The Importance of Backing up your Lightroom Presets and a Step-by-Step Guide.


If you have ever lost a file or work on your computer or a software program, you can appreciate the enormous value of backing up your work. It’s no difference for the Lightroom user. While a top-of-the-line program for both professional and serious photographers, like most programs it’s prudent to make sure you back up your files including your Lightroom Presets! 

The Importance of Backing up your Lightroom Presets and a Step-by-Step Guide | @BeArtPresets

It’s not difficult on Lightroom to backup your Presets. It’s more a matter of remembering to do it. The Lightroom Catalogue, where most of your Lightroom work will reside, offers an automated backup making it easy for most users to get lazy about it or simply forget that there is still secondary need to back up. The Catalogue does automatically save what you create in the Catalog. However, many users don’t realize that any work created outside of the Catalogue is not backed up in the same way! If you’re not backing up that work, you’re taking a chance on losing it. Beyond that, it’s important also to save your Presets!

This article assumes you already have some experience using Lightroom and Lightroom Presets. Here is some information about Presets and some guidance on how to backup your Preset files.



The distinct advantage to Presets is that they save you time. Once you create a series of Presets, you’re able to return to them regularly without a lot of effort or work. Presets are one of Lightroom’s greatest assets. There is a lot you can do and re-use with Presets, and any smart user/photographer makes maximum use of this feature. 

However, it is critical to note that just because you are using and reusing Presets doesn’t mean that the work is being saved inside the Lightroom Catalogue and being backed up somewhere. That means you might not be backing up work you think you are backing up! 



The reasons for backing up your Presets are the same reasons for why you should back up every on your computer. Computers and programs crash without warning and sometimes data are irretrievable or complicated (and expensive) to retrieve. 

If yo haven’t backed them up, and you lose what you had in them, then your hands will be full trying to get them back! It’s important to make sure you back up your all your Presets and your files as par for the course when you’re working. Lightroom users often forget to back-up and live to regret it! Here are some tips to help you out.



Back up your Presets now and continue to do so frequently! You should also back them up before you do any upgrades or new installations to Lightroom. Set up a regular schedule for backing up all your work so that you won’t forget. It’s better to be safe than sorry! 



  1. Under Lightroom’s Edit menu (PC) or Lightroom menu (MAC), click on “Preferences.” 
  2. There are some tabs including “Presets.”
  3. While you could store your Presets with the catalog, it could mean you are having to toggle between catalogs when working. 
  4. Instead use the default option of saving the Presets on your computer’s hard drive. “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”
  5. You’ll see a “Lightroom” folder instead of a Presets folder, and that’s what you want. 
  6. Now, you may select your location for saving the Presets. 
how to save your lightroom presets folder


You can just copy a folder of your Presets and move the copy to a new location. Ideally, and smartly, you should move that copy onto a separate hard drive or cloud drive. Amazon Cloud, Adobe Cloud and Dropbox offer popular cloud options when it comes to backing up your work on a cloud. 

Backing up your work to any of these options isn’t enough. You must remember to do it on a regular basis, or you could find yourself in trouble if your software or computer crashes. You will find yourself with only part of your work backed-up. 

One suggestion is to create copies of the folders and date them when you regular back them up. This creates multiple generations of your work and backups, and you know right where to look in case there is a problem. Again, backing up your work at regular intervals considerably lessens your risk of permanently losing any of your valuable work. 

Another possibility for backing up your work is to use backup software although this likely requires an investment. The advantage to backup software is that most are automated and will regularly backup your work, so you don’t have to worry about creating a schedule or reminder for yourself.

If for some reason your computer or software were to crash, and you have regularly backed up your work, you should be able to copy your files easily manually back to Lightroom. Once that is complete, you should be able to easily and readily access your assets once again.

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