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Manage Camera Raw settings

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Save image states as snapshots

You can record the state of an image at any time by creating a snapshot. Snapshots are stored renditions of an image that contain the complete set of edits made up until the time the snapshot is created. By creating snapshots of an image at various times during the editing process, you can easily compare the effects of the adjustments you make. You can also return to an earlier state if you want to use it at another time. Another benefit of snapshots is that you can work from multiple versions of an image without having to duplicate the original.

Create and manage snapshots using the Snapshots tab of the Camera Raw dialog box.

  1. Click the New Snapshot button  at the bottom of the Snapshots tab to create a snapshot.
  2. Type a name in the New Snapshot dialog box and click OK.

    The snapshot appears in the Snapshots tab list.

When working with snapshots, you can do any of the following:

  • To rename a snapshot, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) it and choose Rename.

  • Click a snapshot to change the current image settings to those of the selected snapshot. The image preview updates accordingly.

  • To update, or overwrite, an existing snapshot with the current image settings, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) the snapshot and choose Update With Current Settings.

  • To undo changes made to a snapshot, click Cancel.

    Note: Use caution when clicking Cancel to undo snapshot changes. All image adjustments made during the current editing session are also lost.

  • To delete a snapshot, select it and click the Trash button  at the bottom of the tab. Or, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) the snapshot and choose Delete.


If you apply snapshots in Lightroom Classic, you can edit them in the Camera Raw dialog box (and vice versa).

Save, reset, and load Camera Raw settings

You can reuse the adjustments you’ve made to an image. You can save all the current Camera Raw image settings, or any subset of them, as a preset or as a new set of defaults. The default settings apply to a specific camera model, a specific camera serial number, or a specific ISO setting, depending on the settings in the Default Image Settings section of the Camera Raw preferences.

Presets appear by name in the Presets tab, in the Edit > Develop Settings menu in Adobe Bridge, in the context menu for camera raw images in Adobe Bridge, and in the Apply Presets submenu of the Camera Raw Settings menu in the Camera Raw dialog box. Presets are not listed in these locations if you don’t save them to the Camera Raw settings folder. However, you can use the Load Settings command to browse for and apply settings saved elsewhere.




You can save and delete presets using the buttons at the bottom of the Presets tab.

  1. Click the Camera Raw Settings menu button  and choose a command from the menu:

    Save Settings

    Saves the current settings as a preset. Choose which settings to save in the preset, and then name and save the preset.

    Save New Camera Raw Defaults

    Saves the current settings as the new default settings for other images taken with the same camera, with the same camera model, or with the same ISO setting. Select the appropriate options in the Default Image Settings section of the Camera Raw preferences to specify whether to associate the defaults with a specific camera’s serial number or with an ISO setting.

    Reset Camera Raw Defaults

    Restores the original default settings for the current camera, camera model, or ISO setting.

    Load Settings

    Opens the Load Raw Conversion Settings dialog box, in which you browse to the settings file, select it, and then click Load.

Specify where Camera Raw settings are stored

Choose a preference to specify where the settings are stored. The XMP files are useful if you plan to move or store the image files and want to retain the camera raw settings. You can use the Export Settings command to copy the settings in the Camera Raw database to sidecar XMP files or embed the settings in Digital Negative (DNG) files.

When a camera raw image file is processed with Camera Raw, the image settings are stored in one of two places: the Camera Raw database file or a sidecar XMP file. When a DNG file is processed in Camera Raw, the settings are stored in the DNG file itself, but they can be stored in a sidecar XMP file instead. Settings for TIFF and JPEG files are always stored in the file itself.


When you import a sequence of camera raw files in After Effects, the settings for the first file are applied to all files in the sequence that do not have their own XMP sidecar files. After Effects does not check the Camera Raw database.

You can set a preference to determine where settings are stored. When you reopen a camera raw image, all settings default to the values used when the file was last opened. Image attributes (target color space profile, bit depth, pixel size, and resolution) are not stored with the settings.

  1. In Photoshop:
    Choose Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw (macOS).

    In Adobe Bridge:
    Choose Edit > Camera Raw Preferences (Windows) or Bridge > Camera Raw Preferences (macOS). 

    In the Camera Raw dialog box:
    Click the Open Preferences Dialog button .

  2. In the Camera Raw Preferences dialog box, choose one of the following from the Save Image Settings In menu:

    Camera Raw Database

    Stores the settings in a Camera Raw database file in the folder Document and Settings/[user name]/Application Data/Adobe/CameraRaw (Windows) or Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences (macOS). This database is indexed by file content, so the image retains camera raw settings even if the camera raw image file is moved or renamed.

    Sidecar “.XMP” Files

    Stores the settings in a separate file, in the same folder as the camera raw file, with the same base name and an .xmp extension. This option is useful for long-term archiving of raw files with their associated settings, and for the exchange of camera raw files with associated settings in multiuser workflows. These same sidecar XMP files can store IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) data or other metadata associated with a camera raw image file. If you open files from a read-only volume such as a CD or DVD, be sure to copy the files to your hard disk before opening them. The Camera Raw plug-in cannot write an XMP file to a read-only volume and writes the settings to the Camera Raw database file instead. You can view XMP files in Adobe Bridge by choosing View > Show Hidden Files.


    If you are using a revision control system to manage your files and are storing settings in sidecar XMP files, keep in mind that you must check your sidecar files in and out to change camera raw images; similarly, you must manage (e.g., rename, move, delete) XMP sidecar files together with their camera raw files. Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, After Effects, and Camera Raw take care of this file synchronization when you work with files locally.


    If you store the camera raw settings in the Camera Raw database and plan to move the files to a different location (CD, DVD, another computer, and so forth), you can use the Export Settings To XMP command to export the settings to sidecar XMP files.

  3. If you want to store all adjustments to DNG files in the DNG files themselves, select Ignore Sidecar “.XMP” Files in the DNG File Handling section of the Camera Raw Preferences dialog box.

Copy and paste Camera Raw settings

In Adobe Bridge, you can copy and paste the Camera Raw settings from one image file to another.

  1. In Adobe Bridge, select a file and choose Edit > Develop Settings > Copy Camera Raw Settings.

  2. Select one or more files and choose Edit > Develop Settings > Paste Camera Raw Settings.


    You can also right-click (Windows) or Control-click (macOS) image files to copy and paste using the context menu.

  3. In the Paste Camera Raw Settings dialog box, choose which settings to apply.

Apply saved Camera Raw settings

  1. In Adobe Bridge or in the Camera Raw dialog box, select one or more files.
  2. In Adobe Bridge, choose Edit > Develop Settings, or right-click a selected file. Or, in the Camera Raw dialog box, click the Camera Raw Settings menu .

  3. Choose one of the following:

    Image Settings

    Uses the settings from the selected camera raw image. This option is available only from the Camera Raw Settings menu in the Camera Raw dialog box.

    Camera Raw Defaults

    Uses the saved default settings for a specific camera, camera model, or ISO setting.

    Previous Conversion

    Uses the settings from the previous image of the same camera, camera model, or ISO setting.

    Preset name

    Uses the settings (which can be a subset of all image settings) saved as a preset.

    Applying a preset


    You can also apply presets from the Presets tab.

Export Camera Raw settings and DNG previews

If you store file settings in the Camera Raw database, you can use the Export Settings To XMP command to copy the settings to sidecar XMP files or embed them in DNG files. This is useful for preserving the image settings with your camera raw files when you move them.

You can also update the JPEG previews embedded in DNG files.

  1. Open the files in the Camera Raw dialog box.
  2. If you are exporting settings or previews for multiple files, select their thumbnails in the Filmstrip view.
  3. In the Camera Raw Settings menu , choose Export Settings To XMP or Update DNG Previews.

    The sidecar XMP files are created in the same folder as the camera raw image files. If you saved the camera raw image files in DNG format, the settings are embedded in the DNG files themselves.

Specify Camera Raw workflow options

Workflow options specify settings for all files output from Camera Raw, including the color bit depth, color space, output sharpening, and pixel dimensions. Workflow options determine how Photoshop opens these files but not how After Effects imports a camera raw file. Workflow options settings do not affect the camera raw data itself.

You can specify workflow options settings by clicking the underlined text at the bottom of the Camera Raw dialog box.


Specifies the target color profile. Generally, set Space to the color profile you use for your Photoshop RGB working space. The source profile for camera raw image files is usually the camera-native color space. The profiles listed in the Space menu are built in to Camera Raw. To use a color space that’s not listed in the Space menu, choose ProPhoto RGB, and then convert to the working space of your choice when the file opens in Photoshop.


Specifies whether the file opens as an 8‑bpc or 16‑bpc image in Photoshop.


Specifies the pixel dimensions of the image when imported into Photoshop. The default pixel dimensions are those used to photograph the image. To resample the image, use the Crop Size menu.

For square-pixel cameras, choosing a smaller-than-native size can speed processing when you are planning a smaller final image. Picking a larger size is like upsampling in Photoshop.

For non-square pixel cameras, the native size is the size that most closely preserves the total pixel count. Selecting a different size minimizes the resampling that Camera Raw performs, resulting in slightly higher image quality. The best quality size is marked with an asterisk (*) in the Size menu.

Note: You can always change the pixel size of the image after it opens in Photoshop.


Specifies the resolution at which the image is printed. This setting does not affect the pixel dimensions. For example, a 2048 x 1536 pixel image, when printed at 72 dpi, is approximately 28‑1/2 x 21‑1/4 inches. When printed at 300 dpi, the same image is approximately 6‑3/4 x 5‑1/8 inches. You can also use the Image Size command to adjust resolution in Photoshop.

Sharpen For

Allows you to apply output sharpening for Screen, Matte Paper, or Glossy Paper. If you apply output sharpening, you can change the Amount pop-up menu to Low or High to decrease or increase the amount of sharpening applied. In most cases, you can leave the Amount set to the default option, Standard.

Open In Photoshop As Smart Objects

Causes Camera Raw images to open in Photoshop as a Smart Object layer instead of a background layer when you click the Open button. To override this preference for selected images, press Shift when clicking Open.

Reset Camera Raw preferences

  1. Hold down the Command key and select Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw (macOS) or hold down the Ctrl key and select Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw (Windows).

  2. Click Yes in the dialog that asks "Delete the Camera Raw Preferences?"

    Delete Camera Raw preferences

    New preferences files will be created in their original location (see tables below).

macOS Preference Locations

Name & Description



Camera Raw Preferences - Contains all the settings set in the Camera Raw Preferences dialog.

Adobe Camera Raw [version] Prefs

Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences

Windows Preference Locations

Name & Description



Camera Raw Preferences - Contains all the settings set in the Camera Raw Preferences dialog.

Adobe Camera Raw [version] Prefs

Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/CameraRaw/Setting

HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Adobe/Camera Raw/[version]

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