Lightroom presets are a great way to make a sequence of changes to a photo or a whole batch of photos with a click of a button. Sure enough, presets can save you heaps of time and enhance your images, but how exactly do you install them? This step by step list will show you how to install Lightroom presets in less than 2 minutes. The method is demonstrated on Lightroom CC, but the process is virtually the same on all Lightroom version and works for both – Mac and Windows.
Here is a video guide from Sleeklens that explains how to install Lightroom presets on MAC and Windows. The installation guide is for Lightroom 5 and 6
For making this guide easier for different platform users, we are going to split this installation method on Windows and Mac procedures
Start by finding the folder where you have downloaded your presets. Majority of the time presets will be downloaded in an archive, e.g. zip, rar formats. The presets will not install as a zip or rar file, so the first step is to extract the files. If you are unsure how to extract files, check your preferred search engine on how to “unzip files.” Once the files are extracted, you can identify your preset files by the file extension “.lrtemplate”. If you are using Windows you can ignore the archived MAC_OSX folder, by default it will appear empty. Once you find all the ‘.lrtemplate’ files it is best practice to save them with your other downloaded presets in a separate location and create a back-up copy of that folder.
Open Lightroom and go into the Develop module, in the drop-down menu on your left side you will find all the presets that are installed in Lightroom. At the moment it will not feature your new presets; to fix this we have to find the folder where all these presets are installed.
The fastest way to locate the ‘Presets’ folder is through the ‘Edit’ tab in the Lightroom toolbar, which you will find at the top left of the screen. When you click ‘Edit’ a drop-down menu will appear and towards the end of the list you will find the ‘Preferences’ tab.
Once the ‘Preferences’ panel is open, find the ‘Presets’ tab – it is the second tab in the ‘Preferences’ panel. Inside the ‘Presets’ section click ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’.
If you prefer to work with the Path on Windows Explorer, here is the address location of the folder:
To install your new presets go back to the folder were you have downloaded your presets and copy the “.lrtemplate” files (Ctrl + C for Windows). Once the files are copied go back to the ‘Develop Presets’ folder that should still be open and paste presets you downloaded here (Ctrl + V for Windows). Your new presets are now loaded into Lightroom. Restart Lightroom and you should see them in your ‘Presets’ drop-down menu.
In case we are working with Mac, things can become a bit more complicated. Even if the procedure for installing Lightroom on Mac is actually easier than doing it in Windows (thanks to OSX friendly platform), accessing to system folders is way more complicated to do than with Windows Explorer.
In my opinion, the easier path to follow is actually entering in Lightroom, go to the Edit menu and access the Preference options.
Under this new window, we have to switch to the Preset tab, and just like Windows, access the ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’ button for opening in Finder the location of the Lightroom Presets Folder.
Enter the ‘Develop Presets’ folder, and start copying inside our Lightroom Presets Folders. In Mac mostly is quite important to keep creating folders for accessing in a quicker way the Lightroom Filters when opening Lightroom.
Did you find this tutorial useful? Now that you know how to install Lightroom presets, try reading our guide on the best free 50+ Lightroom presets to download.