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///Resolving Buggy Behavior in Lightroom: How to Reset Preferences

Resolving Buggy Behavior in Lightroom: How to Reset Preferences

If something about Lightroom is not working as it’s supposed to, resetting preferences can often resolve the issue. This video tutorial shows Lightroom Classic and Lightroom 6 users how to reset Lightroom’s preferences.

Users of earlier versions can also reset preferences (and should watch this video for explanations and tips), but the shortcut in the video won’t work. Instead you’ll have to go to Lightroom’s preference file using Windows Explorer (My Computer) or Mac Finder and delete or rename the file. (The advantage of renaming it is that if doing so doesn’t resolve your issue, you can restore its name and continue to use it.) This document indicates where the preference file (and other files) are stored for Lightroom 5.

Don’t want to watch a video? To reset preferences, hold down Alt/Opt-Shift as you start Lightroom, and you’ll get a dialog box to reset. This will set all Lightroom preferences settings back to their defaults, so you’ll then have to change any that you don’t want at the defaults. Taking a screenshot of each tab in Preferences before resetting can make this easier.

For best quality, after hitting Play click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.

2018-06-27T10:40:55+00:00June 26th, 2018|6 Comments


  1. Matt O'Brien June 27, 2018 at 5:24 pm - Reply


    I am gobsmacked by the number of times the recommended action is to shred the preference file.

    I am aghast that Adobe do not provide a tool which shreds all the stuff in the background areas of the file, but saves and restored the bits the user has the ability to manage.

    • Laura Shoe June 28, 2018 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Hi Matt, for whatever reason I end up trashing the preferences file at least once a week, and then having to not only change preferences, but also other default settings that get reset, so I’m not too pleased with it myself – but I know nothing about the inner workings of this. I would suggest posting your feedback on the Adobe bug/feedback site – the Adobe folks do read this and participate.

  2. John Austin June 30, 2018 at 4:47 am - Reply

    Thanks Laura. What a difference this had made.

    • Laura Shoe July 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      I’m happy to hear it, John!

  3. Kathy Eyster June 30, 2018 at 5:20 am - Reply

    You could make a backup copy of the preferences file/folder so when you do have to delete you can just copy from your backup.

    • Laura Shoe July 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Good idea, assuming your backup preferences file isn’t corrupted, Kathy. I think that this would be beyond the capabilities of some though – the shortcut reset is easy.

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