How to Reset the Tone Curve in Lightroom

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Mastering the tone curve on Lightroom is essential as this allows you to alter the quality of your images while editing drastically. You can easily change any image’s overall brightness and contrast with it.

When testing out effects with the tone grid, you might end up overdoing specific effects, thus altering the image’s original quality to great lengths. Knowing how to reset the curve will ensure that you restore the original quality of your image after altering it.

How to Reset the Tone Curve in Lightroom

Knowing how to reset the tone curve on Lightroom is essential because this helps you to adjust the image quality accordingly. There are several methods for adjusting this curve on Lightroom, and we’ve discussed these methods in detail below.

First, let’s clarify that there are two curves on Lightroom, and although they help adjust brightness and contrast levels, they still operate quite differently. We’ve discussed how to adjust either of both curves below. 

An image of Lightroom running on a laptop

Resetting the Point Curve

When you open the Tone curve panel on Lightroom, the default curve is the point curve. This curve is super easy to use, and it is also versatile. You can easily adjust the color levels of an image because it lets you alter the Red, Green, and Blue color channels. 

Resetting the Point curve is not a complicated process; you can easily do this in a few steps. However, you need to understand how to follow these methods effectively because the Point curve is highly functional, and altering it can affect the second curve.

Here are the steps on what to do to reset the point curve on Lightroom:

  1. Open Lightroom on your computer 
  2. Navigate to the develop module and open it or press the D key to open it seamlessly
  3. Next, go to the right-hand panel on the screen that is displayed after clicking the module.
  4. Search through the right-hand panel and select the option titled “Tonal curve,” which is the “Tone adjustment” grid
  5. Then, click on each point on the curve and drag carefully back to the original position to make a straight vertical line.
  6. If you’ve adjusted the lines slightly too much, click on CTRL and the Z key to undo the changes that you made.
  7. Then, repeat this step for the other points on the curve

Method 2

Using the method above is simple, however, if you’re not careful while dragging the curve points, this step becomes exhausting as you’d have to undo and repeat it several times. Is there a more straightforward approach to adjusting the curve on Lightroom?

Below is a step-by-step guide on another method of resetting this curve in Lightroom:

  1. Launch Lightroom on your computer
  2. Open the develop module by clicking on it or by pressing the D key.
  3. Go to the right-hand panel on the screen after clicking the module.
  4. Then navigate to the screen’s panel on the right corner and select the “Tonal curve” option.
  5. After that, right-click or double-click on the curve, which displays an option menu
  6. From the menu, select the option titled “Flatten Curve.”
  7. Doing this will automatically adjust the curve to its default position

Resetting the Region/Parametric Curve 

The second type of tonal curve is the region or parametric curve. It also functions like the point curve and lets you modify your image’s contrast and brightness levels.

This curve is not the default tone curve, and you can switch to this curve system by clicking on the graph icon below the curve panel. At the bottom of the panel is a set of sliders for controlling this curve’s brightness, color temperature, contrast, and shadows.

The tone output in the image regions can be increased or decreased by moving the sliders from right to left. In addition to the mids and highs, a dark slider is located at the bottom of the curve. So, how do you reset the parametric curve without any hassle?

  1. Open Lightroom on your computer
  2. Click on the Develop module or press the D key, which opens a panel on the screen after clicking the module.
  3. Then, navigate to the select the panel on the right-hand side of the screen.
  4. At the bottom of the “Tonal curve” panel is a small graph icon; select it.
  5. Then select the “Region Curve” option to switch to the region curve
  6. Next, right-click on the tone curve, which displays a menu with different reset options.
  7. From this list, select a suitable option based on the effect that you want to achieve.
  8. Select the “Reset regions” option if you want to reset only the curve itself
  9. Choose the “Reset splits” option if you need to reset the splits separating the region curve.
  10. Click on the “Reset Region and Splits” option if you want to reset both tonal features simultaneously.
  11. Select the “Reset All” option if you want to reset all the features at once
  12. Click on the “Reset Tone Curve” button to reset the Point and region curves together. 
An image of a person editing on Lightroom

How to Reset Tone Curve With the Targeted Adjustment Tool

The targetted adjustment tool is a feature on Lightroom that allows you easily adjust or reset the Region curve or point curve without any hassle. This tool shows the editor exactly where adjustments will be made on the Curve.

This tool is applicable for both the point curve and the parametric curve. To access this tool, go to the Tonal curve panel by the right corner of the screen after clicking the develop module. Then, click on a small icon on the top left corner of the panel.

To use the targetted adjustment tool for resetting the tone curve on Lightroom, follow the step-by-step guide below:

On a Windows computer:

  1. Load up Lightroom on your computer
  2. Click on the tonal curve panel and select either the parametric or point curve (preferably the former because it is easy to integrate)
  3. Select the targetted adjustment tool by clicking on the CTRL + Shift + T
  4. Navigate to the image, then click-drag up/down the specific point on the screen where you want to reset
  5. Click on the “Esc” button on your keyboard if you need to undo that adjustment

On a Mac computer:

  1. Navigate to the Lightroom software on your computer and open it
  2. Go to the develop module and click on the tonal curve panel
  3. From the panel, select any of the two tonal curves(the parametric tonal curve works efficiently with the adjustment tool)
  4. Click on the CMD, Shift, and the “T” key simultaneously
  5. Go to the image on the Lightroom window and click the area of the image that you want to reset.
  6. Then, drag the mouse up or down depending on the direction of the preferred curve
  7. When you need to reverse the adjustment made, click on the “ESC” key or press CMD + Z

Note: When click-dragging the adjustment tool, you want to ensure that you’re doing that in the opposite direction of the point of parametric curves. If you’ve previously click-dragged a point curve up, you need to click-drag the adjustment tool down.


The Tonal curve is an essential tool to master in Lightroom. Using it, you can quickly increase or reduce your image’s brightness, color, and contrast level. Knowing how to restore the default brightness curve in Lightroom is crucial because it lets you adjust these several features accordingly.