How to Copy Edits in Lightroom

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It can be tedious to edit thousands of photos, especially after a tiring photoshoot. Copying settings results in a more consistent output while saving a lot of time editing. We’re giving a step-by-step guide on the different ways how to copy edits in Lightroom to streamline your post-processing.

How to Copy Edits in Lightroom

To copy and paste settings in Lightroom, choose a photo from the Develop Module where you want to copy the settings. Put a checkmark on the settings you want to copy from the Adjustments panel, click on Copy, then press Command/Ctrl + Shift + V to paste the settings to the other photo.

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While this is the most efficient approach, there are different methods you can apply settings to multiple images in one catalog. Learning when and how to copy the necessary settings can help you post-process pictures much faster, work on projects with high standards, and have more time for photoshoots.

Copying Develop Settings

The copy-paste method works best if you’re working on photos from the same shoot with similar lighting or lens. After importing the pictures on Adobe Lightroom, you can simply follow these steps to transfer adjustments and corrections in other photographs.

  1. Create a reference photo. Apply every necessary adjustment or correction.
  2. Once done, click on the reference photo to serve as a base where you will copy the settings from within the Develop Module.
  3. A dialogue box will appear where you can control the settings you want to copy. For instance, you can check or uncheck the White Balance, Basic Tone, Dehaze, Color Grading, Noise Reduction, or Lens Corrections settings.
  4. If there’s a checkmark beside the setting, Lightroom will copy that to the other photos you choose. Click on the Check All button to copy every adjustment.
  5. You can uncheck some settings if you only want to copy some of them. This is a good feature because, for instance, you would not want the reference photo’s Spot Healing settings to appear on the other images.
  6. From the Library Module, click on Photo > Develop Settings > Copy Settings. Another option is to press Command/Ctrl + Shift + C to copy the chosen settings.
  7. Select another image from the filmstrip. Click the Paste button or press Command/Control + Shift + V to apply the copied settings to the new picture.

Syncing Across Multiple Photos

While you can do the first method for multiple images, it is better suited for one photo at a time. After potentially spending hours in culling, you still have a lot of work left to do, starting with applying a preset.

Instead of painstakingly editing the photos one by one, synchronization is a faster way of applying the same settings to several pictures at once.

  1. Pick the image from the Import library from which you want to copy the edits.
  2. Select the other pictures where you want to transfer the same modifications. Hold Command or Ctrl and click the necessary photos.
  3. Click on Sync within the Develop Module, which you can see on the screen’s bottom right, to paste the settings. A dialogue box will appear where you can select which settings to synchronize. Lightroom won’t include unchecked adjustments in the synchronization.
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Matching Exposure Values

The Match Total Exposure command lets you edit a series of images with varying exposure values to look more consistently exposed. It calculates and analyzes the overall exposure of the selected photos to match your active or reference picture.

  1. Apply the correct exposure adjustments to the active photo.
  2. Hold the Command/Ctrl button and choose the pictures from the filmstrip whose exposure values you want to match.
  3. Go to the Develop module, and click on Settings > Match Total Exposures.

Copying Crop Adjustments

Some photographers tend to overlook the importance of cropping photos. This can also mean spending a few more seconds cropping and aligning every image in the catalog. While it can be pretty time-consuming, there are many advantages to cropping a photograph, and here’s how you can do it fast.

  1. Crop the image that will serve as the reference photo.
  2. Head to the dialogue box in the Develop module. Click on Crop > Copy.
  3. Select the other pictures where you want to make the same crop adjustments.
  4. Paste the settings by pressing Ctrl + Shift + V.

Copying Brush Settings

In Lightroom’s new version, there’s no exact way to copy a single brush adjustment from image to image without wiping other brush adjustments. However, you can work around this by manually copying the brush settings.

  1. Head to the Settings toolbar at the top of the Library Module.
  2. Open the Photo tab.
  3. Click on the Choose Edit Settings to Copy option. Alternatively, press Shift + Ctrl or Command + C.
  4. The Tools option isn’t selected by default, so you’ll need to tick its checkbox.
  5. This will only save the setting once. If you need it as a default setting, click the three dots in the top right corner of the Tools box.
  6. Click on Set as Default so you can apply the brush setting manually.

Copying Metadata

Adding metadata is something you can usually skip when post-processing in Lightroom. However, metadata is one of the most valuable details, especially if you’re a professional photographer who does commercial work and wants to avoid copyright issues.

Metadata includes details regarding an image file, including the date, author, file name, lens settings, copyright information, and more. You can also use this to sort and organize files in Lightroom. With that said, here’s how you can copy metadata for several photos simultaneously.

  1. Choose the images you want to modify the metadata from the Import module‘s grid view.
  2. After selecting the pictures, scroll to the Apply During Import box, and click on New under the Metadata bar.
  3. From the dialogue box, you can fill in the sections for the various metadata options. These include file name, caption, and creator, among others.
  4. Click on Create to apply the metadata settings.
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How to Copy Edit Settings in Lightroom Mobile

Android, iPhone, and Chrome users can also copy and paste edit settings in Lightroom mobile. This is a convenient way to post-process a few images while traveling or can’t bring a laptop.

  1. Launch the Lightroom Mobile app. Choose the image you want to copy the adjustments over the other photos. Press and hold on to the picture.
  2. If the first step doesn’t work, tap on the three dots “” in the screen’s upper right corner. Press Select in the menu, then click on the reference photo.
  3. After choosing the picture, tap on Copy > Done from the options at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Press and hold to pick the photographs where you want to transfer the settings. Once selected, click on Paste > Done from the options.

Related Questions

Why Can’t I Paste Settings in Lightroom?

The most common reason you can’t paste settings in Lightroom is maybe you’re trying to copy adjustments from a different Lightroom version. If you’re using an older version, some settings, tools, or functions may be disabled or incompatible with the newer version.

Can You Copy Clone Settings in Lightroom?

Technically, you can copy the clone settings from one photo to another. However, this is not advisable because local adjustments will put the settings in the same part of the other image. This means the cloning may end up in the wrong place.


Synchronizing the edits is the easiest way to copy edits, yet the copy-paste method would be better if you want to cherry-pick the settings. As you try different techniques, you’ll find the most efficient system to save you time in post-processing while producing consistent edits.