How to Install Lightroom Brushes on Mac & Windows

By Tata Rossi 9 days ago, Lightroom Tips

To make editing easier in Adobe Lightroom, you can try the Adjustment Brush Tool. With these brushes, you can easily work on certain parts of your image, apply the dodge and burn effect, improve exposure of skies and perform other edits.

When adding brushes to the program, you may encounter some difficulties, so I wrote this step-by-step guide to help you clarify how to install Lightroom Brushes.

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STEP 1. Unzip the Archive

Once you have purchased the software, you can download it to your PC in .zip format. The procedure is similar to installing Lightroom presets on Mac & Windows. Place a .zip file in a convenient location on your computer and then right-click to open it. Also, you can use any program you like to open .zip files.

STEP 2. Launch Lightroom

If you don’t have the program already, you can get Lightroom for free. Otherwise, launch Lightroom, and do the following:

how to install lightroom brushes edit preferences

On PC: Find Edit at the top of the screen next to File and click. Then, in the drop-down menu, find Preferences and click.

how to install lightroom brushes preferences

On Mac: Open Lightroom and click on Lightroom at the top of the screen to the left of File. Then, in the drop-down menu, find Preferences and click.

STEP 3: Navigate to Preferences

how to install lightroom brushes show presets folder

When the “Settings” window appears, make sure that you are on the “Presets” tab, it’s the second tab. If you are using one of the latest Lightroom versions, find “Show All Other Lightroom Presets” and click.

how to install lightroom brushes show presets folder

If you are using the Mac version of Lightroom, click “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”.

STEP 4: Find the Local Adjustments Folder

how to install lightroom brushes local adjustments folder

You will see a window in which you need to double-click on the “Lightroom” folder and choose the “Local Adjustment Presets” folder in it. If you haven’t installed any presets, then there will only be a “User Presets” folder. Otherwise, your previously installed presets will be displayed here.

STEP 5: Copy and Paste the Brushes

how to install lightroom brushes copy and paste

Leave the current window open. Go back to the place where you have saved the folder with the Lightroom brushes and copy (Cmd+C/Ctrl+C) all files with the specified tools (.lrtemplate) inside the folder. Click on the first preset file, hold down the Shift key and click on the last preset to select all files.

Insert (Cmd+V/Ctrl+V) .lrtemplate files in the folder called “Local Adjustment Presets”.

STEP 7: Restart the Program

how to install lightroom brushes mac restart

To see the brush settings in the brush palette, you need to restart Lightroom. On Mac: go to Lightroom > Quit Lightroom, or use the hotkeys Cmd+Q.

how to install lightroom brushes pc restart

On PC: open the File menu and navigate to the “Exit” option. Alternatively, use the shortcut Ctrl+Q.

Pro tip

If you don’t need a certain brush anymore, open the brush library and delete the one you do not need by clicking on Delete preset. Adjust the size and stiffness of the effect and apply it to the photo. Done!

STEP 8: Start Using the Brushes

how to install lightroom brushes effect

To try out the new brushes, you need to re-open the software and find Adjustment Brush, Radial Filter, or Graduated Filter. Select the brush you like from the drop-down menu next to “Effect”.

Then you need to set the size, density of the brush, and other parameters. Start to edit photos in Lightroom from the part where you need to apply the effect.

Everything is ready, the brushes are working, and the question of how to add brushes to Lightroom will no longer seem difficult to you. Done! In just a few short steps, you have successfully installed your Lightroom Brushes .

5 Common Installing Issues and How to Fix Them

Very often beginners face the problem of brushes not working or being absent from the library. The common reason is missing one or more steps when they install Lightroom brushes. I’ve made a list of issues you may encounter and how to solve them.

1. You Can’t Extract Brushes

Often, beginners simply download brushes and place them in the Lightroom folder system instead of extracting the necessary files from them. This is especially common among those who don’t have a free RAR extractor installed. In this case, unsupported .rar files look like RAW images to users who don’t have special knowledge. Never forget that extracting files is a must before installing them.

2. Brushes Are Outdated

Remember, that Adobe has introduced a lot of updates since the original Lightroom version. For example, Fill Light is no longer a slider, and the old brushes that worked in LR 2-3 - will not work in Lightroom CC. So keep up with Lightroom versions and make sure to download the latest Lightroom version with all updates.

3. Files are Encrypted

how to install lightroom brushes encryption

Some of the free Lightroom adjustment brushes you can download are encrypted, and as a result, you will not be able to use them even after correctly loading them into Lightroom. All you need to do to fix this is right-click on the brush file and select “Properties”. Go to the “Advanced” section and uncheck content encryption to protect data.

4. Can’t Download Brushes

If you can’t download Lightroom brush presets, the first thing you should do is try another Internet browser.

Another way to fix this is not to open the file after downloading. Just click Save, then close the dialog window. Next, open the browser and find your ZIP file. It is often located in the Downloads folder. Extract the file according to the instructions.

If right-clicking on the file does not offer to extract files, then you may need to download the free Zip program. I recommend trying WinRAR.

5. Can’t Find Brushes in Lightroom

how to install lightroom brushes preferences catalog

If you can’t find brushes in Lr Develop menu, try to close Lightroom and restart it. Also, check twice to see if you’ve copied the contents of the folder you had downloaded to the “Local Adjustments” and not to the “Develop” folder.

Another way you can fix this, is making sure that the “Store Presets in the Catalog” option is unchecked. This option will appear to the left of “Show Lightroom Presets Folder” in the settings menu.

Make sure you have extracted a zip file. If you simply double-click on the folder (on PC), you will have access to the tools. However, they will not be automatically extracted, copied, pasted and displayed in Lightroom correctly.


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