How to Install Adobe Lightroom Presets

How to Download and Install Lightroom Presets


Installing Adobe Lightoom Presets

In an earlier post, I explained how to create a custom Lightroom preset that you could use to edit your photos in Lightroom. In addition to creating your own Lightroom presets you can download and install presets from the web into Lightroom or checkout one of our Lightroom preset bundles, so you can use them anytime you like.

Adobe Exchange Lightroom Presets

To begin, you’ll need to locate some presets to use. A good place to start is at Adobe Exchange and search for Lightroom presets. Download a set of presets to your computer. In most cases this requires you to download and save the file to your computer and then you need to unzip its contents. Place the unzipped files in a folder that you can find easily.

Step 2 - Installing Presets

Once you have done this, launch Lightroom and click to open the Develop module. Choose User Presets and, if desired, create a new folder for the presets by selecting New Folder and type the folder name. I like to do this so I can keep my presets separate to other people’s.

Finding your downloaded presets.

Once you have created the new folder, right-click it and click Import. Navigate to where you saved the preset files you downloaded, select them and click Import. The presets will be added to your Lightroom Preset collection. Chances are that one will be applied to your image too! Press Control + Z (Command + Z on the Mac) to undo it.

Renaming the presets folder

You can rename a folder by right clicking it and choose Rename and you can also delete a folder if you decide you don’t like the presets or simply remove individual presets by right clicking the preset and click Delete.

Exporting your presets

You can also share your presets with others. To do this, right-click a preset that you have created and choose Export. It is exported by default with its current name with the extension LRtemplate which is the extension that identifies it as a preset. To share your presets with others you can either send them the LRtemplate file so that they can import it into Lightroom themselves or zip a number of presets into a single file of presets and distribute that.

Even if you do not want to create your own presets, you’ll find that there are plenty of cool presets available on the web that you can download and use, or checkout our preset bundles here.

Read more from our Post Production category

Helen Bradley is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at

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  • Beata May 4, 2012 02:11 pm

    do I need special program do unzipped presets? I can not open them. I downloaded 7zipset up and still can't do it? Any sugestion? thanx:)

  • Eva January 24, 2012 07:26 am

    Never mind ... :P ... I figured it out :) (blush) ... It was really, really basic ...

    Thanks anyway :D

  • Eva January 23, 2012 08:03 am

    I'm a total newbie at Lightroom, and I've been trying to follow this tip, but for some reason ... my presets area seems to be "locked" ... I can't click on any of the presets, nor can I right click and add a folder. Any suggestions? I appreciate your help in advance! :)

  • jogandleap October 1, 2011 11:02 pm

    Wow, I'd always wondered how to do this and within 1 minute of finding your blog I have installed a set of presets from the web. Thank YOU!!!

  • Terri August 6, 2011 04:59 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. I've been creating my own and thought it would be nice to find a few more, but didn't know how to load them.

  • Emmanuel July 8, 2010 10:35 pm

    Once I extract the preset file from zip and import it into Lightroom, am I free to delete the preset file from my computer? or will that delete the preset from Lightroom as well?

  • Software Download February 21, 2010 11:11 pm

    This is best article so far. Thanks.

  • Leo Dj Photography January 22, 2010 10:17 pm

    Hi Helen, I like your preset that you use for the example image (the first image on the top). Is it using the same setting as your previous article "How to create LR presets"?


  • Helen Bradley January 6, 2010 12:57 pm

    @barbara Unfortunately if you are not using Lightroom you cannot download presets. You can, however, download other things to use with Photoshop Elements such as Layer styles, patterns and brush sets. Look for these using a search engine like Google.

  • Barbara January 6, 2010 11:50 am

    I really want to learn how to use presets, but I don't have lightroom, I have photoshop elements 7, and I have no idea how to do this!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you!

  • Claudia Holt November 25, 2009 02:22 am

    Can you do this in 2.5? I can't see the preset button on the left hand side while being in develop mode and a photo on the screen. Thanks so much.

    As you can tell, I am a newbie to Lightroom & am so excited to try your presets.

  • Photographer_X November 5, 2009 11:29 pm

    Thanks everyone, those links have been very helpful for me :)

  • Chasity November 4, 2009 02:36 am

    Can this not be done in Lightroom 1.0? I am running 1.0 and can't get the "user presets" to come up

  • Kevin November 3, 2009 03:22 pm

    A nice collection here:

  • allan October 25, 2009 02:29 pm

    LIGHTROOM 3 BETA is out...

  • Denis October 21, 2009 05:52 pm

    [Off topic]
    Brighton all the way in DPS shoots!
    [/Off topic]

    Interesting topic... I am very tempted of going to adobe lightroom, but I am still very happy with Capture Nx

  • Imran October 21, 2009 03:25 pm

    Thanks for a great tutorial.

    I'd also like to share ... where you could get excellent presets:

  • Dr PJ Venter October 21, 2009 04:11 am

    Great tutorial, thx Mandi, I agree. Some other if you don't mind.

    Also not associated, just sharing.

  • Mandi October 21, 2009 01:46 am

    the timing on this post couldn't be better! I was just experimenting with downloading and installing LR presets yesterday. I found a great site for free presets:

    (I am not associated with them in anyway; just though the link might be helpful to others!)

  • Sarah October 21, 2009 01:30 am

    Great timing with this post! I was just thinking about this today and am going to go download some free presets!!