Organizing Your Lightroom Presets

How to Organize Your Lightroom Presets

I recently revised the way I organize my Lightroom presets.  And when I say recently, I mean yesterday.  As I was organizing mine, I thought I would share some tips for organizing or RE-organizing your Lightroom Presets just in case yours are as big a mess as mine were!

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First Things First

Before I started reorganizing, moving around, and deleting my presets, I made DOUBLE SURE that I had my original presets backed up somewhere. I mean DOUBLE and TRIPLE SURE!  

How to Organize Lightroom Presets

If you don’t have them backed up anywhere right now, check out this post about backing up presets, or follow these steps to make sure that you have a copy of all of your current presets.

  1. Open Lightroom
  2. Go to the Develop Module
  3. Right-click on one of your presets (not a preset folder—an individual preset)
  4. Choose “Show in Explorer” (PC) or “Show in Finder” (MAC)
  5. The folder where the preset you clicked on is stored will open up.
  6. Move a few steps back in your folder hierarchy to the LIGHTROOM folder.
  7. Select the Develop Presets folder.
  8. Copy the folder however you like to (right-click and choose copy or ctrl+c)
  9. Now move to a location online or on your hard drive and paste the folder to back it up.

Start Organizing Your Presets

Now that your presets are backed up, you can start organizing your presets from within Lightroom by just dragging and dropping presets into new folders that you create or different folders that are already there.  I DON’T recommend this method for 2 reasons:

  1. Every time you click and drag a preset to a new folder, it actually applies that preset to whatever photo you currently have open.
  2. You can only move ONE preset at a time which is very slow and time consuming.

What I DO recommend is that you go directly into the Develop Presets folder on your hard drive.  Just follow these written steps, or if you're more of a visual learner we have a great tutorial video below as well.

  1. Open Lightroom
  2. Go to the Develop Module
  3. Right-click on one of your presets (not a preset folder—an individual preset)
  4. Choose “Show in Explorer” (PC) or “Show in Finder” (MAC)
  5. The folder where the preset you clicked on is stored will open up.
  6. Go back to Lightroom and close it down.
  7. Move one step back in the hierarchy and begin to rearrange your presets.

You can very quickly create new folders and move several presets at once into those folders. You can also delete presets that you never use.  {Important: You are not able to create a folder within a folder—Lightroom won’t recognize it if you do).

Organized Presets in My Develop Folder

When you reopen Lightroom, the presets will be organized just the way you want!

Happy Lightrooming!

Do you have any questions or comments about organizing your Lightroom Presets?  Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you!  And please share our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!

Clean Edit Portrait Lightroom Presets

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