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How do I import my presets into the new Lightroom CC (2017/2018)

Want to import all your old presets into the new Adobe Lightroom CC? If you’ve recently updated to the new Adobe Lightroom CC (2017/2018), you may have noticed that your existing presets weren’t copied over. This happens whether you’re using NATE Presets, VSCO Presets or anything else. But luckily, there’s an easy way to add all the presets you used in Lightroom 5, 6, 7 and CC (2015) into the new Lightroom CC (2017/2018).

Why am I writing this? Well, since Adobe released their new Lightroom CC (2017/2018) this past week, my inbox has been flooded with emails like “Hey Nate – I got the new Lightroom CC I was wondering how I can go about downloading the presets I bought a while back into the new update.”

I responded to 5 or 6 emails manually, and then thought, “hey, I should probably just write a blog post on importing presets in the new Lightroom CC for everyone.”

So away we go…

Step 1: Open The Presets Folder for the new Adobe Lightroom CC

The reason that your previous Lightroom presets aren’t showing up in the new Adobe Lightroom CC is because Adobe decided to change the location of the presets folder for Lightroom CC.

  • On Mac, the preset directory for the new Lightroom CC is ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom CC/Develop Presets/
  • On Windows, the preset directory for the new Lightroom CC is C:/Users/{you}/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom CC/Develop Presets/

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to find these folders inside of Lightroom CC itself.

First, open up the new Lightroom CC and make sure you’re in “Edit Mode.”  You can do this by hitting “e” on your keyboard (or the “slider” icon in the top right).

Then click the “Preset” button at the bottom of the editing panel. This will reveal your preset panel.

Once the preset pane slides open, click the “•••” icon, and then click “Open Presets Folder”

And viola – this is the folder you need to add your existing presets into.

Keep this folder handy. This is where we need to move your old presets to.


Step 2: Open the Preset Folder for your previous versions of Lightroom (or Lightroom Classic)

All of your previous Lightroom presets will be in this folder:

  • On mac – ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Develop Presets/
  • On windows – C:/Users/{you}/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom/Develop Presets/

(Notice, the only difference is the folder is named “Lightroom” instead of “Lightroom CC”).

If you’re comfortable navigating the folders, you should be able to find this manually. Or if you have the previous version of Lightroom still on your system, here’s an easy way to open that folder:

Inside Lightroom 5, 6, 7 or Classic, navigate to the top menu and select Lightroom -> Preferences

Select “Presets” and then “Show Lightroom Presets Folder.”

This shows all the Lightroom preferences, but we want to just see the presets.

So make sure you select the “Develop Preset Folder”

Sweet! Now that we have both locations open, we can start copying over our presets.


Step 3: Copy your old presets into the new Lightroom CC

Now the easy part.

Copy over any presets you want to use in Lightroom CC from the old folder into the new folder. Be sure to take over the whole folders as this is how they will be organized inside of Lightroom CC.

(NOTE: If you want to continue using your presets in previous versions of Lightroom, be sure to COPY the presets over instead of just moving them… if you move them, you will no longer be able to access them in other versions of Lightroom).

Now,  restart Lightroom CC.

When you open up the preset pane, you should see the presets you just copied over. You can now start using them on your photos!

Need Help? Watch this quick video to see how it’s done.


Common Questions

What about Lightroom Classic? Do I need to do anything with my presets when I upgrade?
Nope. Presets you used in older versions of Lightroom will continue to be available in Lightroom Classic. They will look exactly the same. You don’t need to worry about the new process version, which simply has to do with masks.

Will the presets look the same in Lightroom CC as they did in previous versions of Lightroom & Lightroom Classic?
Yes. All the settings will carry over and will be interpreted more or less the same.

The newest version of Lightroom CC is missing settings, like tone curves and camera calibration. Will all the settings from the presets still work?
Yes. Weirdly, the new Lightroom CC will still apply all the settings in the preset, even for settings that you can’t edit directly in Lightroom CC. So in some ways, this means that presets are currently the ONLY way to achieve certain effects in Lightroom CC. I expect (or at least hope) that over time, Lightroom CC will allow direct access to all the settings historically available in previous versions of Lightroom.

Is there a way to use my presets on my phone with Lightroom CC Mobile?
Yes, there is way to do this, and I will share it in another blog post.

Have other thoughts or questions? Leave a comment below!

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