How To Export Multiple Photos From Lightroom

How To Export Multiple Photos From Lightroom

As you start to edit more and more photos in Lightroom, it makes sense to export your images in batches. Rather than going through and individually exporting each photo from a set, you can streamline the process and export a series of photos at once. In a nutshell, here’s how to do it.

How To Export Multiple Photos From Lightroom:

  1. Hold Command (Mac) or Control (PC) and click on the series of photos you want to export.
  2. With your images selected, go to File > Export.
  3. Choose your export location and select your export settings.
  4. Click “Export.” All of your images will be exported with your current export settings.

Now that you get the gist of the steps, let’s dive a little deeper to help you better understand the process.

Exporting Multiple Photos From Lightroom – Step By Step

There are a lot of subtleties in the exporting process that will make the operation run smoother. For this section, you’ll see the variety of options you have for each step in the process.

Step 1: Select Your Photos For Export

The most important part of exporting multiple photos at once is to select them. Without this step, you’re completely out of luck. Although I already wrote about the different ways to select Lightroom photos in a previous post, here’s a bit of review.

– Select Photos Individually

The most versatile way of selecting photos in Lightroom is to hold Command (Mac) or Control (PC) and to click on the photos you want to select.

With this method, you can highlight a series of photos, no matter their order. For example, if you wanted to export the first and last photo from your Lightroom folder, using the Command or Control method would work best.

This selection option also works well if you aren’t selecting photos in a sequence. If you only wanted to export every 3rd or 4th image, this method is the only way of doing that.

– Select A Continuous Series Of Photos

The second way to select multiple photos is by choosing a continuous series of images. By holding the Shift Key and clicking on the first and last photo you want to select, Lightroom will automatically highlight all the images in between.

If you aren’t sure how this works, let’s say you wanted to export images 1 through 10 in your folder. By holding Shift and clicking on the first, then the tenth image, you’ll highlight all of your images in a row.

This method is great if you have a continuous series of photos side by side in your filmstrip. Rather than having to click on each image individually, you can select a large number of photos in just two clicks. Whether you’re selecting two photos or two thousand photos (or more), this method will still work to select multiple photos.

– Select All Images At Once

Perhaps you don’t need to get specific and just want to export all of your photos at once. I mean, who in the right mind would want to sit and manually select an entire batch of photos? Not you or I, that’s for sure.

Instead, you can use a handy keyboard shortcut to select all your photos at once. Just press Command + A (Mac) or Control + A (PC) to highlight all of the photos in your current folder.

Before you use this shortcut, make sure to either click on the filmstrip at the bottom of your window or have the “Library” Module open. This way, the keyboard command will apply itself to selecting your photos.

Using any of these three methods is perfect for selecting a series of photos to export from Lightroom. The one you use will depend on how many images you need to export and how they’re organized in the Lightroom folder.

To learn more about selecting multiple photos in Lightroom, check out this post.

Step 2: Begin Exporting Your Selected Images

With all of your image highlighted, it’s time to export. Go up to File > Export to begin the export process.

Step 3: Choose Your Export Settings

Thankfully you don’t need to set individual export settings for every picture. When batch exporting in Lightroom, the export settings you choose will apply to all of your selected photos. That way, they’ll all save to the same location with the same export settings as needed.

The export panel is broken down into a few main sections. It’s a good idea to go through each section to ensure everything looks correct before you export. I talk about this more in-depth in my guide to exporting photos from Lightroom. 

One convenient feature of this panel is that it tells you how many photos you’re about to export at the top of the window. That way, you know for sure that you’ll be exporting multiple photos at once.

To make life easy, the main export settings to focus on are export location, file naming, and file settings.

– Export Location

This tab allows you to pick where on your computer to save your photos. If you already have a folder, you’d like to export into, click on “Choose” and navigate to your desired folder.

If you have more of a general location you want to save, such as “Desktop,” it’s often a good idea to create a subfolder for your photos. This way, it keeps everything consolidated and easy to find later on.

To create a new subfolder, tick off the “Create New Subfolder” option and give your folder a name. Something relevant to the images you’re exporting will work best!

– File Naming

Everyone has a different preference when it comes to renaming files. Fortunately, Lightroom gives you the option to pick exactly how your file names will look. Whether you want original file numbers, custom names, dates, or all of the above, you can easily make it happen.

To select the naming method, tick the “Rename To” option and select your naming option from the menu bar. If applicable, you’ll be able to type in your custom text in the box below. This option will only appear when you select the custom file naming options. Otherwise, you’ll just see an example file name preview such as “IMG_4570.JPG”.

– File Settings

The final tab of immediate concern should be the file settings tab. This is where you can choose the type of file your images will be exported to. From Lightroom, you can export images as JPEG, PNG, PSD, TIFF, DNG, or Original (aka same as the source file). All of this can be accessed by clicking on the “Image Format” menu.

Within your file settings, you can also change the image color space, which can be useful when printing photos. For general purpose and online use, it’s recommended to leave this set to sRGB. This is color space has the most widely recognized color gamut across devices. Using this color space way can guarantee your picture’s colors will look the same on your screen as anyone else.

Lastly, the file settings tab lets you choose the output quality of your photos. If you are exporting proofs for a client, keeping them in low-res files makes it easier to share and upload large numbers of photos. With the quality slider, you can control how large your image files will be.

When you use the quality slider alone, it’s a guessing game about the exact file size of each image. If you need to be specific, you can check off the “Limit File Size To” option and enter a preset file size. That way, all your photos will export with the max file size you entered.

There are a number of different options to look at when you export multiple photos from Lightroom. However, the three mentioned above are the most important. If you want to dive a little deeper into the best export settings for Lightroom, then click here for a complete guide.

Step 4: Export Your Photos

With your export settings done up as you need, you’re ready to export your images. Just remember, the export settings you’ve set will be applied to all of your selected images. If you need to export a few images differently, you’ll need to do so in a separate Lightroom export.

To batch export your photos, just click the “Export” button at the dialogue box’s bottom corner. The box will close, and a progress bar will appear in the top left corner of your Lightroom window. Depending on how many files you’re exporting at once, the amount of time can vary from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Once complete, you’ll find your batch of images in the export location you set earlier.

How To Export Flagged Or Rated Images Only

Now the process above is a general way to select and export multiple photos from Lightroom. So what if you wanted to get more specific and only export the images you’ve flagged or rated during the editing process?

– Exporting Flagged Images From Lightroom

Rather than going through your entire library and manually selecting your flagged photos, you can filter your view to see only flagged images. In the top right corner of your filmstrip, there’s a menu to set your filtering method. By default, it will be set to “Filters Off.”

Click on this menu and change the filter option to “Flagged.” Now only your flagged images will be visible in your library.

Since you’ve pre-filtered your files for export, you can skip the manual selections. Just press Command + A (Mac) or Control + A (PC) to select all your images and then go to File > Export. From here, follow the same steps as before, but this time you’ll only export the flagged images.

– Exporting Rated Images From Lightroom

Similar to the flagged method, you can also export images based on their rating. Once again, rather than manually selecting photos to export, you can filter them beforehand. To filter your images based on their rating, set your filter option from “Filters Off” to “Rated.”

At first, you may see all of your rated images from one star to five stars. If you want to narrow down the filter options to a specific rating, click on the stars in the top right of the filmstrip. Secondly, you can choose exactly which images are displayed by clicking on the rating display option beside the stars.

Once you’ve filtered the results to only, show the rated images you want to export, press Command + A (Mac) or Control + A (PC) to select all. Then go to File > Export and repeat the same process as before.

This time, the only photos you’ll export will be the ones you rated during the culling process.

What To Do If You Forget To Export A Photo From A Batch Export

When you export multiple photos at a time, it’s easy to miss a photo or two accidentally. This can be a huge pain since you then have to repeat the whole export process. Luckily, there’s an easier way to get around this if you want to export additional photos with a previous batch.

With your images selected, go up to File > Export With Previous to quickly export the additional images with the rest. By using this method, you don’t need to touch any export settings. Since Lightroom will remember all the information from your last batch export, it will apply the same settings to your additional images.

Once exported, these extra photos can be found in the same export location as your previous files.

This is one exporting trick I love to use and really speeds up the process. By using this alternate method, you can add photos to your previous export with a single click. No hassle required!

Should You Export Multiple Photos Or Do It Individually?

Since Lightroom will apply the same export settings across multiple photos at once, it doesn’t make a difference whether you export in batches or one by one. At the end of the day, it’s all about time.

After you finish editing a set of images, it’s a lot more convenient to export them all simultaneously. Otherwise, you’d be going through the export process more times than necessary. Whenever you need to export more than one photo, it’s a good idea to do them all at once.

So when would you want to export photos individually? 

Well, the main reason exporting multiple photos at once wouldn’t work is if you need different file types. If you want one image to export as a JPEG and another to export as a PNG file, batch exporting won’t work. In that case, you’ll have to go through the exporting process and change the settings accordingly for each image.

Whether you choose to export multiple photos from Lightroom or do it individually, it’s nice to have the option. Now when there comes a time that you need to export hundreds of photos at once, it won’t take you all day. Instead, you can select and export batches of photos with just a few clicks!

– Brendan 🙂

Article By

Brendan Williams

Hey, I'm Brendan! I'm a professional photographer and photo retoucher who has spent the majority of his career shooting or retouching outdoor lifestyle and social media campaigns for brands like G-Adventures, xoxo Bella, P&G, Fitbit, Chevy, Tourism California, and more. These days I primarily focus my efforts on this site, creating guides and tutorials that I wish I had earlier in my career. Each week I publish new tutorials on Photography, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Canva to help you unlock new skills and bring your creativity to new levels! Everything you learn here is backed by real experience, so you can finally skip the fluff and focus only on what matters.

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