How to Reset Lightroom

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Like every other software, Lightroom experiences unexpected crashes and lags due to errors or bugs lurking around the backend. When this happens, it prevents you from efficiently editing your images. This is where knowing how to reset lightroom comes in because it is a quick way of fixing these problems.

How to Reset Lightroom Preferences

Resetting your lightroom can help to fix the problems of bugs and errors in the lightroom. There are different ways to reset your lightroom based on the type of computer or lightroom version that is installed on it. Let’s discuss these different methods of resting the lightroom.

An image of a MacBook

Resetting Lightroom on Your Mac Computer

Knowing how to reset lightroom on your Mac computer is not too complicated and can be easily figured out with just a number of steps. Below are the steps that you need to follow for you to easily restore Lightroom defaults on your Mac computer:

  1. Make sure that Lightroom is not currently running on your computer
  2. Then, navigate to the Mac Finder of your computer and open it
  3. Click on the “Go” menu
  4. Press down on the “Opt” key, which displays several folders until it displays the “Library” option in the Menu
  5. Click on the Library folder
  6. Then, delete, rename, or remove the following files depending on the lightroom version that you’re currently on:

Classic: com.adobe.LightroomClassicCC7.plist.

com. adobe.Lightroom6.LSSharedFileList.plist (for older versions that have a similar name).

Lightroom 6 (or earlier): com.adobe.Lightroom6.plist and 

Lightroom Desktop (cloud-based): com.adobe.LightroomCC.plist.

  1. After that, restart your Mac computer
  2. Then, restart Lightroom and you’re good to go.

Note: When you launch Lightroom after resetting, some of your files, such as the Lightroom presets, may fail to display. You need to find the location of the preset on Lightroom.

Resetting Lightroom on Your Windows Computer

Just like the steps discussed above, resetting lightroom on your Windows computer is not complex, and you can easily do these by following the step-by-step guide below:

  1. Ensure that Lightroom is not currently running
  2. Go to File Explorer on your computer and open it
  3. Then, navigate to:
  • C:\Users\[yourusername]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences (Lightroom Classic, Lightroom 6 (or earlier)
  • C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom CC\Preferences (Lightroom Desktop (cloud-based))
  1. Or, you can open the Start menu and click the search box in Windows 7 / 10 or Search in Windows 8 and type: %appdata%\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences to display the hidden folder where they are stored
  2. Then, rename, delete, or move any of the following depending on your Lightroom version:

Lightroom Classic: Lightroom Classic CC 7 Preferences.agprefs and leave the Startup Preferences there.

Lightroom 6 (or earlier lightroom versions): Lightroom 6 Preferences.agprefs

  1. After that, restart Lightroom, and you’re good to go.

The last thing you’d want is an error message that takes hours to fix when you need to do some quick editing. So, if the above step is a bit too intricate and you need a simpler and faster way to restore lightroom defaults, here’s how to do that:

Resetting Lightroom on Your Mac Computer Using the Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Turn off the Lightroom software on your computer
  2. Click down on the Shift key and select the Opt key simultaneously
  3. Double-click on the Lightroom icon.on your desktop screen while holding down the keys
  4. A dialog box is displayed with different options, including the “Reset Lightroom Preferences”
  5. Select the “Reset Preferences” option, which will reset the Lightroom on your Mac computer.
  6. After that, restart your application, and it’s all cleared
An image of a computer

Resetting Lightroom on Your Windows Computer Using the Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Ensure that Lightroom is not currently running on your windows computer.
  2. Press down on the Shift key and the Alt key simultaneously
  3. Then, open the Adobe Lightroom software on your computer while still holding down the keys.
  4. This action displays a dialog box asking you to reset lightroom preferences
  5. Select “Yes” and wait as it resets the Lightroom application
  6. After that, restart your lightroom software, and you’re ready.

Note: you can open the lightroom application using this method from anywhere on your computer, including the desktop shortcut, app, or folder.

What You Need to Know and Do Before Resetting Your Lightroom

No doubt, after resetting the lightroom on your computer, many changes will be brought about. So, to avoid losing all your important lightroom files and folders, there are some settings you need to adjust before resetting your lightroom.

Firstly, you might need to take a screenshot of each Preferences tab before you restore Lightroom defaults so that you can use the same settings again after you restart. You can skip this step if you haven’t changed anything in the default Preferences since you first installed the program.

Setting 1: Adjust Lightroom Presets

After resetting your lightroom, when you open it up, the presets stored on it may appear to have been lost. This may be because the “Store presets with your catalog” option is selected, and Lightroom may not display the presets stored with that catalog.

To prevent this from happening, follow the simple steps discussed below:

On a Mac

  1. Open Lightroom on your computer
  2. Then, disable the “Store presets with your catalog” option.
  3. Copy the contents in the “Lightroom Settings” folder to the following folder:

HD/Users/<user name>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Camera Raw/Settings

On a Windows

  1. Load up Lightroom on your computer 
  2. After that, unselect the “Store presets with your catalog” option.
  3. Copy the contents in the “Lightroom Settings” folder to the following folder:

 C:\users\<user name>\appdata\roaming\Adobe\Camera Raw\Settings

Setting 2: Adjust Plugins and Plugin Settings

After restoring Preferences, your plugins and other add-ons may disappear. To prevent this from happening, you should store your plugins in a different folder that is more secure on Lightroom.

Here’s the location the new file location to store your plugins.

On a Mac

  • Macintosh HD/Users/<user name>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Modules

On a Windows

  • Windows: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Modules

Note: When resetting Lightroom, plugins that have been previously published will not reset because they have been stored with the lightroom catalog. Other plugins that have not been applied to lightroom will be restored back to their default settings.

If any plugin or presets is found to be missing after the reset, you will need to manually add them to Lightroom.

An image of a woman using her laptop

What Are the Benefits of Restoring Lightroom Preferences?

When Lightroom acts up due to minor errors or bugs, you might need to reset it to fix this problem. The settings under the Preferences tab determine how you use your lightroom application and they need to be adjusted to accomplish this.

The Lightroom preference menu consists of 9 menus with several options for General settings, presets, external editing, file handling, interface, performance, Lightroom sync, display, and network. All these settings control the operation of your lightroom software.

When you reset these preferences, you have restored them to adobe’s default settings. Thus your lightroom can now function smoothly. This means saying goodbye to error messages and lag.

Related Questions

Will All Settings Be Affected When I Reset Lightroom?

Not all settings will be affected when you reset the lightroom. Although this change affects most of your lightroom settings, your original photographs, “Develop” module settings, and previously-published presets and plugins will be unaffected by this option change.


Knowing how to restore the default settings on your lightroom software is a game-changer as it helps you fix many technical issues on your lightroom. You can do this manually on your computer by deleting, replacing, or renaming some lightroom preference folders or by quickly using a keyboard shortcut.