Lightroom Videos

Lightroom Video: The Previous Button and What It Does

I get a lot of questions on what the Previous button does in the Develop module. You’ll find it on the bottom right of the screen, just below all of your Develop panels. It’s a button that I use every day, all day and I think once you see the power of that simple button you’ll find it’s one of the best kept secrets inside of Lightroom.




  1. Michael J West 30 January, 2021 at 21:40 Reply

    The Develop button will work as expected except when more than one image is selected in the Library mode.

    The develop button “becomes” the SNYC Button when more than one image is selected in The Library Mode

    go to the Library Mode.. choose SELECT NONE ….from the EDIT drop down..

    select my image of your choice.

    switch to the develop mode and you’ll now see the develop button..where you “last saw it”

    the first “Note .on the page linked below gives the solution much more succintly than I have above


    “When multiple photos are selected in the Filmstrip, the Previous button in the Develop module turns into the Sync button”,to%20enable%20Auto%20Sync%20mode.

  2. Linda Schettle 2 September, 2017 at 00:48 Reply

    I loved using the PREVIOUS button but now in the Develop Module I have a sync slider. How do I get the Previous button back?

  3. Todd 17 March, 2017 at 16:03 Reply

    Just learned about the previous button and love it but have had some issues going back to photos and they have been “reset”. When I hot the reset button, does it resent all images?? Thanks for the great video. I actually picked up several things from it..!

  4. Sehr 10 March, 2015 at 01:26 Reply

    I also used to love using the previous button but somehow it has disappeared in the Develop module. I only have “Sync” and “Reset” buttons. HELP

  5. Debbie Rasmussen 22 November, 2013 at 17:01 Reply

    I LOVE the preview button, but I somehow can’t find it? How do I get it to show up again? I see synchronize, but not preview…

  6. jk 31 October, 2013 at 12:08 Reply

    I would not call the previous button even remotely hidden or a best kept secret! I personally kind of hate it because it includes crop, spot removal etc… There should be a little arrow next to the previous button that activates the same menu that you get when you copy settings and can exclude certain ones. Now that would be the best kept secret! Too much is carried over with the previous button and in my opinion and this is why I just do a copy and paste.

  7. Gerardo2068 9 May, 2013 at 19:58 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    One thing I’m still not satisfy with in Lightroom is sharpening for web, the top reason I use photoshop is to resize and sharpen the photo then export for web as .png file but I don’t know how to export to web from Lightroom in .png file and sharp. What do you recommend to do about web sharpening and .png files export? and the automatic sharpening selector in export menu in Lightroom is disappointing.

    • Matt K 1 November, 2013 at 10:12 Reply

      Hi – there is no PNG export option for the web. But I export to JPEG all the time (for the web) at Standard setting on Output Sharpening and the photos are plenty sharp. In fact, I get more comments and questions on how I get my photos so sharp and that’s all I really do to them.

      • Gerardo2068 1 November, 2013 at 10:40 Reply

        Thanks so much for replying. Like to follow your blog and website.

        I discovered it was the website itself compressing the photos. Yes now I do the same you do in Lightroom and it works great! Thanks!

  8. Bill 9 May, 2013 at 17:06 Reply

    I’ve never used the previous button before. I will start using it now that I know what it does.

  9. Shawn Moore 6 May, 2013 at 17:21 Reply

    Keyboard shortcut Command-alt(opt)-V
    I use a ShuttlePro v2 with Lightroom I have it programed in the lower Button. It’s Great! The dial is set for Exposure

  10. Dennis Zito 1 May, 2013 at 07:40 Reply

    Matt, I never really noticed that button before! I think it’s great! I’ve always set up a preset to do the same thing … now I’ll be using the “Previous Key”! Thanks,


  11. Dustin Walker 30 April, 2013 at 14:27 Reply

    I also use the previous button but when I don’t want to copy all the settings (ie. crop and adj. brush) I use “copy/paste settings” function as this allows you to choose what to copy by checking the appropriate boxes.

    I also took a similar approach to RPG keys but I use a Logitech G13 record my own Hotkeys into it.

  12. Eric Wessman 30 April, 2013 at 12:05 Reply

    Hey Matt-

    I use the Previous button all the time. However, I use it in a slightly different way.

    In the Develop module, it can take a couple of seconds for the preview to load (it doesn’t sound like much, but for 1000 images from a wedding it can add up), so I prefer to work in the Library Module Loupe view whenever possible because there is no delay there.

    The trick is that I am working with RPG keys. You can have a key programmed to use the Previous button while working in Loupe view! This is a huge time saver for me.

  13. JayM 30 April, 2013 at 08:59 Reply

    Cool tip and somewhat funny – I used to use this pretty regularly and then it faded out. Actually forgot about it over time but will need to remember to bring it back into the toolbox. Great timing as I’m facing a mountain of developing following a 10-day trip to Costa Rica.

  14. Carol Parker 29 April, 2013 at 14:40 Reply

    I use it all the time too but it has one major aggravation – along with all the other settings it also applies the previous crop. That’s a feature I’d like to at least be able to turn on or off. I may want all my other editing features applied, but not necessarily the crop – which I then have to undo and recrop.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *