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How to Batch Edit in Lightroom

Batch editing photos in Lightroom can be a huge time saver. Instead of adding corrections and enhancements to your images one at a time, you can edit one image and copy the edits to multiple images in your Lightroom catalog. Lightroom even lets you control which kind of edits you want to copy to the other images.

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What is Batch Editing in Lightroom?

Batch editing is the process of applying edits to multiple images in one batch, instead of having to apply the same edits to all your images individually. For the best results with batch processing, the images you edit should be somewhat similar, in color tones, lighting.

This article is part of the guide: How to Edit Photos in Lightroom

Techniques for Batch Editing Photos in Lightroom Classic

Below we explain all of the possible ways you can batch process photos in Lightroom. When to use which of these methods depends on both your preferences and where you are in your editing workflow in Lightroom.

Even though you can edit multiple photos using presets during import or from the Library Module, I have put them further down the list, as I assume you prefer to do your own editing and sync the settings to other images.

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1. Copy Settings from One Photo to Another

Step 1: Edit the First Photo in the Develop Module / Loupe View

Select the photo you want to use as the source of batch processing. Double click on the photo to go to Loupe View in the Module Library or press D to go to the Develop Module. You can use both to edit your photo.

Edit the photo in Lightroom so it suits your style and preferences.

Edit photo in Lightroom

Step 2: Copy Settings

When you are done editing the image, you should copy the settings. You do this with the Copy… button on the lower left side of the screen.

copy settings button

In the dialog that appears, you can check the setting you want to copy. Uncheck the edits or settings you don’t want to copy. Click Copy when you are ready.

copy settings dialog

Step 3: Paste the Setting to Other Photos

Using the Filmstrip at the bottom of Lightroom, select the images one at a time. Click Paste to apply the settings to the selected photos.

paste settings in lightroom

2. Paste Settings From the Previous Photo

Like the previous method, begin by editing your photo. When you are ready, go to the next photo you want to apply the same edits to, and navigate to Settings > Paste Settings From Previous. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Alt + V.

Copy settings from previous

Note that these first two methods only allow you to copy edits to one image at a time.

3. Synchronise Edits Across Photos

If you prefer to add a few specific edits to multiple images in one go, using the sync button is the way to go.

Step 1: Select the Image Containing the Edits you want to Copy

Begin by editing the photo. Then select it in either the Filmstrip or in Grid View.

Step 2: Add the Other Images to the Selection

Next, select the additional photos you want to batch edit. You can do so, by holding down either CMD/CTRL and pick individual photos, or by holding down SHIFT and click on the last image you want to include. This will select all images in between.

Step 3: Sync Settings

After selecting multiple images the Sync Settings button in the lower right corner becomes active. Click on it to open up the Synchronize Settings dialog. Select the specific settings you want to include or exclude from the synchronization. When you are done, press the Synchronize button to apply the edit to your batch of images.

sync settings button to bacth edit in Lightroom

4. Automatically Synchronize Edits

In Develop mode, you can enable Auto Synchronize. Click on the little level at the right side of the Synchronize button to enable it.

auto sync option

Now all selected images automatically get the same settings, as the image you currently edit. I would be a bit careful with this feature. If you forget to deactivate it, you might risk making some unintended changes to your images, if you have selected several images and begin to edit one of them.

5. Apply Lightroom Presets During Import

If you already have a saved preset with the edits you want to apply to your images, you can use this preset when importing your images.

Step 1: Open the Photo Importer

Go to File > Import Photos and Videos to open the import dialog in Lightroom.

Step 2: Select the Files you Want to Import

In the left side pane, you should choose the source you wish to import from. This is likely an SD card or a place on your hard drive. Once selected you can see all the images Lightroom has found in this location.

Select the photos you want to import. Lightroom actually starts by selecting all images found, so you have to deselect the ones you don’t want to import.

Step 3: Choose your Presets

In the right-side pane, you will find the Apply During Import Panel. This is where you apply the preset for the images you want to import.

If you unfold the Develop Settings drop-down, you will see all your saved presets. Choose the one you prefer.

Below you can also add metadata and keywords to multiple photos, during import.

apply presets during import

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6. Apply Lightroom Presets to Multiple Images from the Library Module

In Grid View (G) in the Library Module, you can also add presets to multiple photos.

Step 1: Select the Images

Select all the images you want to apply the preset to, using Grid View. To click your way through selecting multiple images, hold down CMD (Mac) or CTRL (Win), and click on each photo to select it. Click again if you accidentally select the one you don’t want.

If your images come right after each other, you just click on the first photo you want to select, and press-hold SHIFT, and click on the last photo. This will select all images in between including the first and last image.

Step 2: Apply the Preset from the Quick Develop Panel

Go to the right side Quick Develop Panel, and click on the Saved Preset drop-down menu. Choose the preferred preset.

apply presets to multiple images

How To Batch Edit in Lightroom CC?

Since Lightroom CC is a cloud-based editing solution it is also a bit more lightweight. This means that some features are lacking or at least limited. However, you are able to copy settings from one image and paste the settings to multiple images at once in Lightroom CC.

Lightroom CC batch editing

Summary: How to Edit a Batch of Photos in Lightroom

There are a bunch of different methods for batch editing in Lightroom. You can:

  • Copy / Paste settings from one image to another
  • Copy settings from previous image
  • Synchronize settings for multiple images
  • Apply presets to multiple images during import or in the Develop Module.

What is your preferred way of batch editing images in Lightroom? Let us know in the comments below!

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