How To Install Lightroom Presets To Mobile Without a Desktop

How To Install Lightroom Presets To A Mobile, Without A Desktop

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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? Installing Lightroom Presets to a mobile phone, without using a desktop, is a slightly lengthy process, but simple 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, make sure you have the right 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.  

Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, preset 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.
If you have trouble with extracting the images, you may need to download an unzipping app, like iZip.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, preset zip files

Step 2 - Create a New Album in Lightroom

We suggest creating a new album in the Lightroom mobile app for loading the images. This makes them a lot easier to find. 

  • Open the Lightroom Mobile app.
  • Use the + symbol next to Albums and give it a name.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, creating album

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.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, adding photos to album
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, adding photos to album
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, preset files

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.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, three dots button
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, 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.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, preset name

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.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, presets button
  • 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. 
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, color button
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, user presets view
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, user presets button

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.
Install Presets to Lightroom mobile, user presets view

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.

How to install Lightroom Presets to a mobile Pinterest Image
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