Locking Search Filters


Today’s Question: Is there a way in Lightroom Classic to ensure that when I open the software it will always open with the last filter setting? I generally have my filter set on a user preset I created called “Flagged and Unflagged.” Every time I open Lightroom it defaults to the “Filters Off” filter.

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can indeed ensure that Lightroom Classic will retain a selected filter setting by turning on the “lock” on the Library Filter bar.

More Detail: By default, when you apply a filter in Lightroom Classic, that filter is only active temporarily. However, it is possible to lock the filter so it will be retained until you turn it off.

For example, let’s assume you have set a filter so that only images with a three-star or greater rating are displayed. You can browse the current folder, and will only see images with a star rating of three stars or more. However, as soon as you navigate to a different folder, the filter is reset to “None”. The same holds true if you quit Lightroom Classic and then launch it again.

You can change this behavior, however, by clicking the “lock” icon to the far right of the Library Filter bar at the top of the grid view display in the Library module. If the Library Filter bar is not visible, you can enable it by pressing the backslash key (\) or by choosing View > Show Filter Bar from the menu. Note that the Library Filter bar is only available in the grid view in the Library module, so if you are in the loupe view for example the above options will switch Lightroom to the grid view.

By default, the lock icon will have the shackle of the lock up, indicating that it is unlocked. You can click the icon to toggle between “locked” and “unlocked”. Admittedly, because of the design of the icon, it is a little difficult to tell the difference between the two, but the taller icon means unlocked, and the shorter icon means locked.

When you lock the filters, the current filter settings will remain in place until you turn off the lock. That includes the ability to navigate among different folders with the same filter settings, for example. It also means that when you quit Lightroom Classic and launch it again, the filter will still be in place.