How to use custom presets with Lightroom Mobile

Loading custom presets into Lightroom on your computer is pretty straight forward, but one thing that doesn’t seem obvious is how to get those same presets into Lightroom's mobile counterpart. Lightroom Mobile has been evolving steadily since it first came out and is quickly becoming one of the most powerful mobile editing apps available. With the recent addition of Local Adjustment tools, Lightroom Mobile has seriously closed the gap between what you can achieve on your computer and on your phone, and has now even become my own go-to mobile editing app. The one feature that seems most visibly missing though, is custom preset support.

While there isn’t officially a feature that lets you load your custom presets into Lightroom Mobile, there is a workaround that gives you access to the same presets you use on your computer. Here’s a simple tutorial that you can follow to supercharge your Lightroom Mobile workflow.

How to "load" your custom preset into Lightroom Mobile

Note: in order to accomplish this, you’ll need to be signed in to a Creative Cloud account.

  1. Open Lightroom on your computer and create a new Collection under the Library section. Be sure to check the box that says “Sync with Lightroom mobile”.

  2. Place an unedited photo into the newly created collection.

  3. Switch over to the Develop section and apply the preset that you’d like synced with your phone. Make sure no other edits are applied to the photo.

  4. On your phone, open Lightroom Mobile and make sure you’re signed in to your Creative Cloud account. On your Organize screen, you should now see the collection you created on your computer under “Collections”. If you don’t see it there, it may still be syncing. If not, double check that you’ve enabled “Sync with Lightroom mobile” on the collection from your computer.

  5. You can repeat this process for as many presets as you’d like to sync to Lightroom mobile.

How to edit a photo with your custom preset in Lightroom Mobile

Up until this point, you’ve simply synced a photo with your custom preset applied to Lightroom Mobile. Now, when you want to apply the custom preset to a new photo, you simply need to follow these steps:

  1. Open the synced preset photo. No need to do anything with the photo beyond opening it.
  2. Browse back to your Lightroom Photos and open the new photo that you’d like to edit. Make sure you don't open any other photos between the synced preset photo and the new photo.
  3. Scroll to the far right of the bottom toolbar until you see Previous.

  4. Tap Previous and select All from Previous.

  5. Voila! You’ve just applied the custom preset from the synced photo to your new photo!

I guess I might as well finish the edit at this point. Following my 5 trusty steps, here's the final image:


    Pro tips

    • You can selectively copy settings between photos by tapping the ellipsis icon in the top right and choosing Copy Settings. Simply select the settings you'd like to copy, open the new photo you'd like to edit, and choose Paste Settings (also under the ellipsis icon).
    • Choose neutrally exposed photos to “carry” your presets. Many presets don’t adjust exposure, so you’ll want a photo that’s already neutrally exposed (i.e. not too under exposed or over exposed) so that you can see the details properly. This is especially helpful if you’re syncing multiple presets and need to visually tell the difference between them.
    • Overlay a text label on your unedited photos before applying your custom presets so that you can tell which preset they represent. This is helpful if you have multiple presets in the same collection. 

    Let me know if this worked for you! Leave a comment below or message me directly on Instagram!

    Looking for custom presets to try this with? Look no further.


    Leave a comment