How to export multiple photos in Lightroom – huge time saver!

Adobe has made it very easy for us to export multiple photos in Lightroom to speed up the post production workflow. They then took it a step further and made it possible to mass export multiple images in different formats and sizes and to different places at once.

Of course, you don’t have to export photos from Lightroom, unless you want to share them digitally or print them. But if you do, I’m sure you want it to be as quick and easy possible.

We’ll first look at the straight forward way to export multiple photos and then the huge time saving way to export different versions of the same image.

dialog box to export multiple photos in Lightroom

How do I mass export photos from Lightroom?

Exporting multiple photos in Lightroom uses the same process as exporting a single image. The only difference is that you must first select multiple photos. Here’s how..

STEP 1 – select images to export

Lightroom gives us 3 ways to select multiple photos in Lightroom to export:

Select all photos in a folder or collection

  • Command A (or Control A for Windows)
shift and click to select consecutive images in Lightroom
Hold down shift, click first image, then click last image. All photos between the first and last will be selected.

Select consecutive photos

  • Click the first photo, hold down Shift and click on the last photo
select a few photos in Lightroom folder
Hold down Command (or Control) then click on the images that you want to select.

Select photos that are spread out

  • Click the first photo
  • Hold down Command (or Control)
  • Click the photos you want

STEP 2 – open Export dialog box

You can open the export dialog box from either the Library Module or the Develop Module.

export button in Lightroom Library module
Export button in Lightroom Library Module.

Library Module

  • Click the “Export” button at the bottom of the left panel
export menu in Lightroom Develop Module
Exporting from Lightroom Develop Module.

Develop Module

  • Click “File” in the menu bar at the top of the screen
  • Scroll down and click “Export”

A quicker way to do this is to use the Lightroom shortcut, which is to hold down Shift and Command (or Control) and push E on the keyboard.

dialog box to export multiple photos in Lightroom

STEP 3 – select the export preset or input your export settings

You don’t have to use a preset for exporting photos in Lightroom, but if you find that you use the same export settings often, it saves time to create an export preset.

You’d need to create an export preset first.

Further reading: Lightroom export settings for web and print

STEP 4 – export multiple photos

Once you’re happy with your export settings, click “Export”.

It will of course take longer to export multiple photos in Lightroom than single images. You can however export as many photos as you like at once.

Batch exporting dialog box to mass export photos in Lightroom
To multi-batch export, check the boxes of all the presets you want.

Exporting multiple photos in Lightroom – different versions at once

We’ve covered batch exporting, this is multi-batch exporting. Basically, it’s photo exporting in overdrive!

Multi-batch exporting photos in Lightroom massively speeds up your workflow! Even better – it involves just a couple more clicks to batch export photos.

You can find detailed step by step instructions further down with screenshots to help you, but here’s the process in a nutshell:

For multi-batch exporting in Lightroom:

  • First create export presets
  • Then in the export dialog box check the boxes of the presets you wish to use
  • The “Export” button changes to read “Batch Export”
  • Select where you want to save your photos
  • Click “Export”
batch export button in multi-batch export dialog box
“Export” changes to “Batch Export” when you check export preset boxes

When would you export multiple versions of a photo?

1. Posting the same photo to different social media platforms

They all have different image size requirements, which can be a real pain if you want to post the same photo on different social media platforms.

To maintain the quality of your images on social media, it’s best to export photos in Lightroom at the exact size required by the social media platform.

I’m not talking about aspect ratio, because to get exactly the right crop, you’d need to do that for each photo.

I mean the size of the image on the longest side, e.g. 2000 pixels.

2. Exporting print, web and social media versions of the same image

Did you know that you can batch export an image or set of images with different export settings and file names at the same time to different folders?

I create two versions of each image for my personal brand clients. One is high resolution for printing and the other is low resolution for using online. 

So using Lightroom multi-batch export is a huge time saver for:

  • Quickly exporting hundreds of high resolution and low resolution images
  • At the same time
  • With different filenames
  • To a single folder

If I wanted to I could choose to save them in different folders, but using different filenames means that they can go into the same folder without any difficulty.

Lightroom batch export menu first menu

How to export multiple photos in Lightroom – multi-batch exporting

After creating export presets:

  • Select all the images
  • Click “Export” to open the export settings menu
select one export preset by clicking on text
The left screenshot is the usual way to mass export photos in Lightroom. The right screenshot is for multi-batch exporting.
  • Check the boxes next to the export presets you want to use (normally, to export just one version of the image, you’d just click on the preset text)
  • The “Export” button changes to read “Batch Export”
  • Click “Batch Export” to open the next menu
Lightroom batch export menu second menu
  • Choose the folder/s to send the different versions to
  • Click “Export”

That’s all you need to do to batch export different versions of hundreds of photos!

As you can see from the above screenshot, I save the different versions of the photos to the same folder. I start the filename with P for the high resolution print version and with a W for the low resolution online use image. It helps me and my client to keep photo organization simple.

shootproof gallery of multiple exported photos
Example of a Shootproof gallery of photos.

Sharing after exporting photos

To share the photos with my client I upload the contents of the folder to a password protected gallery on Shootproof and send my client the link. (PS – if you click on this affiliate link you can try Shootproof for a month for free).

Sharing photos this way creates a frictionless, professional experience by making it really easy for clients to view all the images and download them.

You can read more about sharing photos here…

Further reading: 7 Best photo sharing platforms for all photographers

Leave a comment

If you have any questions about how to export multiple photos in Lightroom, let us know in the comments.

Also, we love good news, so if our Lightroom batch exporting tips have helped you to speed up your editing workflow, share that too.

Jane Allan

Jane is the founder of The Lens Lounge and a professional portrait photographer living on the “sunny” south coast of England. Obsessed with light and composition. Will put her camera down to go landsailing.

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