Presets are one of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom’s most powerful features; with them, you can use the same settings over and over again. The most common presets are Develop presets which consistently apply the same changes to any image.

Soon: What is Adobe Lightroom and do I need it?

Along with Develop presets, Lightroom offers presets for most of its features. For example, there are metadata presets, import presets, export presets, keyword sets, slideshow presets, watermarks, and more.

While you can create your own presets, there is a thriving community and market for presets created by other people. Let’s see how to install them in Adobe Lightroom.

Why use presets

The big advantages of presets are that they are consistent and fast. If you always make the same adjustments to an image, a preset lets you apply them all with just one click. This is ideal for professional photographers who need to process hundreds or thousands of images.

beach and field scenes, displayed before and after applying presets

Plus, if you’re just getting started and aren’t fully familiar with all of Lightroom’s editing tools, presets offer a way to give your image a unique look while you learn how to do things by yourself. It’s a mistake to completely rely on developer presets, but you can think of them as super-charged Instagram filters.

Finally, some of the other presets make Lightroom’s lesser-known features more powerful. For example, there is presets that allow you to export time intervals directly from Lightroom.

How to find presets

Although you can create your own presets, it’s much easier to use those created by other people. Many famous photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Jared Polin sell – or give away – their own presets. If there are any photographers whose work you like, it’s worth checking out their website to see if they sell any.

Trey Ratcliff's Webpage on Preset Collections

You can also find thousands of presets on marketplaces like GraphicRiver. If there’s a particular look or feel you want, chances are someone is selling it there.

How to Add Develop Presets to Lightroom Classic CC

Since Lightroom 7.5, Adobe has changed the way Lightroom handles presets. Now, at least, Develop Presets are easier than ever to add. Open Lightroom and head to the Develop module.

The Develop module in Lightroom

In the Presets section of the left sidebar, click the + icon, then select “Import Presets”.

in the presets section, click the plus icon and choose import presets

Navigate to the presets you want to import. For this example, I’m using Trey Ratcliff’s free presets.

locate the presets you want to install

Click “Import” and the presets will be added to the sidebar under the “User Presets” section, ready to use.

after clicking install, the presets are available in the left sidebar

How to Add More Presets to Lightroom Classic CC

To add more presets, the process is a bit different. I demonstrate it with Sean McCormack’s Lightroom time lapse template.

Open Lightroom. On Windows, go to Edit > Preferences. On a Mac, go to Lightroom > Preferences.

open the Lightroom menu and click on Preferences

Select the ‘Presets’ tab, then under Location select ‘Show all other Lightroom presets’.

On the Presets tab, click Show all other Lightroom preferences

Navigate to the appropriate folder for the preset you want to add. For example, since I’m adding a slideshow template, I need to open the Slideshow Templates folder.

Locate the presets you want to install

Drag and drop the preset into the User Templates folder.

drag and drop them into the user templates folder

Quit and restart Lightroom, and the preset will be there, ready to use.

Presets are one of Lightroom’s best features. You now know how to install the presets of your choice.