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How to Import Presets Into Lightroom

In this blog post I am going to show you how to import presets into Lightroom. I will show you the process for both Lightroom Classic (the desktop version) and Lightroom Mobile (the phone version).

It is a different process for both versions. In fact, the desktop version of Lightroom and the Mobile version of Lightroom even use different file types. The desktop version of Lightroom uses .XMP files. The mobile version of Lightroom uses .DNG files.

Although there are several steps, it is really quite easy to do. So let’s get started




  • To import a preset into Lightroom Classic (the desktop version) you must have an .XMP file. If it is zipped, unzip it before the next step. Lastly, move your .XMP file to your desktop so it will be easy to find when you need it.
  • Now open Lightroom and navigate to the left-hand side of Lightroom’s interface where you will see Lightroom’s presets.
  • Right click on any preset in your Lightroom’s list of presets. And then click “Show in Finder” in the drop down menu.
  • Next a window will open. It is the folder where Lightroom automatically stores all of your presets.
  • Drag and drop the .XMP file (that you put on your desktop temporarily) into that folder.
  • Now quit and restart Lightroom. Unless you quit Lightroom and restart it, the preset you just imported will not show in Lightroom’s interface.
  • Once Lightroom has reopened, you will see the preset you just imported in your list of presets! BOOM…you did it! Have fun making magic with your new preset!


  • To import a preset into Lightroom Mobile (the phone version) you must have a .DNG file. If it is zipped, unzip it on a computer before the next step.
  • Transfer the DNG file to your phone with your preferred method. You can transfer it to your phone using the free version of Dropbox. Or you can even text it to yourself. It doesn’t really matter how you get it to your phone. 
  • Once you have sent the DNG file to your phone with your preferred method, download the DNG file to your phone. 
PLEASE NOTE: The image might appear like it was not edited. It will appear as a RAW unedited photo. Don’t worry, it will still work.The attributes of the preset are still embedded into the photo. And that is what Lightroom needs to create the preset.
  • Upload the DNG file as a photo into your Lightroom Mobile App and add the DNG image like you would any other photo. 
  • Open the photo and in the Presets tab, select the top 3 dots (in the top right-hand corner of your screen) and select > Create Preset
  • Give your preset a name, and then click the check mark in the top right-hand corner of your phone’s screen.
  • You have now installed a Lightroom Mobile Preset onto your phone! Use your new preset and apply it to any photo and watch the magic! Repeat this process if you have multiple presets.


I hope you enjoyed my walkthrough. I know it seems daunting the first time you try it. But I promise, once you have done it a couple of times you won’t even need these instructions. 

Before you leave, be sure to grab my FREE Black + White Preset below. It’s 1 of 4 that I use everyday as a professional photo editor, on my client’s images. Click the linked button below to grab it. 

If you found this helpful, I have many tutorials on my You Tube Channel where you will find weekly Lightroom editing tips and shortcuts. Be sure and SUBSCRIBE so you’ll never miss them. And please share this with a friend who also loves to edit!

If you have editing questions, never hesitate to reach out. I am always here to help. DM me on Instagram @alisamccormick and let’s chat! I am an open book and love to help others grow on their editing journeys.

Until next time, Happy Editing! 

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