How to Add Presets to Lightroom

Take a look at how to add Lightroom Presets in 6 easy steps. This step-by-step guide is recommended for Adobe Lightroom CC presets in presets in .xmp vs lrtemplate format, however, in case of any questions, write me and I will help you.

how to add presets to lightroom

How to Add Lightroom Presets

This method works well on the latest Lightroom Classic CC 8.0 version. If you have problems adding Lightroom presets, I suggest you upgrading your software's version.


Step 1. Go to LR Preferences menu.

lightroom presets preferences

Win: Edit > Preferences
Mac: Lightroom > Preferences

Step 2. Tap on the panel, which is called Presets, then you will see appear, namely Show Lightroom Presets Folder, which is marked with a red color. This tab will show where our Presets were saved by default.

Lightroom catalog presets folder

Win: Presets > Show All Other Lightroom Presets
Mac: Presets > Show Lightroom Presets Folder…

Step 3. After clicking the button, you can open the file in which not only the Presets we need are stored, but all the data for Lightroom software. However, you won’t immediately see all the presets, but a folder with the Presets folder. So, open Develop Presets folder.

Lightroom presets folder

Step 4. Opening the Develop Presets folder, you may see another folder called User Presets. Your individual Presets are saved here. Transfer all your presets to it.

Step 5. You’ll have to restart the program, so that all the changes we made will be applied. Without restarting the program, Adobe will not allow downloading new presets.

restart lightroom

Win: Edit > Preferences > Restart Lightroom
Mac: Lightroom > Quit Lightroom

Step 6. Well, now you already know how to add Lightroom presets. All previously loaded presets show up on the left side of the Develop Presets.

presets installing in lightroom cc

Here is a short and detailed video on adding presets to Lightroom.

That's all, guys! So now you know how to add presets to Lightroom in detail. Seems like adding presets is not such a complicated process as you thought at the beginning. In total, you had to copy and drag files from one folder to another.

What’s the Difference Between .xmp and lrtemplate?

Lightroom has been using a proprietary file format with the extension .lrtemplate. It includes information and data about which color adjustments and settings are applied to a photo in this photo editing software. When you make color correction in Lightroom, you can save those adjustments so they can be recalled later on. They are saved into a .lrtemplate file.

A .xmp file is similar in many ways to .lrtemplate files. BUT .xmp files contain different data in the file is structured differently. With the latest update in April 2018, Adobe Co. has moved on from the .lrtemplate file format to the .xmp format. Don’t get upset because all .lrtemplate files still work with Adobe Lightroom 4, 5, 6, and Classic CC. All of our free and premium Lightroom presets come in both .lrtemplate and .xmp format.

FAQ about Adding Lightroom Presets

Being a professional photographer, I’m often asked not only how to import Lightroom presets but a variety of other question from newbies. Here I will answer those ones I receive most often, hoping it will help you understand everything concerning these Lightroom effects.

  •  What are presets?

Shortly, Lightroom presets are filters that combine several different actions saved into 1 file. When you add presets to Lightroom, they instantly change values of whites and exposure, color shades and intensity.

  • What kind of software is Adobe Lightroom?

Adobe offers 3 different versions. Two versions are for PC: Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC and the third one is for smartphones: Lightroom Mobile where you can use Lightroom mobile presets too. The fullest and most powerful is Lightroom Classic CC, widely used by photographers (me too).

  • How to use your Lightroom presets on mobile?

If you are going to work with mobile presets, download Lightroom CC Mobile app. Will it be an iPhone or Android? No matter. I recommend you downloading a free Dropbox app to download presets onto your phone.


If you want to use presets on your smartphone and laptop, you will need any Lightroom version and a laptop/desktop that can run the photo editing program to use them on desktop and you will need an Android or iPhone with Lightroom Mobile installed. If you are subscribed to Adobe Creative Cloud you will not need Dropbox to add your mobile presets as this can be done easily and quickly through synchronization.

  • Mobile presets or desktop + mobile presets?

For those who have a Creative Cloud subscription, is variant is better. You will able to edit photos as on your smartphone before publishing in Instagram and you may edit your photos taken by your DSLR or mirrorless camera.

  • Will presets always work well?

Absolutely no. There are so many variables in photo genre, light, colors, shadows, time of the day/year, location, camera settings, lens, image file (RAW or JPEG), etc. The list is endless. I always choose a preset and customize it according to each photo, especially if it is white balance adjustment.

  • How to add presets to several pics?

At first, choose one preset and apply it to one image. Customize it until you like the result before using on other photos. Then mark these photographs that you want to enhance and press the Sync button (in the bottom) to open a dialog for choosing specific parameters to be synchronized in this case.

  • Do filters on Windows or Mac work in the same way?

There are no differences in their work. You may use all Lightroom presets and brushes both on Mac and Windows.


  • What is the end-result photo formats?


  • The presets don’t work, what should I do?

For those who followed my advice on how to import presets into Lightroom but it didn’t seem to work, don’t worry, there are minor things you might have missed. First, restart the program. Then update the Database. Still didn’t work? Possibly you placed them in the wrong folder so double-check, and while you’re in it, make sure the files are not ZIPed. In most cases, the above-mentioned problems are the cause.

  • How to remove Lr presets?

If you added many Lightroom presets and chose the ones you like, you may delete a few needless options.

Right-click on an effect. There will open a drop-down menu where you can select “Delete”. To cancel the action press Ctrl + Z.

Go to the Lightroom presets location on your PC and delete them.

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If you want to get even more spectacular results in portrait or wedding photography, I advise using our selection of FREEBIES for beginners.

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Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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