How to Select Multiple Photos in Lightroom

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Knowing how to select multiple photos in Lightroom boosts your productivity while editing. Whether you’re looking to import, export, move or edit a set of images, with that feature, you can work on as many photos at once. Now, is that even possible? Let’s discuss how:

How to Select Multiple Photos in Lightroom

The truth is that selecting numerous images on Lightroom is straightforward and pretty simple. It is not affected by the type of Lightroom module you’re currently using, be it the “Library”, ‘Develop”, or “Map”  module.

There are several options for selecting multiple images on Lightroom, depending on the module you want to use. Besides, knowing a few keyboard shortcuts will go a long way while selecting these images. Let’s talk about the different methods you can use to do this:

Selecting Multiple Photos via the Library Module

While using the library module, there are two areas for selecting multiple images. Doing this is possible only on the library module because, unlike other modules, it enables you to choose several images in a grid view style. Here’s how to choose multiple photos using the grid view:

Selecting images in the Library Module
  1. Load up Lightroom on your computer
  2. To open the grid view, simply press “G” on your keyboard or click on the “Escape” button, or navigate to the top menu and click “View” then select “Grid”
  3. After opening, select a thumbnail by pressing CTRL-A/CMD-A to select all image thumbnails
  4. Click on the SHIFT key and hold it down to select successive images
  5. To select images in no particular sequence, click and hold down the CTRL key
  6. Lightroom automatically selects a default image to appear on the top of your stack and controls the settings of others
  7. To change this default to another image, release the CTRL key and click on the new image
  8. To unselect an image, click down on the CTRL key and select the image thumbnail
Selecting multiple images in the Library Module

Note: You want to avoid clicking on an unselected image during this process because it automatically unselects all the photos that have been previously selected.

The other way to pick numerous images in the library module is by using the “Loupe View.” This option allows you to view one photo at a time while the other images are displayed in the filmstrip.

The filmstrip displays all the images in a file in the form of a sliding roll of photos located at the bottom of the screen. You can select several images on this filmstrip using any of the techniques discussed in the section below.

Selecting Multiple Photos via the Develop Module

On the Develop module, you can only view and select images using the filmstrip display. If you want to select photos individually, as a sequence, or as a complete set of photos, you can use the steps below via the Develop module.

Note: this works for the library module as well, using the “loupe view” method above.

How to Select Photos Individually

While editing a batch of photos, you might need to choose several images one at a time.

To do this:

Selecting an individual photo in Lightroom
  1. Hold down the CTRL key (on a PC) or CMD (on a Mac)
  2. Then, click between the photos that you want to select
  3. All the photos that you clicked on will be selected in no specific order

How to Select a Series of Images

When you need to pick multiple images in the sequence that they are arranged, follow the step-by-step guide below:

Selecting a series of image in Lightroom
  1. Click on the image that you want to come first in the sequence
  2. Hold down the shift key and select the picture that you want to come last on the sequence
  3. This automatically selects all the images in between the two images just as they are arranged on the set

How to Select All the Images in a File

To select all the images in Lightroom at once in no specific order, simply click on the CMD key and press A (on a Mac) or click on the CTRL key and press A (on a PC). This selects all the images in your Lightroom set at once.

Selecting all the images in a file

Selecting Multiple Photos via the Map Module

You can also choose multiple images in the Map module. When you have collections of photos that have already been geolocated, this is handy. The appropriate photographs in the filmstrip at the bottom will be automatically selected when you click on a marker.

Choosing multiple photos in a Map Module

Holding down the CMD or CTRL key also allows you to select several markers.

How to Select Several Photos to Import Into Lightroom

Selecting a set of images to import into Lightroom is pretty simple. Although the steps discussed above are for selecting several images in Lightroom, they cannot be used to import photos to Lightroom. How do you import numerous mages into Lightroom?

To pick numerous images to import in Lightroom, follow the detailed steps below:

Selecting several images to import into Lightroom
  1. Import the file containing all your photo sets to Lightroom
  2. After importing, find the location of the file that you imported
  3. Once you locate the file, a grid view containing all the images on the imported file pops up
  4. Lightroom automatically selects all the images in the file by ticking the checkmarks on the thumbnail
  5. To unselect any image, simply uncheck the checkmark on its thumbnail
  6. Then click on Import to import the selected images into Lightroom

Note: While selecting several images to import on Lightroom, you may need to add a new image from another location to the set. Simply select the “New Photos” option at the top of the “Import” menu. This feature unselects all pre-selected images allowing you to select only your preferred images.

How to Select Multiple Images to Export in Lightroom

When you need to export a batch of images from Lightroom, knowing how to select all the images at once will save a great deal of time. Below is a step-by-step guide to doing this easily:

Selecting multiple images to export in Lightroom
  1. Using any of the methods discussed above, select all the images that you want to export from the “Library” or “Develop” module
  2. After the selection, navigate to “File” and select “Export”
  3. This will export all the selected images at once from Lightroom to the new location

What Are the Benefits of Knowing How to Choose Multiple Photos in Lightroom?

While working in Lightroom, the last thing you’d want is to have to sort all your images one by one. This process seems endless and frustrating, especially when you have a boatload of photos in Lightroom.

Knowing how to choose multiple images in Lightroom streamlines your editing process. This feature comes in handy when you need to import, export, print, move, or compare a set of photos without any hassle.

Related Questions

Below are some other questions you might have concerning the selection of multiple photos on Lightroom.

Can I Select Multiple Images in Lightroom Mobile?

Yes, you can select multiple images in LR Mobile. To do this, first locate the folder containing the images you want to select. Go to the top right corner of the screen and click the upward pointing arrow. This feature lets you pick numerous images on your mobile.

How Do I Select Multiple Files at Once?

In Lightroom, to select multiple files simultaneously, hold down the Ctrl key after clicking the first file or folder to select more than one file containing a set of images. Click each additional file or folder you want to choose while holding down the Ctrl key.


Knowing how to select multiple images on Lightroom is a plus skill worth having because this helps improve your efficiency while editing. You can choose to pick several images via the “Develop”, “Library” or “Map” module. Whichever of the several options you choose to learn, it’s worth it.