Hey, Where The Adjustment Pins At?
July 23, 2013
2 comment

The adjustment brush tool in Lightroom allows you to do localized adjustments to your image. Because the changes you make to an image are non-destructive, Lightroom allows you to go back and tweak any of those adjustments. Missed a spot painting in an exposure change? An easy fix! Boosted the saturation in that flower too much? No problem! Lightroom marks each of the adjustment brush changes you have made to an image with a little circular pin. Simply select the pin for the adjustment that you want to correct and make the change!

Show me the pins!

To see your adjustment pins, you need to have the adjustment brush selected. In the Develop module, click on the Adjustment Brush icon or press K. You should see the adjustment bush panel underneath the histogram.

Lightroom Fanatic - Adjustment Brush Panel

Lightroom Fanatic – Adjustment Brush Panel

With the adjustment brush tool enabled, you should see adjustment pins, those little gray circles, on your image. Each pin represents a previous adjustment brush applied to your image.

Lightroom Fanatic - Adjustment Pins

Lightroom Fanatic – Adjustment Pins

Pins? I don’t see any stinkin’ adjustment pins!

Lightroom Fanatic - Where are my adjustment pins?

Lightroom Fanatic – Where are my adjustment pins?

A common problem that seems to come up is missing adjustment pins.  This can be caused by a number of things. The first, of course, is that you might be looking at an image that does not have any adjustment brushes applied to it, in which case none of the following suggestions are going to help. But you can test your image by applying a quick adjustment brush change to your image to see if you see a pin. Assuming you do have local adjustments made to an image and you’re still not seeing pins, here are a few things to try.

First, make sure you have the adjustment brush tool selected. No matter what, the pins will only show up when the tool is selected.

Next, try hovering over your image with the adjustment brush. One of the tool overlay options is Auto Show, which causes the pins to only show up when your mouse pointer is over the image and not, say, over the filmstrip.

If you are still not seeing your adjustment pins, it’s time to check your Tool Overlay setting, which you can find by navigating to the Tools menu. Again, make sure the Adjustment Brush tool is enabled, and check the setting under Tool Overlay. If you are missing your pins, it is possible that Never Show or Show Selected is selected. Change it to Always Show (H) or Auto Show.

Lightroom Fanatic - Tool Overlay Options

Lightroom Fanatic – Tool Overlay Options

Never will never show pins. Always Show will always show the pins. Auto will only show the pins when the adjustment brush is over the image. Show Selected will only show the pin that is selected, which usually means the one you are currently painting in. It’s not very helpful for finding other existing pins.


You can also change this setting by using the Toolbar. “What toolbar?”, you ask. The toolbar that comes along with all of your tools, of course. If you asked the question, it’s likely that you have your toolbar turned off. Again, with the adjustment brush activated, press T, or navigate to View > Show Toolbar.

With the option enabled, you’ll see a fancy toolbar appear underneath your image.

Lightroom Fanatic - Adjustment Brush Toolbar

Lightroom Fanatic – Adjustment Brush Toolbar

Simply change the option to Auto or Always and you’re in business!

Lightroom Fanatic - Adjustment Brush Toolbar

Lightroom Fanatic – Adjustment Brush Toolbar

If you leave the toolbar enabled, you’ll see different options for the other tools, as well. Try it out!


The adjustment brush pins provide the access point for tweaking or deleting localized changes made with the adjustment brush tool in Lightroom. Hopefully, now you can find them!

Check out the video version of this tutorial below!


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There are 2 comments

  • Elaine Scott says:

    I finally actually found a practical tutorial that answered the questions and problems I was having. Other people quickly gloss over these details and I could never find the answer to my inability to see the pins!!!