Learn How To Install Presets To Lightroom Mobile

Get professional looking edits on your mobile device by installing presets from your desktop version of Lightroom straight to Adobe Lightroom Mobile.

Presets can be a powerful way to edit photos with minimal effort. Whether you've made them yourself or downloaded them from somewhere else, they can help you focus on the creative side of image editing, rather than getting bogged down in the minutiae of numbers, sliders, and buttons. Enhancing everything from colors to exposure, applying filmic styles to correcting white balance, presets are helpful for those new to image editing as well as seasoned professionals.

Getting everything set up and synchronized between devices isn't always easy though and I've run into some problems myself. So that's why I've put together this short guide where I'll show you how to create your own presets and transfer them from desktop-version of Lightroom (specifically, Lightroom Classic) to Adobe Lightroom Mobile for more professional on-the-go edits that'll keep your photos looking fresh and stylish while requiring less manual editing input from you.

Make a Preset on Your Desktop

I do most of my editing on my desktop version of Lightroom and chances are, you do too. So I'll take you through the process of making your own preset in Lightroom Classic on desktop first before moving across to Adobe Lightroom Mobile to apply that preset to your images on your mobile device. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open an image in Lightroom Classic on desktop and begin by heading to the Develop module
  2. Make edits to the photo using the tools on the right-hand side of the module
  3. Once the edit is complete, stay in the Develop module and head to the Presets tab in the panel on the left of the screen
  4. Click the + icon to Add New Presets and select Create Preset
  5. Name your preset and tick the toolboxes you want to save in the preset, I recommend avoiding selective adjustments such as the graduated filter and radial filter unless it's an adjustment that can apply to many different compositions. Edits to eyes, skin, or other small spots won't transfer well to other photos that have a different framing as they will either need altering or removing.
Create a preset on the desktop version of Lightroom Classic if you don't already have one ready to transfer to Adobe Lightroom Mobile

Download and Install Adobe Lightroom Mobile

On your iOS or Android device head to the App store or Google play store (respectively) to download Adobe Lightroom Mobile. Once installed you'll be asked to sign in. Login using your existing Adobe Creative Cloud profile information and the app should sync up to the cloud and start updating preferences and information, including automatically pulling in the user presets from your desktop version of Lightroom (so long as you've connected to the internet since creating the preset).

I say should sync up, because mine didn't. I don't know why and I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong, but no matter how many presets I made in Lightroom Classic on my desktop software the presets didn't synchronize with my mobile app. Sure, I could just create a new preset in Lightroom Mobile, but what if you've already got a set of presets that work well? Well, you don't have to waste your time recreating every preset on your smart device because I've taken the time to figure out how to install presets in Adobe Lightroom Mobile so you don't have to. Follow along below to solve it.

When It Doesn't Work, Do This

If the Lightroom account doesn't sync up across devices then use this method to install presets from Lightroom Classic to Adobe Lightroom Mobile. It'll only take a couple of minutes.

First of all, save the preset to cloud-based storage.

  • In Lightroom Classic head to the Develop module and navigate to the Presets folder in the left-hand panel.
  • Scroll down to find your user presets and right-click then press Show In Explorer (or Show In Finder on a Mac) which will display where the presets are stored locally on your computer.
  • Alternatively, head to Edit (or Lightroom on a Mac)>Preferences>Presets>Show Lightroom Develop Presets.
  • Once located highlight the user presets and copy them to your preferred cloud-based storage, I used Google Drive. You could also download the presets to your mobile device (be it smartphone or tablet) if you have a way of transferring data between the machines.
  • Download the preset on your smart device then head to the Adobe Lightroom Mobile app.
Use the menus in Lightroom Classic on your desktop software to navigate to the user preset file location on your computer in order to copy the preset and save it to the cloud

Search for the Preset

Open Lightroom mobile and select the photo you want to apply the preset to. Scroll along the bottom toolbar until you get to Presets and tap it. Then hit the preset button and go to the ellipses on the right before choosing Import Presets. Navigate to the preset you've stored on the cloud or on your local storage device and select it.

In Adobe Lightroom Mobile head to the Presets tab in the bottom toolbar and select Import Presets before finding the downloaded desktop preset in the cloud storage

Your preset should now be installed and ready to use. If it doesn't pop up right away just click the drop-down arrow next to the Preset type and scroll down to the bottom of the list where it says User Presets to select it. You can import multiple presets this way, whether you've made them yourself or downloaded them from other places.

Select the drop down arrow in the presets tab and scroll down until you see the user presets at the bottom of the list, then search for your desired user preset to use it on the image you're editing


As I mentioned at the start, Lightroom should automatically sync your presets with your adobe creative cloud membership so the above manual steps shouldn't be necessary if you've already got them installed on your desktop version (and vise versa) but on no less than two occasions mine didn't synchronize, so hopefully this guide will help you over that bump in the road.

Now that you're all set up you can take advantage of presets you've created or downloaded from others and create even more professional-looking photos on-the-go with your mobile device and Adobe Lightroom Mobile. Even if you have a problem synchronizing across devices you should have no problem using the steps listed above which work at the time of writing in early 2021.

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Greg Wilson's picture

"I say should sync up, because mine didn't" - where does it say that it "should"? From the instruction, Lightroom Mobile is not supposed to sync with Lightroom Classic by design. But it does sync seamlessly with just Lightroom: https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/lightroom-cc/using/add-sync-mobile-presets.html

So you're just jumping through hoops completely unnecessarily instead of following a simple instruction for your software.

John King's picture

"Getting everything synchronized between devices isn't always easy"—it is very hard indeed, for those who don't know their software and don't care reading the instructions.

Lr Classic doesn't sync presets / profiles with Lr Mobile. Lr CC does. RTFM.

terry pitcher's picture

Awfully incompetent article. Sometimes checking your software instructions or googling for your problem first saves tonnes of time.

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Well it's from Jason Parnell-Brooks, he's proven his incompetence here MULTIPLE times already.

terry pitcher's picture

That explains it indeed

TmDmL DmL's picture

Ignorance is bliss

Greg Wilson's picture

Sometimes it's just ignorance

Edison Wrzosek's picture

Presets = biggest photographic scam of the last decade in photographic circles...

Anytime I see a YouTuber or IG'er flogging these I block them.

terry pitcher's picture

Not necessarily. Check what some niche color science companies are doing (google for RNI Films 5). Technically they are more profiles than presets but still worth every penny and save tonnes of post-production time if you know how to use them right.