installed brushes are below those.

Now What?

If you have any questions about installing presets or need help troubleshooting, please leave a comment below.

Continue your Lightroom journey with the following tips on using Lightroom presets and more.