How to Open Lightroom Presets on iPhone or Mobile Device

lightroom presets iphone
LIghtroom Presets are a cheap and easy way to take your iphone pictures to the next level. This tutorial explains step by step how to install presets on your mobile phone iphone or cell phone.

Lightroom Presets: What are They?

A Lightroom Preset is a one-click fix for dull or dark photos. If you have a picture on your phone that lacks a little oomf, a preset can take your picture from drab to fab in an instant. If you want light and airy pictures and don’t want to spend time going through all of the editing options on your phone, a Preset is the way to go!

before and after preset justin

Here is a great example.

In the Before picture, you can see that this photo already had a lot going for it: lots of color, interest, and good composition. But the day was dark and a storm was coming in, so there’s not a lot of contrast and light in the picture.

After: notice how the colors have been heightened and the overall feel of the picture is brighter. The colors are still true to nature, but the contrast (which was definitely there in real life) has now been accurately portrayed in the lights and darks of the picture.

So how do I get these fabulous photo-editing tools?

I’m glad you asked.

There are a lot of folks selling Presets, and no wonder. It’s a digital product that makes money over and over!

So how do you choose which Preset seller to use?

I suggest going to Etsy and searching “lightroom mobile presets”.

Here’s what the front page of results looks like at the time I wrote this post:

etsy lightroom preset samples

17,000 plus results! You can’t look through all of them, so I’d suggest

  • skipping the top row (which are paid ads, see the Ad notice in the corner?)
  • scrolling through the first few pages and clicking on the ones that appeal visually to you the most. If you’re having trouble with dark photos, find some with mostly white or light pictures in the listing. If your struggle is drab colors, find some with colors that really pop. You will be drawn to some of these listings, so go with your gut.

What to look for in the listing:

  • Since we are looking for presets for our iPhone, we want to make sure that the listing says that it is compatible with the Mobile Lightroom app.
  • We also want to make sure that it works with all photo formats.
  • Make sure the preset has been well-reviewed by a good number of people.
  • Read the reviews!
  • Make sure the price fits your budget. You shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for mobile presets.

One of the things I love about online shopping is being able to read customer feedback.

For Lightroom Presets, a lot of people will even include sample pictures of how the Preset worked for them.

You will also see in the reviews how responsive the seller was in communicating with the customer. It’s good to see that the seller helps their customers with any snags they may encounter along the way.

I’ve highlighted this seller and this listing because this was one of the first Presets I bought.

The seller communicated quickly with me and was really helpful; I’d definitely recommend this shop.  And her prices were great!

before and after boys grayson highlands

I've found a Preset I want...Now What?


I will walk you through this entire process assuming you bought and are trying to download the file using your iPhone. I do not know how well it will translate to other mobile device users, but hopefully it will still be helpful to you.

Download and install the Lightroom App on your phone, if you don’t have it already. You do not have to pay for the app to use the preset features.

Once you’ve purchased your lightroom preset on Etsy, you will get an email notification that your digital files are ready to download.  

**Here’s where I ran into trouble.**

I have the Etsy app on my iPhone, and that is where I purchased my presets.  BUT you cannot download a digital file from the App (at least this is true as I write in January 2020, maybe they will change this in the future).  You will need to go to Safari or Google Chrome or whatever internet browser you have on your phone and log into Etsy through the browser in order to access your digital download files.

Once you’ve logged into Etsy, tap on your picture/favicon/whatever it’s called:

step three lightroom presets


Next, find “Purchases and Reviews” and tap that.

lightroom presets step 4

In Purchases and Reviews, find your Preset purchase. There will be a little grey arrow on the right side of your screen. Touch that to continue.

lightroom preset step four


On the next screen, there will be an option to download files. Touch “download files”.

step five lightroom preset

Find the files that include the words “mobile” and tap to download.
step six lightroom presets
After downloading the images, you will see a blue arrow with a circle around it at the top right corner of your screen. Tap on that to see the download.
step eight lightroom presets
In the download screen, locate your zip file. Touch it to unzip the file.
step ten lightroom presets
A file folder will appear next to your zip file with the unzipped documents. Voila!
step eleven lightroom presets
Now, touch the file folder and the next screen will be your Presets (there were seven presets in this package).
lightroom mobile presets
Touch the word Select, and then Select All.
step 12 lightroom presets
Now it’s time to tell your phone where you want to open these files. On the bottom left corner there is a box with an up arrow. Touch that.
step 13 lightroom presets
Swipe left to find the Lightroom app if it doesn’t immediately show up on your screen.
step 14 lightroom presets
This will bring up a prompt that asks if you want to Launch Lightroom now. Yes, you do. Touch that prompt to launch Lightroom.
step 15 lightroom presets
Once you’ve launched Lightroom, you will see your Presets. Don’t they look pretty?
step 16 lightroom presets
Now, you need to tell Lightroom that you want to use them as Presets, not just pictures. To do that you can tap one individual picture to select it, then tap the white circle with the three dots in the middle.
step 17 lightroom presets
This will bring up several options. Find the option that say “Create Preset” and tap that.
step 18 lightroom presets
Type in a name for your Preset. You can call it anything you want, but I normally title it whatever it says on the picture, just for clarity’s sake.
step 19 lightroom presets
Once you’ve named the Preset, tap the User Presets option under Preset Group. You are going to create a new Preset Group for your new Presets.
step 20 lightroom presets
Type in whatever you’d like to call your Preset Group (I usually just use the package name) and tap the checkmark to create this new Preset Group.
step 21 lightroom presets
Hooray for you!  We are almost done now!
Now your new Preset is saved under Presets on the bottom of the screen.To add the rest of the Presets, just repeat the process of Creating the Preset and adding it to the new Preset Group you’ve created (just tap on the User Presets Group to bring up your new Preset Group).
To use your new Preset, simply Add a picture that you want to enhance from your Camera roll. I’ll give you a more detailed tutorial tomorrow.
Let me know how this works for you!


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