If you have a Lightroom Creative Cloud subscription, syncing presets to your mobile device is the easiest and fastest way to go. But, what if you only have the free Lightroom Mobile app? It is possible to install Lightroom presets to a mobile phone, without using a desktop, but it is a lengthy process. However, it is simple enough to do, once you know how.
This guide will walk you through, step-by-step, everything you need to add those gorgeous presets to your Lightroom mobile app, without the need for a desktop or Creative Cloud account.
DNG Files Are a Must For Mobile
First off, to install Lightroom presets to a mobile phone, you must have the right type of files. Many Lightroom presets only come with .XMP files. These .XMP files are for the desktop version of Lightroom only. This is also true of .lrtemplate, which are from an older version of Lightroom.
However, some clever person figured out that Lightroom presets can be installed on the mobile app via .DNG images. If you are going to add presets to the Lightroom mobile app, without a desktop, you’ll need DNG files.
Step 1 - Download and Extract DNG Files
Some preset creators distribute their files as direct downloads, but normally presets come in a zipped file. You’ll need to Extract the DNG files before you can use them.
- Download the file with the presets.
- Open the zip file.
- Extract the file(s) – Our Free Lightroom Presets come with desktop and mobile versions. You only need to extract the mobile files to install on your phone.
- Once you Extract the files, you should then see the list of .DNG files.
Step 2 - Create a New Album in Lightroom
Step 3 - Load the Images Into the Lightroom App
Now add the new DNG images to the album.
- Click the blue button at the bottom that looks like a photo with a plus sign.
- Next, select where you want to add images from. This depends on where you saved them on your phone. For us, the images show up under Files. However, if you don’t see them there, check under Device.
- Finally, select the files with your preset. Our free Lightroom presets are white files with text in the middle; however, other creators’ presets may look like blank files, but that’s okay.
Step 4 - Save the Preset
Now with the image files loaded into the newly created Lightroom album, you need to save the presets. Each image already has the preset embedded, but you now need to transfer it into your preset folder.
- Open each image one at a time.
- At the top of the screen, click the three dots, then Create Preset.
- Next add a name to the preset.
- Plus, select settings. These should be defaulted for you, but if not, make sure all are selected, except Tools, Optics, and Geometry.
- Click the check mark at the top to save the preset.
- Follow the same procedure for each DNG file, until all presets are saved.
Step 5 - Accessing the Presets on Lightroom Mobile
- In the photo you are editing, on the bottom toolbar, scroll over to the right to find the Preset tool.
- Clicking on preset will open the presets enabled; however, you may not see the presets you just saved.
- Click the drop down menu, where you see “Color” in the photo below.
- Switch the presets to “User Presets.” This is usually the last preset group.
- Once you click on this, you should see the presets you just uploaded.
If you can’t see “User Presets” and the presets you created, you will need to enable this group of Presets.
- Click the three dots to the right of the Color drop down.
- Select Manage Preset
- Scroll down the list of Preset groups for User Preset or whatever name you used to group your presets. Typically this will be at the bottom.
- Click the slider to enable the presets.
- Now you should be able to see User Presets.
We hope this has helped you install your Lightroom presets to your mobile, even if you don’t have a desktop.
If you’re looking for free Lightroom presets to start editing with, check out our Free Seasons Collection.
For more information on how to use Lightroom presets, see our post on How to Correctly Use Lightroom Presets for your Travel Photography.