Today’s Question: There are two settings which seem to remain in Lightroom Classic that I do not like. The Sharpening and Noise Reduction are always on. I do not like either. Is there a way to make the default for these adjustments to be turned off?
Tim’s Quick Answer: You can change the Lightroom Classic default settings either overall or upon importing photos, but that won’t affect images already in your catalog. For images you’ve already imported you would need to apply a preset in batch to change the adjustment settings.
More Detail: The key to applying different default adjustment settings in Lightroom Classic is to create a preset that includes only the adjustments you want to change from the default values. I recommend starting with a “test” image that you’re not concerned about the adjustments for. Then click the Reset button at the bottom of the right panel in the Develop module so that all adjustments are at their defaults.
You can then adjust the settings for any adjustments you’d like to change the defaults for. In this case, for example, you could set the Amount slider under Sharpening to zero and do the same for the Luminance and Color sliders under Noise Reduction.
When you have applied the desired adjustments, click on the plus (+) button to the right of the Presets heading on the left panel and choose Create Preset from the popup menu. In the New Develop Preset dialog enter a meaningful name in the Preset Name field and choose which group to store the preset in from the Group popup.
Next, turn on the checkboxes only for the adjustments you want included in the preset. In the current example you could click the “Check None” button at the bottom-left of the dialog and then turn on the Detail checkbox, which in turn will turn on the checkboxes for Sharpening, Luminance Noise Reduction, and Color Noise Reduction.
You could then apply this preset to images as they are imported by selecting the preset from the Develop Settings popup in the Apply During Import section of the right panel in the Import dialog. If you want to set the preset as the default for all new images so you don’t have to apply it during import, you can select the preset from the Presets submenu on the Global popup in the Raw Defaults section of the Presets tab in the Preferences dialog.
Both of the above options will only apply the preset you’ve created to new images upon import. If you want to update the settings for existing images you’ll need to apply the preset to those images. You can even apply the preset to all photos in your entire catalog if you want.
To apply the new preset to all existing photos navigate to the “All Photographs” collection in the Catalog section on the left panel in the Library module. In the grid view display make sure the Library Filter bar is set to “None” so all images are displayed. Select all images by choosing Edit > Select All from the menu. Then go to the Quick Develop section on the right panel in the Library module and choose the applicable preset from the Saved Preset popup. That will apply the preset to all selected images, but only applying the adjustments you actually included when you created the preset.