How to Install Lightroom Presets… a Step-by-Step Guide

how to install lightroom presets

A special moment captured,
after their wedding,
in downtown Detroit, MI.

In this Lightroom tutorial, you’ll learn how to install Lightroom presets, the easy way.

You have 2 options, when it comes to installing your Lightroom presets. More on that in a minute…

First, let’s start off with the quick and easy instructions for installing Develop presets.

How to install Lightroom presets for Windows & Mac

1. Open Lightroom

2. For Windows users; Go to the Edit menu > Preferences > Presets /// For Mac users; Go to the Lightroom menu > Preferences > Presets

3. Click on the tab titled “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”

4. Double click on Lightroom

5. Double click on Develop Presets

6. Copy the folder of presets you’d like to install and place into the Develop Presets folder.

**If the presets are not in a folder, I recommend creating one (to store them in) to keep them organized.

7. Restart Lightroom 

Detailed Install Instructions for 3 kinds of Lightroom Presets

(Develop presets, Local Adjustment Presets & Collage Template Presets)

Lightroom creative preset

This photo was edited with my “Blueberry” Lightroom preset,
from the Spring Collection

How to Install Lightroom Develop Presets…

First, these instructions will only work with Develop presets. If you purchased any of our Lightroom brushes (a.k.a – Local Adjustment Presets), then click here to learn how to install those and here to install our Collage Templates.

When installing Lightroom presets (Develop presets), you have 2 options.

1. Install from within Lightroom

2. Install by adding your folder of Lightroom presets into the correct location

Both options work and are easy to do. It’s just personal preference.

Prefer to watch a video tutorial on how to install Lightroom presets? Then, click here for my 3-minute, quick install, video – from my Lightroom Made Easy course.

Also, did you get our Free Lightroom presets? If not, go download them now to use while you’re learning how to install.

O.k, now that you have our free Lightroom presets the first thing you need to do is unzip the file. Depending on your computer and operating system there are a couple of ways to unzip.

The easiest is to just double clicking on the file.

If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to download a free unzipping software. My favorite, for both MAC & PC is –

Download and install. Then follow the instructions for unzipping.

Ready to install your Lightroom presets? Here we go!

Once you’re in Lightroom, head on over to the Develop module (easy peasy shortcut – press the letter “D” on your keyboard).

O.k., now we are going to install your presets into Lightroom.  As mentioned before, you have two options for installing your presets. The first option is my personal favorite. Here are the step-by-step instructions…

Option 1

For this option you will access the Lightroom Preferences dialogue box…

1. Mac users will access the Preferences section by going to the menu, click on Lightroom and select Preferences.  Windows users need to click on “Edit” and then you’ll click on Preferences.


Lightroom Preferences…
Select the “presets” tab and
click on the highlighted button.

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

3. Navigate to the middle and find a button labeled “Show Lightroom Presets Folder” and click on it.

4. Your operating system will now display a new window and should have the “Lightroom” folder highlighted.   Open the folder.

5. Locate and open the folder “Develop Presets Folder”.  Your Lightroom presets reside within this folder.

6. Next, copy the folder of presets you downloaded and unzipped.  Then, paste into the “Develop Presets Folder”.

7. To finish the installation you’ll need to restart Lightroom. 8. After restarting Lightroom, you’ll find your new presets in the left panel. Locate the name of the folder that you copied to find the presets. Click on the little arrow icon, to the left of the folder name, to show all the presets.

Option 2

In this option, you’ll learn how to add your presets directly into Lightroom.

If you wish to stay organized (which I highly recommend) you’ll want to create a folder that has a name that corresponds with your presets. This just requires an extra step and I will explain below (this method works for both PC and Mac users).

preset panel

Right click, in the left panel and select “New Folder”

1. Navigate to the left panel within the Develop module.  Locate the Presets inner panel and click on the little triangle next to the word “Presets”.  Doing this will open (click again to close) the list of Lightroom presets currently installed.

2. Now, click on the “+” icon to the right of the word “Presets”.  This will give you a new dialogue box for creating a new folder for your presets.  

Locate the drop down menu (second option) called “Folder” and give your folder a name, then click the “Create” button. Our presets come in folders that start with our company name; Parker Photographic – “name of preset collection”.

This will allow you to easily differentiate our Lightroom presets from others.  Nothing like being organized and keeping things separate (all part of having a productive workflow)!

3. Next, right-click on your new folder and select “Import”.  Navigate to the folder of presets you downloaded and select all presets within. Then click on “Import”.

4. Done!     

How To Install Lightroom Presets, the Video…

   Video tutorial from our Lightroom Made Easy Course…    

How to Install Lightroom Brushes

(a.k.a Local Adjustment Presets)

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

Lightroom Brush Presets


Photo provided by
Ashlee Nicole Photography
27 Lightroom brushes were
used for this final edit

Unlike the previous install instructions, for Develop presets, Local Adjustment brushes can not be installed 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!

Quick tip, install instructions are similar to Option 1 above. However, you’ll need to copy just the preset files and not the folder of presets.

1. Before installing, did your Lightroom brush presets come in a zipped file? If so, unzip first.

Not sure how? Then click here to read the previous instructions.

2. Now, navigate to Lightroom and access your Preferences.

For Mac users, go to (the menu), and select Lightroom and then select Preferences

For P.C. users, go to “Edit” and then select 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 Lightroom Presets Folder” and click on it.  If you don’t see it, make sure you are in the “Presets” tab (click on the tab at the top).  A new window will pop-up and will be showing you some folders with the “Lightroom” folder pre-selected.

5. TIP: choose the wrong folder and you’ll get an error…

Just like Option 1 (for Develop presets), open the “Lightroom folder. Then, locate the following folder; “Local Adjustment Presets” folder and open.

6. Now, copy the Lightroom brush (not the folder itself) presets and paste into the “Local Adjustment Presets” folder.

7. One final step to complete the install.  You must restart Lightroom.  Go ahead and restart. Done!

Congratulations!  You’ve now successfully installed your Lightroom brushes.  Uh, Oh!  Did the install not go smoothly for you?  The most common errors are; 1. not unzipping the file, 2. installing into the wrong folder.  Check out our 2-minute install video, below, if you still need help.

Did you find this guide helpful?  If so, please share with your friends!  They will thank you for it.  🙂

Before I forget…  If your hard drive crashes and you lose all of your presets then what happens?

Most likely you’ll have to re-purchase (if it was from us, contact us and we’ll resend the files for free – the first time).

What if you made your own?

Ooops.  They are gone forever.  Unless you have a backup.

Find out how to easily back them up in our definitive guide to a Data Management Workflow, it’s free.

How To Install Lightroom Local Adjustment Brushes, the Video…

Video tutorial from our Lightroom Made Easy Course… 

How to Install Lightroom Templates

Did you download our free Lightroom Templates?  Need help installing? No problem. Check out our easy to follow “How to Install Lightroom Templates” instructions below.  Or check out our 3-minute install video at the bottom of this post.

Lightroom print preset

Did you know, you can create
photo collages in Lightroom?
Yes, you can!

Step-by-Step instructions for installing your Lightroom templates…

First things first;  Unzip your download.  Depending on where you purchased (hopefully from us) you will now have a folder of templates or you may have multiple folders. Our Lightroom templates are bundled into multiple folders.  We offer different sized Lightroom templates for print (8×10, 10×10, etc.) and for different marketing purposes (Facebook covers, blog collages, Pinterest collages, etc.). Plus, it helps you stay organized and productive!

2. Now, open the unzipped folder, select all the folders within and copy to your clipboard

3. If Lightroom isn’t already open, then go ahead and do so now.  We need to access the Lightroom Preferences to properly install the LR templates.  If you’re on a Mac, go to your menu, select “Lightroom” and then click on Preferences.  If you’re on a PC, then go to your menu and click on “Edit”, then click on Preferences.

4. Make sure you click on the “Presets” tab at the top.  Also, do not check the box “Store presets with this catalog” (uncheck it if it is – otherwise you will not be taken to the correct folder).  Then click on the button labeled “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”.  This will open a new window and will have the “Lightroom” folder highlighted. Almost there!

5. Open the “Lightroom” folder and look for a folder called;  “Print Templates”. If you do not see this folder, then create a new folder and name it “Print Templates”.

6. Paste your LR template folders (from step 2) into the “Print Templates” folder.

7. To finish the installation, of your Lightroom templates, you’ll need to restart Lightroom.  Ok. Go ahead and restart – and I’ll wait.  🙂

8. Enjoy! Oh. One more thing. Do you know how to access and use your Lightroom Templates? No worries.  I’ve got you covered. Check out the Quick and Easy Guide to using Lightroom Templates, below. Oh, and there’s a video too! 

How To Install Lightroom Templates & Tips For Using, the Video…

Video tutorial from our Lightroom Made Easy Course…

How To Use Your Lightroom Templates

Now that you have your Lightroom templates installed I’d like to share some tips for using them. Also, a quick start video on using Lightroom templates is located here.

Print Module

Access your templates in
the left panel of the
Print Module.

In this tutorial we’ll cover adding your photos, re-position for composition, adding your logo and more.

First, you need to access the “Print” module to begin using the templates.  Click on “Print” in the upper right corner of the Lightroom interface (if not already there). 

Your Lightroom templates are located in the left panel.  To see a list of templates (if they were added into Lightroom by folders) click on the little arrow next to the name of the “folder”.  You should now have a list of all templates for that folder and can now select any to begin using.

How to Add Your Photos

So, first things first, adding your photos…

Adding your photos into your Lightroom templates is very easy.  Make sure you can see your photos in the thumbnails pane at the bottom of the LR interface.  If you can’t see it, click on the little arrow at the bottom to reveal a thumbnail of your photos.

Now, select any photo and (left mouse click) drag onto the template.  Release your mouse button over the location, of the collage, and it will be added to that area.

To replace the photo, just drag another photo on top it.  Go ahead and add photos to the rest of the template.

How to Re-Position Photos for Composition

Depending on the photo and template, you may need or want to re-position for better composition (especially if little “Jonny’s” face is cropped off).

If you’re on a Mac; hold down the “command” key and on a PC hold down the “alt” key.

You’ll then have a little hand icon appear over the image you want to re-position (select the photo and hover mouse over top to see icon).

While holding the “command” key (or “alt” key), left click on the picture and drag.  If you have a horizontal photo you will only be able to move left or right and a vertical photo only up or down.

That is the extent of being able to re-position for composition.  If you want to zoom in on the photo you’ll need to crop it in the Develop module. 

How to Add Your Logo 

Depending on the Lightroom template, you may wish to add your logo.

For example, the Facebook cover templates and the Pinterest templates have an “identity plate” already added.  You just need to select it and add your logo.  Check it out…

First, we need to install your logo so the “identity plate” can access it.

In the right panel (of the Print module or others), locate the “Page” section and make sure the “Identity Plate” is checked.  Within the rectangle (just below the checkbox), click on the little arrow (lower right of the rectangle) and select “Edit”.

You’ll be presented with the “Identity Plate Editor” dialogue box.

Select the 2nd option; “Use a Graphical Identity Plate”.

Now select the button; “Locate File” and find your logo.  Now click on “Save As” (located in the drop-down menu that says “Custom” in the image below.  Yours may say something other than “Custom”) to easily reference the logo later on.

Hurray!  You’ve now installed your logo for easy access now and in the future.

Now you can add your logo by clicking on the little arrow (in the rectangle) and selecting the name of your logo.  Done!

You can also re-size your logo by adjusting the “Scale” slider, in the same panel. Or click on your logo, to select it, and then click/drag a corner to resize.

To move your logo into a new position, click on it, and drag to a new location.

How To Save Your Templates

Whenever you add new photos to a Lightroom template they will disappear when you select a new template.

In that case, you’ll need to save them before working on a new template or leaving the “Print” module (i.e.; export the finished layout). 

Let’s find out how… 

To save, just click on the “Print to File” button in the bottom of the right panel.  Choose a name, location and save. 

That’s it! You can now work on the next photo collage. 

Hope you found these Lightroom tutorials easy to follow and useful. Let me know your thoughts or if you have any questions, in the comments below. 


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