If you want to learn how to reset preferences in Photoshop, in this tutorial I'll show you three methods for this: one for how to reset Photoshop preferences alone, one for how to reset Photoshop tools, and one for how to reset Photoshop to the default settings completely.
What You'll Learn in This Tutorial
- How to reset Photoshop preferences
- How to reset Photoshop settings
- How to make Photoshop reset to the default completely
- How to reset Photoshop tools (separately and all at once)
- How to reset Photoshop to the default settings without reinstalling it
Jump to content in this section:
1. How to Reset Preferences in Photoshop
This method should be used to reset the workspace—the placement and look of all the panels—as well as the keyboard shortcuts. It doesn't affect the tool presets, brushes, or actions.
The easiest way to reset Photoshop preferences is to go to Edit > Preferences > General (Control-K). Click Reset Preferences on Quit.
Confirm your choice, then restart Photoshop. Once it reopens, you'll see the workspace back in its default state!
If you're wondering how to reset Photoshop preferences without opening it first, you can also use a quicker method. Attempt to open Photoshop the normal way, but then click and hold Control-Shift-Alt before the loading window even appears. Then you just need to click Yes to reset the Photoshop preferences right away.
2. How to Reset Tools in Photoshop
What if you only want to reset the tools, not everything else? Let's say you just want to get the default values in the tools back after you experimented with them a bit too much, for example. What can you do in such a case?
Select any tool. Click its icon in the upper bar, right next to the house icon.
Click the gear icon.
Now, if you only want to select this one tool, select Reset Tool. If you want to reset all of them, select Reset All Tools.
Confirm your choice. Keep in mind that this action will not affect the rest of the workspace—just the tool settings.
3. How to Reset Photoshop to the Default Settings
OK, but what if you want to reset Photoshop completely? Put it back to the same state it would be in right after installation, but without wasting time reinstalling the whole thing? There's a manual method for that!
You need to locate the folder containing all the Photoshop settings:
- On Windows: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop 2023
- On Mac: Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop 2023 Settings
Close Photoshop and delete everything in this folder. Once you reopen Photoshop, it will have that brand-new look again, with all the settings, tool presets, actions, brushes, and swatches back to the defaults. The only thing that you may need to remove manually later are the custom plugins, if you've installed any.
Now you know how to reset Photoshop preferences and how to reset Photoshop tools!
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