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How to Install and Apply Presets to Photos in Lightroom Classic — Instant Image Filters

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Read Time: 3 mins

Using presets in Adobe Lightroom can help you unlock a whole new universe in your editing workflow. A preset can save you time by applying commonly used edits right from the get go, or help you achieve a specific stylized look with your photographs.

Maybe you bought a preset pack from your favourite photographer on Instagram, downloaded from the authors on Envato Elements, or perhaps a friend wanted to share with you the presets that they developed themselves. In this tutorial you'll see just how easy it is to install a preset in Lightroom Classic, and be on your way to achieving the look and feel you're after in your images.

How to Install Presets in Lightroom Classic

The Basics

Lightroom Classic allows you to easily and efficiently edit your photographs. It's simple to use, with numerous sliders that you can intuitively drag around to play with to see how different adjustments affect your photographs. It does come ready with a few presets installed for some basic adjustments, but that's just the beginning of the road! You can make your own presets, and it can be fun to try out another photographer editing styles.

OK, download your new presets and we'll install them.

1. Open Lightroom

First step, open up Adobe Lightroom Classic and you'll find yourself in the Library tab of the app.

Default view in Lightroom Library panelDefault view in Lightroom Library panelDefault view in Lightroom Library panel
Lightroom's Library panel

2. Open Lightroom's Preset Preferences

At the top left hand corner of your screen you'll see it says Lightroom Classic. Click that, and it will reveal a drop down menu. Select Preferences, and select the Presets tab in the Preferences window.

Open LIghtroom preferencesOpen LIghtroom preferencesOpen LIghtroom preferences
Open up the Preferences

3. Find Your Presets

Open a finder window to locate your presets. Maybe they're in your downloads folder, or maybe you saved them on your desktop? Just track them down and make sure you know where they are.

Two Types of Presets

Here's the one part that requires a specific detail. There are two types of presets — one where the file format is .xmp and one where the file format is .lrtemplate. Identifying the correct file extension here is important, as they'll be installed in a specific location based on their file type.

Click to find your preset foldersClick to find your preset foldersClick to find your preset folders

4. Move Your Presets to the Correct Installation Folder

For .xmp Type Presets

In your Lightroom Preferences window, click Show Lightroom Develop Presets and then click the Settings folder. This is where your .xmp presets should live. Using the finder, simply drag and drop your preset(s) into this folder.

For .lrtemplate Type Presets

In your Lightroom Preferences window, click Show All Other Lightroom Presets and then click the Lightroom folder, followed by the Develop Presets folder. Simply drag and drop your preset(s) into this folder.

Drag your presets into the folderDrag your presets into the folderDrag your presets into the folder
Drop in your preset files

5. Restart Lightroom

Once you've dragged your preset(s) into the corresponding folders in Step 4, just simply quit Lightroom, and then restart the program. 

6. Apply your Preset(s)

Once you re-open Lightroom, click over to the Develop module of the program. On the left hand side of the screen you'll see Presets. If you scroll down to the bottom of this section there will be a group named User Presets. Open that, and voila!

Your preset(s) will be there and ready to use.

Find your presets in LightroomFind your presets in LightroomFind your presets in Lightroom
Find your presets in the Develop panel

Keep Learning About Lightroom

Now you're ready to use your new presets. Thanks for reading! Keep learning about Adobe Lightroom with these free tutorials:

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