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How to Install Lightroom Presets 2018 – Lenscraft Tutorials

October 26, 2019

Hello. I’m Robin Whalley. Welcome to Lenscraft. In todays video I want to cover how to install Lightroom Presets to Lightroom Classic CC. I’m also going to explain why the most popular method has stopped working. Introduction music The first thing we need to do is look at the two methods you can use to install your Lightroom Presets. Method 1 is very simple but it can be a little repetitive if you have a lot of presets. Start by switching to the Develop module in Lightroom. On the left-hand side of the interface you can see the Presets panel. At the top of the Presets Panel there’s a small plus icon. When you click this a small menu’s displayed. Select the option to import your Presets. This displays a dialog where you can find the folder containing the Presets you want to import. I have a few Preset folders in here. Notice that you need to click on the actual Preset file before the Import button is enabled. I’m now going to select all the Presets in this folder by clicking the first one and then clicking the last in the list whilst holding down shift on my keyboard. Now I can click import and the Presets will appear in the Presets list. Notice Lightroom’s placed the Presets into a folder called “User Presets”. If it doesn’t find this folder for some reason, it will recreate it. You can also right click on the folder to rename it. Let’s now repeat the exercise with another set of Presets. Notice Lightroom’s created another User Presets folder and that this has the new Presets in it. This means you need to rename the folder each time you complete an import or all the Presets are going to end up in this single folder. The other method you could use to install Lightroom Presets gets around this problem. I’m going to refer to this as method 2 and it appears to be the most commonly used and recommended approach. First you need to find the folder where the Presets are. You can do this by opening the Lightroom Preferences and selecting the Presets tab. Here you will see a button that says Show Lightroom Presets Folder. The folder that opens contains a lot of other folders and one of these is the Develop Presets. I’m going to delete this old list of Presets first. You can now copy your Presets folder into this location. I’m going to copy this Polaroid set of Presets here. And I’m going to paste it into that folder. Once you’ve copied everything you can close down and restart Lightroom. You should then see the new Presets you’ve copied in the Presets list. Except since version 7.3 of Lightroom, this doesn’t work anymore. If you’re using a version of Lightroom before 7.3, either either of the two methods I’ve just shown will work. If you’re using 7.3 or later you can only use method 1 . Let’s look at why method 2 has stopped working. The first thing is that Adobe changed the format for Lightroom Presets. They used to be in a file that was called .lrpreset. Those are the old style Presets but since version 7.3 they’ve moved to something called an XMP file. As part of the upgrade process Lightroom 7.3 when you install it will translate any old format files to the new XMP format. That translation also happens when you import the Presets as we did in method 1. The next change Adobe made was to move the Presets location. It’s now found in a shared area called CameraRAW. As you’ve seen the button in the Lightroom Preferences doesn’t take you to the right location now. If you’re using the Windows version of Lightroom you will actually see two buttons. Adobe added a new button for the Presets in Windows but for some reason they forgot to include it in the Mac. If you want to find the new location of the Presets you can right click on a Preset in the Preset window. and you can pick the option Show in Finder or if you’re using a Windows PC Show in Explorer. Here you can see the new file format. But the changes don’t end there. If you were to try to manually copy Presets into this location using the method 2 just discussed Lightroom still wont find them. That’s because Lightroom is no longer reading the folder structures in this area to display them in the Presets list. Instead it places all the Presets into a single User Presets folder. It then keeps track of which Presets you’ve installed and their folder location using these index files. Editing these manually isn’t really an option. So, if you’re using Lightroom version 7.3 or later, don’t bother with method 2, it won’t work. As method 2 is probably the most popular and recommended method, I suspect it’s starting to catch people out. It certainly had me scratching my head for about a good hour. I hope you find this helpful. If you did, hit the like button and please share it with others who might get caught out. I’m Robin Whalley. You’ve been watching Lenscraft. I’ll see you next week for another video. Ending music


  • Reply R Garlin September 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Very helpful RW – I hadn't imported any new presets for a while, so hadn't struck this anomaly yet. I will be importing some in the next few weeks – so you saved me some confusion!Thank you as ever!

  • Reply John Bianchi September 14, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Your books and videos are always very informative and easy to follow. Thanks for all the work you've done to help us better understand the software we use. If I may bring up one point about your presentations, I find the clicking noise irritating. It may just be me that has an issue with the clicking sound, but I thought I'd pass it along. Thanks again.

  • Reply asnowrose September 19, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Thank you so much!!! I've spent hours trying to get presets in using other peoples instructions and either they didn't show up in the menu or they were all in one huge folder. Thank you, you are a life saver!!!

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