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How to Import & Use Lightroom Presets In Lightroom Mobile

By Justin Heyes on September 21st 2017

Mobile photography has come a long way in recent years; with no small part played by powerful editing application like Snapseed and Lightroom Mobile. These applications tap into the multi-core power of the pocketable computer we call a phone, to develop images to our taste to share them with a world obsessed with visual imagery.

Lightroom Mobile, in particular, has come a long way since its start, with Adobe concentrating the majority of its efforts into it instead of its desktop counterpart. The extensive library of features you expect to find in the desktop version in the palm of your hand. Features like RAW developing, dodging and burning, and exposure control are just a swipe away.

One feature, that is frequently requested is the ability to use custom and pre-made presets in LR Mobile, and recently, everyone’s favorite coffee drinking, snapback wearing, bearded photographer, Peter Mckinnon, published a video on a workaround how to get your favorite presets on your mobile device.


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Because all Adobe imaging software shares the same rendering engine core, Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom Mobile can actually view presets on iOS and Android that have been created on the on the desktop; it just takes a few steps to allow LR Mobile to ‘see’ it.

The Steps

  1. Open any Lightroom catalog on Desktop. In Library module, go to the bottom left panel labeled “Collections” and press on the “+” sign to create a new collection.
  2. Select any unprocessed photo in the catalog. It is best to choose one that you can easily see the applied presets
  3. Drag The photo to the collection
  4. Create virtual copies for as many presets you want to use in LR Mobile
  5. Apply presets to the virtual copies
  6. Sync collection with Lightroom Mobile

This is, in essence, creating a text file as virtual copies are saved as sets of instructions. The use of virtual copies is key as they take no significant space on your phone. After the files are synced to your mobile device, applying the presets is as easy as copy and paste.

Wrapping Up

Once the ‘presets’ have been applied to your images, a little bit of finesse will be needed to get the right look desired. Is this process perfect? No. It’s a clunky workaround that doesn’t allow you to see how your photo will look until the preset is already applied.

If you are entrenched into the Creative Cloud conglomerate, however, the process will allow you to your favorite presets for SLR Lounge on your phone.


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Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Elise Bivins

    Hiya! Amazing tutorial and I really love your video style. What kind of mic do you use for sound on these?

    Thanks! So happy to have found your site.


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