How to Batch Edit in Lightroom

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When you have many photos to edit, batch editing might help speed up your work. Although many apps can help you batch edit, one of the simplest to use is Lightroom. So knowing how to batch edit in Lightroom is essential.

How to Batch Edit in Lightroom

You can batch edit in lightroom by applying the edits of one picture to all the other pictures in the catalog. Also, you can apply presets during import and in the library module, and use the sync option to apply edits to all the images.

An image on how to batch edit in lightroom

Sync Edits to Multiple Images

If you have similar photos, one thing you can do is edit one picture first. After that, you can apply those edits to a batch of photos. Those pictures will get the same edits as the first one. Here are the steps to sync your edits:

  1. When you finish editing the picture, make sure you have it selected in the filmstrip in the Develop module. This picture now becomes your reference image. You can also go to the Library tab and select this picture.
  2. Click CTRL on a PC or CMD on a Mac and click on any picture you want to copy the edits to.
  3. Go to Settings and select Sync Settings. You can also use the keyboard shortcut command/control + Shift + C or click on Sync at the bottom of the toolbar in the Develop module.
  4. A list of sync settings will appear. Choose the edits that you want to copy onto the other photos.
  5. Press Synchronize, and this will copy all the edits to the selected photos.

After applying the edits to multiple photos, you can open each of them and look at the edits individually. Depending on your preference, you can make the final changes that best suit those photos or keep them as they are.

Automatic Synchronization

Although the sync option can be of huge help, it has a few limitations. The above steps will help you sync the settings which have already been applied and if you make some changes to the reference image, you will have to sync again.

You can also update the edits on all the images as you work on the reference image by activating automatic synchronization. First, go to the Develop module and select all the images. Now click on ‘Auto Sync’.

Click on the little button next to sync and then you will be able to see the image you want to edit in full screen. As you make edits to your photo, it will be applying those changes to the rest of the images too.

Apply Presets

A preset is a predetermined filter that already has predetermined edit settings. It lets you quickly apply those edits to your picture and get close to the effects you want. There are a few ways you can apply presets in bulk: during import and in the library module.

An image of batch edit in lightroom


Applying presets during import allows you to apply a preset to all the images you want to edit. This is ideal when all the pictures have the same settings, and you feel applying that preset is a good starting point for all of them. You can follow these steps:

  1. Open Lightroom, and on the bottom left, click on the Import button.
  2. Click on the folder that contains your images. These images will now appear in thumbnail format in the Import module. They will all be selected by default; however, you can un-select any you don’t want to import.
  3. On the right side of the module, select the “Apply During Import” section and pick any preset in the Develop settings. You can either custom build a preset or choose the already available ones in Lightroom.
  4. Select Import. The preset will be applied to every image.

With this method, you won’t see the effect of that preset until your images are imported. So, you must be sure of that preset before applying it. Also, an import with presets will take longer than a normal import as it takes time to process them.

Once you have applied the presets and have imported them, you can’t easily undo this. You will have to correct all images or delete them and import again if you don’t end up liking that preset. It is a good idea to first apply the preset on one image before applying it on all of them.

Library Module

If you don’t want to apply a preset upon importing images, you can also apply presets through the Library module. Also, if you want to apply the presets to a small batch of photos instead of everything you import, you should use this method. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the library grid mode. Here you can view all the pictures that you imported into Lightroom.
  2. Select all the images you want to apply the preset to. To select multiple images, click control (or command) and click on the pictures.
  3. You can also select one, then hold shift and scroll to the last one.
  4. Go to the ‘Quick Develop panel’ and choose a preset under “saved preset”. Lightroom will now update all the images with the selected preset.

Again, you will not be able to preview the changes before apply the preset, so you have to be sure about what you want before applying the preset.

However, if you feel you applied the wrong preset, you can go to that particular photo. Select develop settings and choose Reset, or simply click Control/Command + Shift + R.

Paste Edits to Multiple Images

This is another way you can copy the edits from one picture and paste them onto the rest. First, select the image that you want to work on and go to the Develop module. You can simply apply a preset or apply edits manually.

An image of lightroom

Once you are done, select copy on the bottom left. Select the other images that you want to apply the particular settings to. You can select multiple images by holding Control or Command and clicking on those images.

Then click paste on the bottom left. This will apply all the edits to the selected images.

Related Questions

How to Batch Edit in Lightroom Mobile?

You can batch edit in Lightroom mobile in two ways. If you have an Android, select the photo from which you want to copy the edits from. Tap the three dots in the corner and click on copy settings. Tap select at the top and then choose between all, default and modified. After making the choice tap the check icon.

Choose the photos you want to paste the edits on. Click on the three dots and select paste settings. For iOS, the only difference is that you have to view the image in Loupe view. Then follow the steps above. When it comes to pasting the settings, you tap paste after selecting the photos and then tap Apply.

Can You Batch Crop in Lightroom?

You can batch crop in Lightroom by first cropping one image according to your preference. Then right-click the first image and under Develop settings choose copy settings. Select the option for crop and deselect all the other options.

Click the copy button and choose all the images you want to copy the crop to. Right click on the images go to Develop settings and click on paste settings.


Batch editing can save a lot of time. You can batch edit in Lightroom by copying the edits from one picture and pasting it on another. Besides this, you can apply the same presets to all the images, during import or in the library module.