How to reset your Photoshop preferences

Do you need to reset your preferences in Photoshop?

Before you begin, know that resetting your Photoshop preferences will return all of your settings to default, including:

  • Your color settings
  • Any custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Any workspaces you’ve created.

If you want to keep these, make sure you save them in the form of a backup before you move forward with the reset.

How to create a backup of your Photoshop Preferences

Step 1: Quit Photoshop.

Close out of the app on your desktop.

Step 2: Find the Photoshop’s Preferences folder on your device.

On Mac – Photoshop Preferences Folder 
  1. Open the finder,
  2. Click on Go in the Mac menu bar.
  3. Click on Go to Folder…
  4. Type the following in the search bar that appears: ~/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings
How to navigate to the Go To Folder option in the Mac menu
Example of the location of the Photoshop Preferences folder on Mac
On Windows – Photoshop Preferences Folder 
  1. Open the File Explorer
  2. Search for Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version]/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings using the search bar in File Explorer. Alternatively, you can click through your files using this path as guidance to find the folder.
Example of the location of the Photoshop Preferences folder on Windows

Step 3: Save the Photoshop preferences folder to your desktop.

Drag the entire Adobe Photoshop [Version] Settings folder to your desktop to save it in an easy-to-access place.

How to reset your Photoshop Preferences – Photoshop CC

Step 1: Open The Preferences Dialog Box

First up, you’ll need to open the Preferences dialog box:

  • Windows PC: Click on the Edit menu at the top of the screen, choose Preferences, and then select General.
  • Mac: Go up to the Photoshop CC menu, click on Preferences, then choose General.

Step 2: Choose “Reset Preferences On Quit”

This will open the Preferences dialog box set to the General options. Here, you’ll find the Reset Preferences On Quit option. Click on it to select it.

Preferences in Photoshop with the Reset Preferences On Quit button circled

Step 3: Click “Yes” To Delete The Preferences When Quitting

A small popup window will ask you if you’re sure you want to reset the preferences when you quit Photoshop. Click OK to confirm this.

Reset Photoshop preferences confirmation window for Photoshop CC

Step 4: Close And Relaunch Photoshop

Now you’ll need to close out of Photoshop and relaunch it.

  • Windows PC: Go to File -> Exit
  • Mac: Go to Photoshop -> Quit Photoshop CC

The next time you open Photoshop CC, it will launch with the preferences set back to the default.

How to reset your Photoshop Preferences – All Versions (CC Included)

Step 1: Quit Photoshop

First, exit the Photoshop app.

  • Windows PC: Go to File in the Menu Bar along the top of your screen -> Choose Exit
  • Mac: Go to Photoshop in the top Menu Bar -> Choose Quit Photoshop CC

Step 2: Open Photoshop While Pressing A Keyboard Shortcut

  • Windows PC: With Photoshop closed, press and hold Shift+Ctrl+Alt on your keyboard. Open Photoshop the way you normally would while these keys are held down.
  • Mac: With Photoshop closed, press and hold Shift+Command+Option on your keyboard. Open Photoshop the way you normally would while these keys are held down.

Step 3: Delete The Photoshop Settings File

Before Photoshop opens, a message will display asking if you want to delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file. This is your Preferences file that we want to reset. Click Yes when you see this.

Reset your Photoshop Preferences confirmation for all versions of Photoshop

Photoshop will then open with all of your preferences restored to their default settings.

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