How To Install And Use Lightroom Mobile Presets Without Desktop

There are a couple of ways to import/sync presets into the Lightroom Mobile app if you already have a subscription for the Desktop version of Lightroom. But what if you just purchased a few mobile presets and want to use them on the free app only without going through the hassles of the Desktop version? This tutorial will show you how to do that step by step. It will also show you how to save them as Presets and organize them in folders so you won’t have to copy/paste settings every time.

If you haven’t yet, check out our custom Desktop and Mobile presets here.

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Step 1: Download the files. Most mobile presets you purchase (including ours) will come as DNG files that you can download directly to your phone. If that’s the case you won’t need a computer at all. Skip directly to Step 3.

But some presets might be compressed into a ZIP file. Most cell phones are not able to open ZIP files. So in this case you will need to download the file to a computer first. If you don’t have a computer, contact the person you are purchasing the presets for and see if they are able to provide you with DNG files instead of a ZIP pack. 

Once you’ve downloaded the ZIP file, double-click to unzip it. That should create a folder of the same name with the DNG image files inside. Each DNG file is a preset that you now need to move to your phone and import into Lightroom.

how to install lightroom mobile presets

Step 2: Transfer the DNG files to your phone. The easiest way to do this is by using Dropbox but you can use any other file transferring method as well. To use Dropbox, simply drag your DNG files into your Dropbox folder and wait for the files to sync.

Once all your files are synced, go into your Dropbox folder on your phone and export each DNG file into your phone. See detailed steps below:

Step 3: Import the files into the Lightroom app. At this point you should have all of your DNG files saved to your phone. If you go into your photo stream and see them as blank picture files, don’t be alarmed – that’s how they should look.

Open the Lightroom app and create a new album. In this case we’ll name it KY Presets. Then open the new album, go to Add Photos and select all the DNG files from your camera roll and add them to the album. See detailed steps below:

Step 4: Create and save your Presets. Go into the album containing your newly imported DNG files. Open the first file, tap on the 3 dots icon at the top right of the screen and then tap on Create Preset.

Next you will see the New Preset screen (shown below) which contains all the options you can use to customize your preset. You can give your preset a name (highly recommended) and the option to choose a Preset Group to save it in. You can save it in User Presets or you can create a new preset group and name it however you like. I recommend this if you have a lot of presets and want to keep them organized. The checkboxes below determine which picture settings you’d like to save with this preset. Only the settings you choose here will be applied to the pictures you edit with this preset in the future.

I personally check all boxes except for Tools, Optics and Geometry. That’s because those parameters vary from picture to picture and I will probably never need to crop or tilt a picture exactly the same way as the preset for example.

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When you’re done with the settings save your preset by tapping on the checkmark icon at the top right corner.

Repeat this step for each DNG file as you will need to save each preset separately. Don’t worry though, you only need to do this once!

Step 5: Using the presets. To use your new presets just go back into your library and open any photo you’d like to edit.

Find the Presets icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen and tap on it. Make sure the Preset Group that’s selected is the one where you saved your new presets. If you saved them in the User Presets group, select that.

Now you can edit the photo by tapping on a preset from the list and then tapping on the checkmark. You can still continue to edit the photo and make adjustments if you like, after you’ve applied the preset.




    January 5, 2019 / 11:06 am

    how to without computer… 1. step: please download to your desktop 🙈

    • Katerina
      January 5, 2019 / 11:10 am

      It’s actually how to do it without the desktop version of Lightroom, not without a computer :))) And you can still do it without a computer if the files come in DNG format, which is how my presets are sold. If you’re buying them in a zip format you should ask the person who’s selling them

  2. Leslie
    November 27, 2018 / 2:25 am

    Hi there, I stumbled on this article while trying to troubleshoot why some presets I just purchased won’t save to my user presets. Essentially the problem I am having is this: I will save a preset to “user presets” and go to another photo and it will not appear in the user presets list. No matter how many times I save it, it won’t be available for me to use on other photos. But on the original file/photo that I saved the preset from, when I go to the user presets list it will be there. Is there any way to fix this? Is there any reason a DNG file won’t save to user presets for all photos? Thx!

    • Monica
      February 9, 2019 / 3:27 pm

      I am having this same issue. Did you find a solution?

    • Katerina
      November 27, 2018 / 8:23 am

      Hi Leslie! This has happened to me on the Desktop version but I have no idea how to fix it, I think it’s a bug. Try updating your Lightroom app or deleting it and reinstalling it again. Also try creating a new presets group and instead of saving in User Presets, save your presets into the new group. Let me know if that fixes it.


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