How to Batch Edit in Lightroom

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Batch Editing on a Macbook in Adobe Lightroom

Remember the good ole’ days of editing each photo individually? Thanks to Adobe Lightroom, photographers no longer have to process each photo one by one. You can save lots of time and energy by learning how to batch edit in lightroom.

In this tutorial, we will teach you exactly how to do that, as well as provide multiple techniques you can use to speed up your workflow all while maintaining high-quality, well-edited photos. This is one of the most powerful features of Adobe Lightroom, so stick around and let’s learn how to batch process some photos!

What is Batch Editing?

For those who aren’t familiar with batch editing, it’s basically a post-processing technique that allows you to edit multiple or even hundreds of photos at once. If you have photos with similar lighting conditions and exposures, you can save tons of time by applying the same settings across all photos. This is an amazing feature that Adobe Lightroom has implemented in their system.

Batch Editing on a Macbook in Adobe Lightroom

Batch Editing in Adobe Lightroom

Batch processing in Adobe Lightroom is more powerful than other applications because you can selectively decide which settings to batch process. This is a non-destructive way to edit your photos in case you need to go back and fine tune each image individually.

Adobe Lightroom Presets

As mentioned above, Lightroom CC offers free presets for users, but there are many beautiful presets available online. Depending on the type of photography you do, you can easily find gorgeous presets specifically for food photography, fashion, landscapes, portraits, and many more.

lightroom presets.

Choosing the correct preset for your photos will have a powerful aesthetic impact on your photography. You can explore our wide collection of Adobe Lightroom Presets before beginning the batch editing process. Post production has never been easier and more accessible than with Adobe’s creative presets and brush options. 

How to Apply the Edits to Multiple Photos

Importing photos in Adobe Lightroom

Step 1: Import your Photos

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Locate the Import button in the lower-left corner of the Library module.
  • Select File > Import Photos And Video.
  • Drag your photos or folder from your computer into the Grid view.
Copying photos as DNG files in Adobe Lightroom

Once your photos have been imported, decide how you want to add them to the catalog. There are several ways to add them in Lightroom:

  • Copy as DNG files: This converts your raw files to Adobe’s Digital Negative Format (DNG).
  • Copy: Basic copying of your files to the selected folder.
  • Move: Move files from another folder to the current folder.
  • Add: Select this when you want to keep the  files in the current location.
Using the preview pane to select the files on Adobe Lightroom

Next, you’ll want to select the files you want to import from the preview pane. Check all the ones you’re planning to batch edit. 

Step 2: Select a Preset to Edit Multiple Photos

One of the fastest ways to start batch editing is to use Lightroom’s free presets. This is offered by Lightroom CC. Once your photos have been imported, go to the Library tab. Find the Quick Develop button on the right side of the screen.

At the drop-down menu next to Saved Preset, select the preset of your choice. You can keep experimenting until you find the right preset. As soon as you click on a preset, the image will update and the preset should automatically apply. 

Once you’ve found the perfect preset for your photo, select Command + A (Mac) or Ctrl + A (PC) to select all of your photos. You may also hold down the Command or Ctrl key while selecting on the specific files you want the preset to be applied.

Step 2: Selecting a Preset to Edit Multiple Photos in Lightroom

Step 3:  Apply the Preset to your Photos

To apply the preset to all the selected photos, press the Sync button. A pop-up box will appear where you can fine-tune the settings you want to be applied. Once you’re happy with the selections, click Synchronize to apply the settings to all your photos. Notice the thumbnails below will change and transform to your selected preset.

Step 3: Applying the Preset to your Photos in Lightroom

Step 4: Fine Tune and Apply Your Own Edits

Still not happy with the edits? No problem. You can easily apply your own edits to your photos under the Develop tab. 

Select a photo from the thumbnail and let’s start editing! On the right side of the screen, notice the variety of editing tools you can choose to edit your photos. We won’t go into great detail of the myriad of Lightroom tools and features, but let’s skim over the basics. 

Select the Basic tab to view some of the most common editing features. You can adjust the temperature, exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows. Often times playing around with the basic settings can make a huge difference already. 

Basic view for accessing editing features

You can also go to the Black and White tab to transform your photos into black and white. Adjust the clarity and contrast for extra sharpness and dimension. 

Once you’re happy with the edits, select all your photos in the thumbnail and click Auto Sync. A pop-up box will appear and proceed to click on Synchronize to apply all the chosen edits. All of the photos in your thumbnail should transform to the new edits. How easy is that? Batch editing makes post processing a breeze!

Step 4: Applying your own edits and fine tuning the presets in lightroom

Step 5: Syncing Selective Edits 

Here’s where things get a little interesting. Adobe Lightroom has a feature that allows you to selectively sync your edits. Why is this useful? Well, imagine you are editing one of your photos and want to crop it into a square image. Then, you decide the exposure was too dark so you brightened it up a bit. Unless you want all your photos to be cropped into a square and they have the exact same exposure, you’ll want to use this powerful feature to selectively sync your edits.

Remember the pop-up box that appears before you click Synchronize? You’ll want to revisit this pop-up box to select which settings you want to apply to all your photos. For the above scenario mentioned, you’ll want to uncheck the Local Adjustments and Crop Settings. This will prevent all your images from being cropped into a square and brightened up too much.

You can easily check and uncheck the different settings in this box depending on the types of edits you’re doing. You would be surprised how powerful this feature is in Adobe Lightroom, saving you a lot of time and stress.

Step 6: Resetting the batch edits in lightroom

Step 6: Resetting or Un-doing your Batch Edits.

Adobe Lightroom is very forgiving when it comes to making corrections or resetting your edits. You can easily reverse your edits or simply reset everything back to its original state.

First, click on the Reset button located on the bottom right of the screen. This will reset everything on the selected photo.

If you want to reset all your photos in the thumbnail, simply select all of the photos and press Shift – Command – R or Shift – Control – R to reset the photos’ Develop Settings.

Apple Macbook pro with Adobe Lightroom on the screen


As you can see, batch editing is a wonderful way to transform your images easily and quickly. You should definitely use this feature as a part of your everyday work process to save lots of time and energy. With just a few clicks of a button, you can efficiently batch edit your images.

Keep in mind that each photo’s edits may look differently even with the same preset, so you be sure to fine-tune it by going into the Develop tab and make micro adjustments for quality results. This will keep your images looking professional and consistent across the board. 

Have you tried batch editing in Lightroom? Let us know in the comments below your work editing process!

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Natch Anan is a full-time content writer specializing in Social Media Marketing and Brand Journalism. She holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of New Mexico. When she’s not working, you can find her hopping around SE Asia, film camera in hand and ready to capture the next story.
Natch Anan is a full-time content writer specializing in Social Media Marketing and Brand Journalism. She holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of New Mexico. When she’s not working, you can find her hopping around SE Asia, film camera in hand and ready to capture the next story.

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