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Tips for Organizing your Presets

I recently redid the way I organized my 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!

First Things First

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

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 everything you currently have.

  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.

Now That Your Presets are Backed Up

You can actually organize your presets from within Lightroom by just dragging and dropping presets into new folders you create or different folders that are already there.  I DON’T recommend this method for 2 reasons:

  1. First, 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. Second, you can only move ONE at a time which is super slow and time consuming.

What I do recommend is that you go into the Develop Presets folder on your hard drive like we did above.  You can follow the written steps below, or watch the video for visual help.

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

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

Happy Lightrooming!

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