August 27, 2015

Backing up your Lightroom Presets

Here’s a tip that could be a lifesaver for some of us Lightroom users. If you’ve ever had a hard drive crash on you, you’ll appreciate months tip.  A lot of us that have been using the program for a while know that there are ways to drastically speed up their workflow, one of which is by creating their own custom Presets. Some of us started out using Photoshop before Lightroom was even invented and are used to creating Actions to do repetitive or complex tasks for us. Presets are basically “Actions for Lightroom”.  These Presets can also include anything from your Import presets, Develop presets or even all your Print presets. We’ve all been told that it’s a very good idea to back up your Catalogs fairly often and put the back-up on another computer or in a Dropbox location so you can have access to them in case of an emergency. But it’s also a good idea to make sure you have copies of all your Presets too. 

This month’s tip will show you an easy and reliable way for you to make sure you have copies of all your Presets. It’s as easy as making a copy of a folder that you can load on your system again quickly and easily. This tip could save you from having to create all your presets from scratch or trying to remember where you downloaded them from. It’s quick and easy process, so follow along with me and I’ll show you how to back up yours.

First, find the folder where all your Presets are. To do this, go to Lightrooms Preferences. This is found under the Lightroom menu on a Mac or under the Edit menu of a PC. After you open that, click on the Presets tab on the top of that dialog box. About halfway down you’ll notice two check boxes. The first one is ‘Store presets with this catalog’ and the second is ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’. 

A lot of Lightroom users think, the first check box should do the trick. Please read the article below before choosing that option. Even the people at Adobe don’t recommend selecting this option. If they thought it was a good idea they would have made it the default option from the start don’t you think?  By clicking that option, Lightroom will create and store your presets in a totally separate subfolder which could really mess you up, especially if you are using multiple catalogs.  Check out this article in the Lightroom Forums website which explains it in more detail and you’ll see what I mean.   # 3: Implications of using this option 

Instead of choosing that first option, click the Show Lightroom Presets Folder box.
This will bring up a new dialog box with a folder called Lightroom highlighted. Now just make a copy of that folder and save it in a nice safe place, preferably with your Catalog back-ups on another computer.  The beauty is that if your system ever goes bonkers on you you’ll be prepared.  Just click on Show Lightroom Presets Folder again right after you reload Lightroom. Now all you have to do is to delete that folder and replace it with your Lightroom back-up folder (with all your Presets) and you’re back in action.  Remember to do this anytime you create a new preset and you’re all set. Fortunately backing up your Lightroom presets is easy and doing this will give you peace of mind.  Pretty nice huh?

Remember, as always, keep shooting and have some fun!
© D. Gould Photography