(JK: Updated 12-2017)
To change Lightroom’s default processing setting to apply Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration when importing images, use the following steps:
1) Select a raw file taken with your camera and remove any settings by clicking the Reset button in the lower right of the Develop Module.
2) In the Lens Correction panel, check both the Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration options.
Note: changes are not limited to Lens Correction. You could, for example, change the default Profile used in the Camera Calibration panel or the amount of Noise Reduction applied in the Details panel – just remember that these settings will be applied to ALL future imported images from this camera.
3) Choose Develop > Set Default Settings > Update to Current Settings. Note: Although the dialog says that the changes are not Undoable, it only means that the shortcut Command + Z (Mac) | Control + Z (Win) won’t undo the settings. Don’t worry, you can return to the dialog at any time and choose Restore Adobe Default Settings if needed.
Once the defaults are changed, any images taken with that camera model will automatically have the Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration settings applied when the are imported into Lightroom (any images that are already in the catalog remain as they were). Because you are simply “Enabling” Profile Corrections, if you change lenses, Lightroom will automatically look for and apply the appropriate lens correction profile based on the EXIF data in the photo. Note: For the small number of images that I don’t want to apply these setting to, I can easily disable (uncheck) the Lens Correction options or create a preset to apply both options in one click.
Five Additional Tips:
1) If you are using multiple camera models, you will need to customize the default settings for each model (by following the above steps for each camera model).
2) It is also possible to save different setting for each camera based on serial number and ISO settings (Preferences > Presets). This can be useful when using custom camera profiles and/or customizing Noise Reduction options, for example.
3) If you import 1000 images but will only end up using 10 of them, applying these lens corrections to every file that you import will increase the amount of time it takes to render previews (how much time depends on your system, file size etc.). If you notice a significant decrease in performance, you might prefer to create a preset to apply lens corrections, and apply it to only your best images.
4) Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) toggles the Reset button to Set Default (in the Develop module).
5) Customizing the default settings in either Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, defines the settings for both products.