How to Customize Lightroom Classic’s Default Develop Settings (v9.2) 

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Lightroom Classic’s new Raw Defaults options (Preferences > Presets)  provide a much easier and more intuitive way to assign and manage the default rendering of your raw files across multiple camera models. For example, you may want to change the default rendering setting (such as apply a custom camera profile, change the amount of sharpening, or enable lens profile corrections), on all of the images that you import from one camera model, but not from another. The new Raw Defaults enables you to set custom defaults instead of having to first import files and then change settings.

Raw Defaults can be applied universally (across all cameras), or customized by camera model and even serial number. To apply the same Raw Defaults universally, use the Master drop-down menu and select from either Camera Settings or Preset. Choose Camera Settings to honor picture styles or profiles settings that you’ve set in-camera and preserve the “as shot” look whenever possible. Choose Preset to apply a preset as your default settings.  Note: you will need to first create the preset, then select Preferences > Raw Default in order to apply it. To create a preset, see the example below. To return to the Lightroom Classic’s default settings, choose Adobe Default .

To set different Raw Defaults for each camera model, enable “Use defaults specific to camera model”. Then, select the desired camera from the Camera drop-down menu.

Use the Default drop-down menu to choose between Camera Settings or Preset. Note: depending on the presets that you have installed, this list will vary.

After selecting either Camera Settings or a Preset, click “Create Default”.

The Camera Model and the Default applied are displayed in the box to the right making it easy to keep track of multiple camera’s with different settings applied. To reset, change, or delete a Default setting, click the downward facing chevron to the right of the camera model/default and select the desired option. Then, click ‘Update Default” to accept the changes. 

To customize the defaults for multiple cameras of the same model, enable “Show serial number”. 

Once Raw Defaults are set, all newly imported files will be rendered using the custom Raw Defaults. Note: Lightroom will not change or auto-update any settings on images that were imported prior to changing the Raw Defaults preferences.

How to create a preset in Lightroom Classic

In the Develop module, make the desired changes to the panel options. In the example below, I’ve changed the Profile setting from Adobe Color to Adobe Landscape and, in the Lens Corrections panel, enabled Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Profile Corrections. 

Then, click the Plus icon on the Presets panel and choose Create Preset…

Give the preset a name, select a Group to place it into, enable (check) the settings that you want to be saved as a part of the preset, and click Create. The preset will then be available for you to choose as a Raw Default in the Preferences > Presets panel.

Note: For customers that have set custom default settings in the past, this new Raw Default option replaces the previous method for creating custom default settings (Develop > Set Default Settings). Existing Default Develop Settings (from previous versions) are not compatible with the new system. That is, any previous default settings will not be carried over to the new system.  At this time, there is no UI in the application for creating ISO dependent presets. If your workflow depends on them, you will need to create them or edit an existing preset externally, using a text editor. Click here for Adobe provided examples and documented syntax. Note: one of the benefits of this updated feature is that it’s no longer necessary to specify default settings for ever ISO setting supported by the camera. Instead, when the preset is applied to an image, the settings will be interpolated automatically based on the actual image’s ISO (a practical improvement over the previous ISO- specific defaults functionality, which required specify values at every ISO).

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Posted on 02-11-2020


  • By dfhgd - 7:44 AM on February 11, 2020  

    The Import dialog still has an option to apply a preset on import. What happens if this is set differently than the setting in this new dialog?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 2:54 PM on February 11, 2020  

      Custom raw defaults are applied on import (first). Then, any preset that you had selected in the Import dialog is applied (second). So, for example, you had set your raw defaults to apply the Adobe Landscape profile, and applied a preset on import that applied the Adobe Portrait, since the preset is applied after the default settings, the image would have the Portrait profile assigned to it.

  • By David - 6:39 PM on February 11, 2020  

    This is a very welcome feature and a very clear description of how to use it. I just created a new preset using your instructions.

  • By ET198 - 11:10 AM on February 13, 2020  

    This new updated has created serious problems for me as I tether shoot in JPEG. Correct me if I am wrong, this Default Develop Settings only works with Raw format. Since I shoot in JPEG all my previous settings are gone or became unusable. My temporarily solution is to create a new presets and apply that setting manually. Lightroom 9.2 no longer apply the Default Develop Settings when the photo is taken/tethered in JPEG. I have a passport photo studio, we take 30-50 photos a day. Every photo we process I have to apply the new presets manually. The photo we process and print are small sizes, shoot only in jpeg helps to speed things up, save storage. Shooting in raw is absolutely unnecessary, it slows down the transfer rate and requires more computer processing power. This update has created so much trouble for us.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 1:06 PM on February 13, 2020  

      In Tether there is the ability to apply a preset upon tether capture. Create a preset containing the settings you wish to apply and select it in the pulldown menu of the Tether bar. Shooting raw is not requisite for this method of applying default edits.
      Likewise, you can add a preset when using the Import feature (but I understand that you’re tethering in this case).
      I hope that helps, -j

  • By Charles B - 7:59 AM on February 15, 2020  

    I do not understand what is being interpolated with regards to the ISO settings. I have used the previous method to set a preset for all camera ISO values, then to set defaults according to ISO for each image. I understand that this is no longer possible, but your statement above that settings will be interpolated according to the actual camera’s ISO needs some explanation.

    Thanks for the post.

  • By Bernd - 4:45 AM on February 22, 2020  

    I created different import presets for my cameras. That is a huge improvement and works fine for NR, sharpening, CAs etc. Unfortunately, however, the auto setting is not applied even though I ticked the treatment box in the presets. Since auto is done when the same presets are applied after import or the RAW files are opened directly in Camera Raw, I assume a bug in Lightroom rather than an error in creating the presets. Would be interesting to know whether others experience the same problem.