Lightroom Tips

Friday Tip – Saving your Presets (all of them!)

Time for another Friday tip. As you’ve probably seen if you’ve followed this site for any amount of time, I love presets. If you love them too you’ll need to make sure you’re backing them up in case your computer ever crashes. Or, maybe you want to move your presets from a laptop to a desktop or vice-versa. Here’s a quick way to back up everything related to presets.

(edit by Matt K: many thanks to Mike for posting a comment on an even easier way to do this – thanks Mike!)

1) Go to your Lightroom preferences. Lightroom menu on Mac and Edit menu on PC.
2) Click on the Presets tab.
3) At the bottom of the dialog you’ll see a button that reads “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”. Click on that.
4) Backup the “Lightroom” folder to your backup device or disk.
5) Sit back and revel in the fact that your presets are now safe 🙂

That’s all there is to it. All of your presets live in that folder so as long as it’s backed up you’re good to go. Well, that wraps up another week. Have a great weekend – hit ’em long and hit ’em straight and if you don’t play golf then you should probably keep from hitting things all together. See ya!



  1. Barbara 29 July, 2012 at 20:36 Reply

    I’ve been totally on my MacPro for the last year; but now since I have possible job pending for out of town, I want to update laptop a bit. It’s an old one, so until I can afford a new, I did clean install of OS to 10.6.8. It’s a MBPro 3,1 Intel Core 2 Duo, so no 64 bit. Crammed in 6 GB memory so hopefully that will help. I’m just going to install Lr3 since computer already slow (and from what I’ve heard about Lr4 speed issues……..).
    Anyway, question is can I just take the Lightroom Settings folder from my Mac Pro and either use Migration Assistant or Chronosync to copy to my laptop and put in Pictures folder. And then will I have all my current Presets and Preferences and Metadata templates (from Lr3 on MacPro)?? Just found them in my Master Hard Drive (internal but not my Boot drive). Found presets anyway but not Preferences. And in User/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom folder I don’t see any on my Boot drive. What is this telling me?

    And is there a similar way to migrate Photoshop actions and preferences and where do they live in Finder?


    MacBookPro 3,1
    OsX 10.6.8
    2.4 Ghz Intel Core2 Duo
    6 GB 667 MHz DDR 2 SDRAm

    MacPro 5,1
    OSX 10.6.8
    3.33 Ghz 6-Core Intel Xeon
    24 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

  2. Tina Blum 7 January, 2010 at 11:45 Reply

    I’m sorry if you’ve already covered this somewhere…but I can’t find it. Is there a way to backup the arrangement of my Presets within LR? I organize my presets into several different folders (you know, Matt’s Presets in one folder and everyone elses’ in another!) and would like to copy this to my laptop rather than recreating it.

    Thanks fou your help and this great LR resource.

  3. Miles W 7 June, 2008 at 11:01 Reply

    Matt, how about getting us a preset pack to download? Personally I don’t want to have to search through all of the blog posts to find 1 preset at a time, you could zip them all up and make it really easy for all of us to get them, then you could release by monthly packs, etc.

    I think you could have something a lot of people would appreciate, and sorry if this seems forwards but I think it would be a great idea for you.

    Keep up the great blog, I love the videos and it’s great to have a Lightroom site dedicated to just that, lightroom.


  4. Torbjorn 7 June, 2008 at 06:39 Reply

    William Chinn:
    I think Matt made a little mistake there. In Windows, I think you have to hold down the SHIFT key, not Alt, and click on the top right X of one of the images.

    It’s been a while since I used PS, but I wrote a little tips&tricks once, and there I’ve got shift-click. Pretty sure I got that from PSU TV or PS Killer tips in the first place …

  5. William Chinn 6 June, 2008 at 19:42 Reply

    Matt, this is feedback for Photoshop Killer Tips: Closing Multiple Images. PC’s do not have that close option. You need to do a Ctl-Alt-W to close multiple images.

    How come there is no feedback option for PS Killer Tips?

  6. Mike 6 June, 2008 at 17:18 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    I wanted to share something with you that I think would be great for you to feature and pass on. My brother, Steve Paterson, one of the founding partners of Clear (, a graphics design firm in Southern California, has decided to do something very special to help the victims of China’s recent earthquake. He has started The goal is to sell 50,000 shirts, raising one million dollars (which will be donated through World Vision,

    It would be great if you could pass on to your audience the great opportunity that this could be. Also if there is anyway you would be willing to put a banner up or know anyone who would want to you can get them off of this site:

    One of the sponsors of this effort is Red is White is a faith-inspired, ongoing, online t-shirt design project. Anyone can come up with a design and submit it to Red is White. The Red is White community then rates the designs and the winning designs get printed (and the designer gets paid).

    I think this definitely seems like something that your audience could get behind.

    Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
    Mike Paterson

  7. mattk 6 June, 2008 at 14:38 Reply

    Crap Crap Crap Crap!!!!!! I totally missed that. I actually thought it was there and I went into the dialog. Having the gerbil-like attention span that I have, my eyes just saw the Reset buttons that were there and I totally missed the button at the bottom. Great comment. Thanks so much for pointing that out – I’m going to update the post right away.

    Matt the moron (with the gerbil-like attention span) signing off 🙂

  8. Mike 6 June, 2008 at 12:46 Reply

    There is an even easier way to do this. From the LR edit menu, select preferences and then the presets tab. There is a button there to open the folder in Explorer.

    There is even a keyboard shortcut to get to the preferences
    I don’t have a Mac but I expect the same to be true.

  9. Seim Effects 6 June, 2008 at 11:25 Reply

    Good you bring this up. Those precious presets should be backed up. In fact I have a place where I back of all this sort of thing. LR presets, PS actions, brushes ect. Keep things nice and tidy so you know where to fine them.

    One quick tip on finding the location of presets. You can certainly go to the dir path and find them, but I find I usually forget exactly where that is. Instead I just go to one of my presets within Lightroom and right click it. Then select “SHow In Finder (or on a PC Show in My Documents or something similar) This brings up a window already navigated to the presets. Then you can just copy that folder and back em up baby.


  10. Torbjorn 6 June, 2008 at 11:05 Reply

    A couple of notes regarding Windows:
    In Vista, there is no Documents and settings-folder, but a Users-folder, and the application data folder is hidden by default. However, there is a much easier way of finding that folder, rather than going into folder options and turning on viewing of hidden files:
    Go to Start –> Run, type %appdata% and press enter. (At least in Vista, this also works in the address bar in Explorer.)

    So, instead of writing the entire folder path, just write (in this case) %appdata%AdobeLightroom, and tell people to copy/paste. Another benefit of this is that it works regardless of the language of your OS.

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