How to Install Lightroom Presets (October 2018) – Step-by Step Guide

For years, the process of installing presets in Lightroom was simple and straightforward. All you had to do was place the preset files into the right folder so that Lightroom could find them.

But, in April 2018, Adobe changing the format of presets in Lightroom which created a havoc in the photography community.

They moved away from the original .lrtemplate to a new .xmp format. Why? The reasoning behind the change was to conform the presets in Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, Photoshop ACR, and Lightroom Mobile to allow the presets to be synchronized between the applications through the cloud. In theory, the move appeared logical, but since Adobe butchered the execution, it caused an unnecessary headache for many Lightroom users.

The good news is that Adobe fixed most of the bugs and annoyances related to preset management in the summer of 2018. Now, we have a clearer picture of how to install and manage presets.

How to Install Presets in Lightroom Classic CC

If you are an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber and you have the latest version of Lightroom, the process of installing presets cannot be any easier. We finally have the option to install Lightroom presets from a zipped archive.

This means that when you download any of the Lightroom presets from my site (free collection or paid products), you do not have to unzip them. You can install them directly into Lightroom in one single step.

1. In Lightroom, go to the Develop Module and locate the Presets Panel on the left side.

2. Click the “+” Icon on the right side of the panel and select the Import Presets option.

 

3. Navigate to the location on your computer where you saved the zipped file with the presets, select it and click the Import button.

You are done. Lightroom locates the presets in the new .XMP format, installs them, and ignores the rest of the files.

Please note, this method only works if you are installing presets in the new .XMP format. If you are trying to install the preset in the legacy .lrtemplate format, you have to manually place the presets into the Develop Setting folder inside the Lightroom installation.

The good news is that all my presets come in both formats and you can use the method outlined above without worrying about the format issue.

In case anyone is trying to install legacy presets to the latest version of Lightroom Classic, please follow the steps outlined below.

How to Install Legacy Presets (.lrtemplate format) in the Latest Version of Lightroom Classic CC

Download the presets and unzip them.

1. Download the presets, unzip them. and remember the location of the files on your computer.

Now you should see two folders that contain presets files:

2. Start Lightroom and from the top main menu select Edit > Preferences…

If you use Mac you will find the Preferences option under the Lightroom menu.

3. Select the Presets tab inside of the Preferences screen.

4. Make sure the Store presets with the catalog is unchecked

5. Click on the button titled, Show All Other Lightroom Presets.

5. Double click on Lightroom folder.

6. Locate Develop Presets folder and open it.

7. Copy the contents of the archive, the ones you unzipped (extracted) in step 1.

8. Restart Lightroom

Since Lightroom Classic CC does not support the .lrtemplate format, it converts all .lrtemplate presets to the latest .XMP format and automatically copies them to the appropriate folder. The original .lrtemplate presets are kept in the legacy Develop Preset folder. It is safe to delete them if you wish.

 

How to Install Presets in Lightroom 4, 5, 6 or Lightroom Classic Prior to the 7.3 Version

If you are using a legacy version of Lightroom, you absolutely must use presets in the .lrtemplate format. The new .XMP format is not backward compatible.

Use the following installation steps:

1. After you downloaded Lightroom Preset Collection archive you need to unzip (extract) it.

2. Start Lightroom and from the top main menu select Edit > Preferences…

If you use Mac you will find the Preferences option under the Lightroom menu.

3. Select the Presets tab inside of the Preferences screen.

4. Click on the button titled, Show Lightroom Presets Folder…

 

5. Double click on Lightroom folder.

6. Locate Develop Presets folder and open it.

7. Copy the contents of the archive, the ones you unzipped (extracted) in step 1.

8. Restart Lightroom

  • Helder Pinto says:

    Thanks!

  • Chris Smith says:

    File corruption in LRTemp files. Action won’t extract necessary files. Please advise.

  • Chris Smith says:

    There must have been an issue with my initial download. I downloaded the files again and they work fine. In fact, I love them. Thanks for making them available, as well as providing clear instructions. I’m looking forward to experimenting with them.

  • Having a couple of issues. Preferences are under File, not Edit in my version. I am uncertain which LR folder to open to search for Develop Presets.

      • If I am using the CC version, can you steer me in the direction to open the correct folder? Unfortunately I am not finding my way to develop presets.

          • I think I went around a crazy back door to get there. i appreciate you putting these together and sharing. Thanks!

  • Chris Temple says:

    What do I do with the Tool kit folder? Do I copy to presets as well?

      • Chris Temple says:

        Thanks for the quick response

  • Connie Mae says:

    awesome

  • Do these work on Lr 5?

  • James Spain says:

    Do you have any presets for LR 3?

  • Connie Hamilton says:

    Thank you!! Works wonderful 🙂

  • Kevin Corrigan says:

    I got nothing??

      • Kevin Corrigan says:

        Thank you for the quick response, Victor. Well I followed the instructions (I think) but after restarting Lightroom I’m now at a loss as to how to locate the presets 🙂

      • Kevin Corrigan says:

        I’ve solved the problem, Viktor. Thanks for the freebies, they look great! 🙂

  • Bill Benson says:

    Thanks Victor – here I was toying with whether to purchase HDR plus and then you offered it free to those who already had HDR presents. Glad I didn’t purchase. They loaded just fine with your instructions.

  • Bill Benson says:

    Q. Why do landscape presets cause my HDR photos to become so dark? Do you only use the HDR presets when you create an HDR photo from bracketed shots?

    • Bill,
      you can use Landscape presets with HDR images, no problem. If image looks dark, it means the original image is underexposed. Simply adjust exposure.

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