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Learn how to use Lightroom with these tips on file management, preset application, and editing techniques for real estate photography.

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How to Reset Lightroom

Published: 29/04/2021

Like any other software, facing bugs and errors is not uncommon in Lightroom. We can often get stuck between processing, or the software may come up with errors that need to be resolved. Let’s take a look at how to reset Lightroom for troubleshooting so that you can make the software operational once again. 

How to Reset Lightroom Classic CC for Troubleshooting

It’s possible to face weird issues in Lightroom that do not resolve no matter what you do. Either the process of importing photos gets stuck, or the image sync just doesn’t seem to work. Whatever the issue might be, resetting the software becomes inevitable for a seamless performance from time to time.

Resetting Lightroom Classic CC to default settings is a simple process that can help you resolve the buggy behavior of the software. Resetting Lightroom involves resetting your Preferences. You will notice a lot of improvement in Lightroom’s performance after carrying out this procedure. 

Reset Preferences 

We highly recommend taking screenshots of all the Preference setting tabs before you reset so that you can apply the same settings after restarting Lightroom. If you haven't made any changes in the default Preferences since the beginning, you may skip this step. However, if you did, saving them will be convenient. 

  1. Go to the Edit menu (on Windows) or Lightroom Menu (on Mac).
  2. Go to Preferences.
Resetting preferences in Lightroom
  1. Open each tab in the Preferences dialog box, and take screenshots. 
  2. Close Preferences.

Save Catalog’s Name and Location

  1. In Lightroom Classic, go to the Edit menu (on Windows) or Lightroom menu (on Mac).
  2. Choose Catalog Settings.
Saving Catalog’s name and location in Lightroom
  1. Choose the General tab from the dialog box.
  2. Here, you will see the name and location of your Lightroom catalog, which you must note.
  3. Click on the Show button to view the catalog in Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows).

This step is essential for the time when you will launch Lightroom after reset. It might ask you to locate the catalog. 

Reset Lightroom Classic CC Preferences Using Keyboard Shortcut

Windows: 

  1. Quit Lightroom.
  2. Hold down the SHIFT+ALT keys and launch Adobe Lightroom Classic CC while still holding down the keys. It doesn't matter whether you launch Lightroom via the desktop shortcut, app, or folder. 
  3. A dialog box will appear, asking you whether you want to reset Lightroom Preferences.
Resetting Lightroom preferences using keyboard shortcut
  1. Click on Yes, and it will reset Lightroom.

Mac:

  1. Quit Lightroom.
  2. Press down the SHIFT + OPT keys. While holding them down, double-click on the Adobe Lightroom Classic CC icon. 
  3. A dialog box asking you to reset Lightroom Preferences will appear.
  4. Click on Reset Preferences, and it will restart Lightroom afresh. 

Reset Lightroom Classic CC Preferences Manually

Another way to reset the Preferences is to delete the Preferences file manually. If you don't want to delete them, you can also rename them if you have an apprehension that the procedure might go wrong. You can always revert to the old setting through this renamed file.

  • Navigate to the following file location on Windows: Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Preferences\
  • Navigate to the following file location on your Mac OS:  /Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/

After Deleting/Renaming these files, launch Lightroom. 

Choose the Correct Catalog 

When Lightroom restarts, it usually does not forget your default catalog. However, if it asks you to locate the catalog, you will be easily able to do that if you saved the name and location prior to the reset procedure. 

Store Presets With Catalog

Adobe recommends storing all your presets with the catalog. This will store any future presets that you create where your catalog is stored. We are not just talking about developing presets here, but your export presets, filter presets, keyword presets, and any other presets that you create.

  1. When you relaunch Lightroom after resetting, go to the Edit menu (Windows) or the Lightroom menu (on Mac).
  2. Go to Preferences.
  3. Click on the Presets Tab.
  4. You will find the checkbox for “Store presets with this catalog” under the Location section.
  5. Click on the checkbox. 

Understanding Lightroom Classic Preferences 

The settings under the Preferences tab determine how you want to use Lightroom. It consists of 9 different tabs with options for General settings, presets, external editing, file handling, interface, performance, Lightroom sync, display, and network. 

All of these settings are important for running Lightroom Classic. They affect the look and operation of the software, as well as determine its interaction with other programs. This is the reason why resetting preferences causes to reset Lightroom itself.

After you reset the preferences, it is recommended you restart your computer before relaunching Lightroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

When I Reset Lightroom, What Are the Settings That Will Stay Unaffected?

When you reset Lightroom, this resets most of the settings. However, it does not affect your original photos, Develop defaults, Develop settings, and presets. It also keeps your collections, plugins, and other essential data intact.

Conclusion

Resetting Lightroom is the best way to clear some data and resolve the bugs and errors that were affecting your workflow in any way. The process of reset is not complicated. Just remember to keep track of your preference settings and catalog before the procedure to make sure you can resume with both once you restart Lightroom.

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