Photoshop behaves abnormally? Reset the preferences!

This Photoshop tutorial shows you how to reset the preferences file in Adobe Photoshop and in Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Occasionally Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements) may exhibit abnormal behavior: some commands don't work as expected while others give errors. This is an indication that the preferences file has been corrupted. This special file stores some important Photoshop settings. Don't worry: bringing Photoshop back to its original, healthy state is usually easy. All you have to do is reset the preferences file contents using the instructions below.

Important note: if you have created any custom styles, brushes, shapes, keyboard shortcuts, etc, please save them prior to resetting the preferences!

Please read the instructions for your Photoshop version:

Reset the preferences in Photoshop CC
Reset the preferences in Photoshop CS6 (Windows 10, 8)
Reset the preferences in Photoshop CS6 or earlier Photoshop versions (macOS, Windows 7)
Reset the preferences in Photoshop Elements

Reset Photoshop preferences in Photoshop CC:

  • Press Ctrl-K (PC) or cmd-K (Mac).
  • Click on "Reset Preferences on Quit" in the "General" tab and press OK to confirm.
  • Press OK to close the Preferences window.
  • Restart Photoshop.


Reset Photoshop preferences in Photoshop CS6 (Windows 10, 8):

reset photoshop cs6 preferences windows10

Reset Photoshop preferences in Photoshop CS6 or older (macOS, Windows 7):

  • Close Photoshop.
  • Hold down Shift-Ctrl-Alt (PC) or Shift-cmd-option (Mac) and click the Photoshop icon (or double click if necessary) to start the application. Keep holding the 3 keys down.
  • You will be asked to confirm that you wish to delete the Settings File: release the 3 keys and click on Yes:


Reset Photoshop Elements preferences:

  • Press Ctrl-K (PC) or cmd-K (Mac).
  • Click on "Reset Preferences on next launch" in the "General" tab and press OK to confirm your action.
  • Press OK to close the Preferences window.
  • Restart Photoshop Elements


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