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Although Lightroom presets can help you apply effects and adjustments to a large collection of photos at once, having too many presets might clutter your workflow or even slow the application. Learning how to delete presets in Lightroom will help you get rid of presets you don’t need.
- How to Delete Presets in Lightroom
- How to Manage Lightroom Presets
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
How to Delete Presets in Lightroom
Lightroom presets are a group of photo manipulation instructions that can help you apply effects and adjustments on a single image or a large collection of images at a button click, speeding up the editing process. Lightroom presets work almost the same as photo filters or Photoshop plugins.
Keeping in mind that Lightroom is a versatile photo manipulation software, it comes with several built-in presets that can help beginners get started and also allow you to create your custom presets or import them from zip folders. Usually, you can create or import as many presets as you want.
However, since a large number of presets means you’ll have to go through the large list to identify the one you want to use, it is advisable to delete the presets you don’t use. Whether you want to delete the imported presets or the custom ones, you can use the following methods to get rid of them.
Deleting the Presets Through the Lightroom Interface
The best and most convenient way to delete presets is to delete them from the Lightroom interface. Usually, this deletes the preset instantly from the application and deletes the preset file from the hard drive storage. Use the following steps to locate and delete the presets from the Lightroom Develop module.
- Launch Lightroom and then switch to the Develop module. If you are unable to locate the Develop module, you can hit the keyboard shortcut keys command + option if you’re using a Mac or ctrl + alt if you’re using a Windows PC and then press the numbers from 1 to 5 to switch between the modules until you locate the Develop module.
- Usually, the preset panel will be located on the left-hand panel of the interface. However, if you can’t see it, you can select the triangle at the center of the left side of the interface window or hit F7 on your keyboard.
- If you want to delete one of the presets bundled in a folder or zip folder, you’ll first need to import them in Lightroom by navigating to File, Import, and then choosing the Develop Profiles and Presets. Go to the presets folder and then choose the unzipped .xmp files or the zipped .zip file. Usually, this will make the presets available in the presets panel on the left.
- Click on the drop-down box to display the presets.
- Right-click on the preset that you want to delete, then choose Delete.
Deleting the Presets Through the Windows File Explorer or Mac Finder
Deleting Lightroom presets directly from the computer’s hard drive might be the most straightforward way of getting rid of unwanted Lightroom presets, especially when you want to remove presets from a specific folder.
Whether you are using a Windows PC or a Mac, you can use the following ways to access the preset location and delete the file directly from the hard drive.
Accessing the Presets Location Through the Lightroom Interface
You can use the Lightroom interface to access the preset location by browsing and locating the preset files using your mac finder or Windows file explorer.
- Repeat the procedure like when deleting the presets directly from the Lightroom interface. However, instead of choosing Delete, select the Show in Finder option if you’re using a Mac or the Show in Explorer option if you are using a Windows PC. Typically, this will open the hard drive file location of the preset you have selected.
- Again, right-click on the preset you want to delete from your mac finder or Windows file explorer and then choose Delete.
- You can also hit the keyboard delete key or ctrl + D if you’re using a Windows PC or command + D if you’re using a Mac.
Accessing the Presets Location on File Explorer or Mac Finder
Alternatively, you can access the presets location by opening your mac finder or Windows file explorer without launching Lightroom. Although this method might be straightforward to beginners unfamiliar with the Lightroom user interface, you will need to know in which folder the presets are located.
In most cases, custom presets will be located in the user presets subfolder under Adobe, camera raw, settings, while imported presets will be located in the imported settings subfolder under Adobe, camera raw. Once you locate the presets, right click the folder or individual preset and then choose delete.
How to Manage Lightroom Presets
Although you can use the above methods to delete the imported and custom presets, you cannot delete the built-in presets. Typically, Lightroom will not even give you an option of deleting or opening the file location of the pre-installed presets.
You might also have a large collection of imported presets you purchased as a bundled zip file. Even if you might not be using some of these presets, it’s not advisable to delete them as you might need them in the future, and you don’t want them to cost you more money.
Although the following tips can’t help to relieve storage space like when deleting the presets permanently, you will eliminate the clutter of presets you rarely use.
Organize the Presets Into Folders
The best way to organize presets and eliminate clutter is to put them in different folders and then open the folders you want to use. Navigate to the Preset tab, right-click anywhere in the panel, and select New Folder.
Click on the preset you want to move and drag it into the new folder. It’s advisable to give the folders different names to help you recognize the effects and adjustments of the included presets.
For instance, you can rename a folder to Detail if the presets in the folder helps in sharpening and noise reduction, or rename it to Effects if the presets in the folder helps in grain and vignetting enhancements.
Hide the Pre-installed Presets
Although you can’t delete the built-in Presets, you can hide them from the presets panel. Navigate to the preset box on the left-hand panel of the interface, just like when deleting the custom and imported presets.
Expand the folder using the triangle at the center of the panel so you can view all the built-in presets. Right-click on the preset you want to hide and then choose Manage Presets.
If you want to hide a collection of presets, you can right-click on the parent folder rather than the individual presets. Usually, a Manage Presets dialog box will pop up. Uncheck the option boxes to hide the presets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Recover Lightroom Presets After Deleting?
You can recover Lightroom presets after deleting them through the file explorer or mac finder, as the deleted files might have moved to the Recycle Bin on a Windows PC or the Bin or Trash folder on a Mac. However, this will depend on your computer settings.
Will a Preset Disappear From Lightroom When I Delete It From the Hard Drive?
Usually, a preset will not disappear from the Lightroom interface when you delete it from the hard drive through the file explorer or Mac finder until you restart Lightroom.
Knowing how to delete presets in Lightroom will help you remove the clutter of unwanted and duplicate presets to streamline your workflow. Typically, you delete the presets from the Lightroom user interface or directly from the hard drive using the Windows file explorer or Mac finder.