How to back up Lightroom Presets on a Windows Computer

There is nothing more devastating or sickening then to turn on your laptop and have nothing happens – no lights, no Windows splash screen, no Windows chime. Or even better, the dreaded BSOD – known commonly as the Blue Screen of Death!

That’s when you suddenly realize that all your important documents, your only copy of all your photos, your never-can-be-replaced information is on that hard drive. Don’t get lulled into thinking it can’t happen to you. And it’s when you are putting your life back together on the new laptop that it suddenly hits you – what happened to all my Lightroom presets? They’re gone! If only I had backed them up!

Fortunately backing up your Lightroom presets is easy. It will give you peace of mind. This will also help when you purchase new laptop and need to configure and personalize Lightroom to get you up and running and back editing.

Step 1: Decide How Where to Put Your Backed Up Presets

To be sure that your backed up files will not be lost, be sure that you put them on something other than your computer.  Put it on an external hard drive, email the files to yourself, put it in Dropbox or Google Drive, etc.  Just be sure you store them separate from your computer so that if your computer crashes, you can still retrieve them.  Having at least one copy of your data off-site is also highly recommended. Decide what method you want to use.

Step 2: Locate Your Presets on Your Hard Drive

The next step is to find where Lightroom stores all your important files. Fortunately Lightroom does not keep it a mystery.

When you import presets, Lightroom always saves them to the same folder – the Lightroom presets folder.

In Windows, open Lightroom. Go to Edit>Preferences which will open the Preferences dialog box.
lightroom-presets-folder

Click on the Presets tab. In the Location section, click on the Show Lightroom Presets folder button. This will open the folder where Lightroom, by default, saves its presets : C:Users[user name]AppDataRoamingAdobeLightroom. Double click on the Lightroom folder. There you will find all folders for all your presets, watermark, templates and other Lightroom folders.

Step 3: Copy Your Presets

 

You can hit Ctrl + A to select all the folders and right click and select Copy.  If you are going to email the presets to yourself or want to keep them all together, you can right click on the selected folders and send them to a zip folder.

Step 4: Paste the Presets on Your Backup Drive

Now browse to either your second internal hard drive or your external hard drive to where you want to save them. Create a folder called “Backup of Lightroom Presets” or any name you want to give it. Open the folder. Right click and select Paste.

Another option is instead of opening up the Lightroom folder, right click on it, select Copy and then browse to your backup drive and Paste it there. Just backup the entire folder.

Remember to back up your presets on a regular basis – any time you have created or downloaded another preset so you will be up-to-date and won’t lose any of them.

If there is just one preset you want to back up, one method would be to export it as an .lrtemplate file.

In the left panel of the Develop Module, you will see Presets tab. Click on the arrow to expand all the choices. Find the particular preset you want to back up. Right click on it and select Export. Lightroom will open an Export Preset dialog box. Browse to where you want to save it and give it a name. By default, Lightroom exports it as an .lrtemplate file. Click Save and you’re done!

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